MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Extending opportunities to the developing world – especially empowering women – is part of General Mills’ mission of Nourishing Lives. The company’s philanthropic commitment in Africa began a few years ago with simply packing powdered meals for families in Malawi, and has transformed to educate, empower and financially support women in their roles as farmers, food processors and providers.
General Mills was awarded the President’s Award for its African Women and Children’s Hunger program at the 10th Annual Excellence Awards in Corporate Philanthropy by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP).
“As one of the world's largest food companies, we have the technical and business expertise that can transform lives,” said Ken Powell, chairman and CEO of General Mills. “Our vision is to inspire other leaders to harness the skills and resources of the public and private sectors to help develop lasting change.
Through this program, General Mills, together with its nonprofit partners, has helped more than 250,000 Africans gain the training and resources they need to achieve economic self-sufficiency and job fulfillment. A few examples of activities include:
- Digging irrigation canals
- Building corn cribs and classrooms
- Providing scholarships and supporting microloans that are empowering villagers in Malawi to improve their lives.
Also, more than 300 General Mills researchers and scientists have logged more than 20,000 volunteer hours to help solve technical issues at several African facilities. The goal is to help small and mid-sized mills and food processors to produce high-quality, nutritious food for local markets.
CECP’s Excellence Awards in Corporate Philanthropy went to Intel Corporation, General Mills, the Boston Beer Company, and Partners In Health, nominated by Eli Lilly and Company. Programs are selected by an independent multidisciplinary jury according to the following criteria: demonstrated CEO leadership, dedication to measurement, successful partnerships and innovation.
About the Excellence Awards in Corporate Philanthropy
Since 2000, CECP has presented Excellence Awards annually to companies such as Arch Chemicals, Cisco Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, GE, Grand Circle Corporation, Hasbro, IBM, Liquidnet Holdings, Inc., Merck, Moody’s Corporation, Novartis, Pfizer, The PNC Financial Services Group, salesforce.com, Target, Timberland, The Western Union Company, and Whole Foods Market, and to nonprofits including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The Children’s Health Fund, Community Voice Mail, Jumpstart, KaBOOM!, and National Academy Foundation. Excellence Award winners are selected by an independent selection committee composed of experts from the corporate, government, media, nonprofit, consulting, and academic communities.
About the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP)
CECP is the only international forum of business CEOs and chairpersons focused exclusively on corporate philanthropy. Founded by actor-philanthropist Paul Newman and other business leaders in 1999, CECP's 175 members lead the business community in raising the level and quality of corporate philanthropy. Membership includes global executives who are committed to advancing the business case for philanthropy and inspiring others to make a positive impact through sustainable corporate giving.
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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