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Apr 17, 2009

General Mills Celebrates 82 Percent of Employees Who Volunteer

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Part of National Volunteer Week

MINNEAPOLIS – General Mills employees got a jump start on National Volunteer Week by celebrating the results of a recent survey showing that 82 percent of employees volunteer. 

To symbolize the company’s commitment to volunteerism, more than 300 employees wore yellow and assembled for a photo Friday, April 17. Employees and retirees, including General Mills CEO and Chairman Ken Powell, also volunteered throughout the day by packaging 2,000 pounds of rice for CEAP, an emergency assistance agency in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

We’re proud of the incredible work our employees are doing every day in the community. We wore yellow today to represent the joy, hope and optimism that we all share as volunteers,” said Darren Harmon, chair of the General Mills Employee Volunteer Council. 

The company survey conducted earlier this year found that 82 percent of U.S. employees volunteered either through company programs or independently –  up from 78 percent who volunteered in 2006.

Nearly 60 percent of employees spent up to five hours a month serving in their community. The leading cause areas include: children and youth; community/civic work; hunger issues and housing/homelessness. General Mills also has a robust retiree volunteer program with retirees volunteering a total of 9,000 hours in 2008.
 
Volunteerism leverages the company’s philanthropic giving. In fiscal 2008, General Mills awarded $87 million to communities across the country, representing more than 5 percent of company pretax profits that year.  Of the total, the Foundation contributed $21 million in grants in the targeted areas of youth nutrition and fitness, education, social services, and arts and culture.

About General Mills
One of the world's leading food companies, General Mills operates in over 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., General Mills had fiscal 2008 global net sales of US$14.9 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales.




For more information, contact:

Heidi Geller
General Mills
763-764-5836