Continuing its response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, a General Mills plane delivered more than a ton of medical supplies to the beleaguered country on Thursday.
The delivery follows on the heels of an announced donation of $250,000 to the Red Cross and CARE International, and a decision to match employee contributions up to $50,000.
“It felt terrific to be able to help,” said Pilot Neil Brackin, director of Air Transportation for General Mills. “This all came together very quickly, and is a testament to the creativity and values of General Mills.”
The delivery of medical supplies got its start when senior executives Marc Belton and Chris Shea, both Dartmouth College alums, received a note seeking transportation support from Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim, a medical doctor who co-founded the nonprofit Partners in Health, which has strong ties to Haiti.
The request was discussed by company leaders, who agreed to make a corporate jet available.
Brackin and Pilot Mark Hagen flew from the Twin Cities to Lebanon, N.H., Wednesday night. Thursday morning, working with Dartmouth College/Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the plane was loaded with more than a ton of medical supplies.
Although the team originally thought it was going to fly into the Dominican Republic, a slot for the plane at the airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was secured on Thursday. The change allowed the plane to be stocked with antibiotics and other temperature-sensitive medications, in addition to supplies such as gloves and surgical equipment. Dr. Brian Remillard, a kidney specialist, joined the pilots for trip, bringing along a portable dialysis machine.
"It's really awesome to see people from all over the world coming together to help out," DHMC nurse Rachel Allen said. "We're all just really honored that we get to be here to help."
About General Mills
One of the world's leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 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, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2009 global net sales of US$15.9 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales.
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