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Dec 24, 2009

10 Ways General Mills Nourished Communities in 2009

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General Mills Ends Year with Renewed Commitment to Alleviating Hunger in the U.S. and Africa

General Mills donated a record $91 million in contributions across the U.S. and abroad in fiscal 2009 to ease hunger, advance nutrition wellness, and support K-12 education. The company donated $16 million of food to Feeding America. In the past decade, General Mills product donations have exceeded $168 million dollars. Each year, the company contributes five percent of company pretax profits to communities. In addition, 82 percent of employees volunteer -- leveraging the company's financial contributions.

General Mills' people, Foundation and brands continue to help bring added support and visibility to issues and causes that matter to consumers. Here's a sample of the year's efforts.   

  1. Wake Up America -- Just a few weeks ago, in response to the  growing demand at food shelves across America, General Mills CEO Ken  Powell and scores of employees from the company's cereal facilities  worked the production lines to donate $10 million (49 million bowls)  of whole grain cereal for Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger  relief organization. Bob Harper from NBC's The Biggest Loser and Vicki  B.Escarra CEO of Feeding America were also on hand to help with the project. Visit www.PFPChallenge.com/WakeUpToHunger.
  2. Minneapolis/St. Paul Hunger Forum -- Hundreds of people  from the Minneapolis and St. Paul area met at General Mills  headquarters in November for the Greater Twin Cities United Way Hunger  Forum. Food Shelf usage in the Twin Cities is up 40 percent and the  summit , which the company co-sponsored with hometown food giants  Cargill and Land O Lakes, brought community minds together to discuss  ways to reduce hunger in the Twin Cities. Visit www.unitedwaytwincities.org/OurImpact/hunger.cfm.
  3. Empowering Women in Africa -- Some say it takes a village to  lend a helping hand. And that's just what General Mills and CARE are  doing with the launch last fall of Join My Village, a unique online  program where consumers can simply join and click to directly support  the economic empowerment and education of women in Malawi. Overall,  General Mills has contributed $4.6 million to the General Mills  African Women and Children's Hunger Program since the program's  inception. Visit www.JoinMyVillage.com.
  4. Improving Food Processing in Africa -- General Mills  announced in September a public private partnership with U.S. Agency  for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. President's  Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to improve the capacity of  small and medium-sized food businesses across sub-Saharan Africa to  produce healthy, fortified food products. Working with business  owners, General Mills' scientists, nutritionists, engineers and  marketers are sharing technical and business expertise to transform  subsistence farming and food production into more profitable,  marketable and sustainable ventures.
  5. Box Tops For Education -- The Box Tops for Education program  reached a milestone this year. U.S. schools ended the 2008-2009 year  by redeeming a record-breaking $50.6 million in Box Tops coupons, an  increase of 19 percent from last school year. Schools have earned $300  million to support education since the popular fundraising program's  launch in 1996. The cash earned through the program helps fill gaps in  school budgets, funding essential items such as computers, books,  supplies and uniforms. Visit www.boxtops4education.com.
  6. Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories -- Cheerios' Spoonfuls of Stories  program focuses on childhood literacy. Over the past eight years,  Cheerios has distributed more than 40 million high-quality children's  books inside boxes of Cheerios cereal and has contributed more than  $3.2 million to First Book, a national organization that provides new  books to children in need. Visit www.spoonfulsofstories.com.
  7. Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives -- In addition, General Mills' Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives program marks its 11th year of support for  Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Over the years, contributions from Save  Lids to Save Lives and Pink Together have added up to more  than $26 million to support Komen and its mission to fund breast  cancer awareness. Visit www.yoplait.com/slsl/.
  8. Pink Together -- General Mills also remains one of the largest  consumer packaged goods supporters of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a  leading funder of breast cancer research and awareness programs. For  example, General Mills stepped up its support for breast cancer  research and awareness with its broad "Pink Together" campaign,  which features    participation by several company brands including Cheerios,  Nature  Valley, Progresso and Yoplait. Visit www.PinkTogether.com.
  9. Champions for Healthy Kids -- The General Mills Champions for  Healthy Kids Program, in partnership with the American Dietetic  Association, awarded $10,000 to 50 nonprofits and other organizations  across the United States to develop fun, interactive programs that  incorporate a fitness and nutrition component, and operate under the  expert guidance of a registered dietitian. Since 2002, General Mills  has invested more than $18 million in overall youth nutrition  and fitness programs that have served more than 3.5 million children  nationwide. These programs are a partnership of the General Mills  Foundation, the American Dietetic Association Foundation and the  President's Council on Physical Fitness.Visit www.generalmills.com/corporate/commitment/champions.aspx.
  10. Celebrating Communities of Color Grants -- The General Mills  Foundation this month awarded grants of $10,000 each to 50 nonprofits,  schools and other organizations across the Twin Cities with programs  designed to improve the lives of the area's growing number of people  of color. The General Mills Celebrating Communities of Color grants  program is a $500,000 initiative now in its sixth year. Since 2004,  $2.5 million has been awarded, and the program has served more than  500,000 people, most of whom are people of color. Visit www.generalmills.com/corporate/commitment/communities_color.aspx.

About General Mills Foundation
The mission of the General Mills Foundation, celebrating more than 50 years of giving, is to nourish communities. In fiscal 2009, General Mills awarded $91 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 hunger and nutrition wellness, education, social services, and arts and culture. In addition, 82 percent of employees volunteer in the communities where they live and work.


For More Information, Contact:

Heidi Geller
General Mills
763-764-6364

or

Donna Svendsen
General Mills Foundation
763-764-4150