Dividend checks continue to get fatter in Corporate America, as more companies jack up their distribution rates.

Let's take a closer look at some of the companies that inched their payouts higher this past week.

Let's start with Sysco (NYSE: SYY). The food-service giant with its fleet of refrigerated trucks delivering edibles and other essentials to restaurants, schools, and hospitals is also doing a good job of feeding its shareholders.

Sysco's new quarterly dividend of $0.26 a share may not be much of an improvement over its earlier $0.25 a share rate, but the food giant has now come through with 42 consecutive years of higher disbursements.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) bucked the downward trend of tech stocks on Friday, and one of the reasons was its shiny new dividend. The microprocessor behemoth is bumping up its payouts by 14% to $0.18 a share every three months.

Sure, the fact that Intel CEO Paul Otellini announced that his company "remains on track to have our best year ever" was the bigger catalyst of Intel's rise on Friday, but juicing up its yield is one way for investors to know that the tech bellwether means it.

Automatic Data Processing (NYSE: ADP) is another hiker. The business outsourcing pro is increasing its quarterly dividend 6% to $0.36 a share. The market shouldn't be surprised. ADP has now completed 36 years in a row of chunkier payouts.

Finally we have MDU Resources (NYSE: MDU) energizing its quarterly mailings. The energy and transportation specialist is pushing its streak of annual rate increases to 20, improving its distributions by 3% to $0.1625 on a quarterly basis.

It's encouraging to see companies improving their yields at a time when fixed-income investments are on the floor. These companies join medical maven Baxter International (NYSE: BAX), "piece of the rock" insurer Prudential Financial (NYSE: PRU), and postsecondary educator DeVry (NYSE: DV) in sending more of their money back to their shareowners in recent days.

Subscribers to the Income Investor newsletter can appreciate the companies sending more and more money to their investors. The newsletter singles out companies that are committed to growing their distributions with market-thumping results.

Want to see what is being recommended these days? Go ahead and give the newsletter service a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing that will get hiked will be your interest.

Do higher dividends matter to you? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Intel and Sysco are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Automatic Data Processing and Sysco are Motley Fool Income Investor selections. The Fool owns shares of and has bought calls on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on Intel. The Fool owns shares of Sysco. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz pays attention to yield signs. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.