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Mar 19, 2010

General Mills demonstrates commitment to nourishing lives through $91 million investment in communities, volunteerism and focus on hunger and nutrition

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United Way recognizes General Mills, Inc. with national award for community efforts

United Way recognized General Mills with three Summit Awards — one of United Way’s highest national honors—for its unwavering commitment to communities as evidenced by its contribution of more than 5% of company pretax profits to communities (a record $91 million in 2009).

“General Mills has stepped up in a challenging economy by increasing its efforts to nourish lives and communities,” said United Way Worldwide Executive Vice President Atul Tandon. “Whether it’s mentoring children in the Twin Cities or supporting women farmers in Malawi, General Mills and its employees have demonstrated incredible generosity and commitment to helping others. We’re proud to recognize them for their efforts.”

In addition to their $12.6 million United Way campaign, General Mills donated more than $16 million in food product to Feeding America in 2009. General Mills also contributed $500,000 over four years and partnered with United Way of the National Capital Area to promote youth, nutrition and fitness Plus, 82% of General Mills employees volunteered in their communities, including skills-based volunteerism in Malawi and Tanzania where General Mills scientists, engineers, agronomists and nutritionists are helping solve the root causes of hunger by supporting women as farmers, food processors and providers.

“For generations – in good times and bad – General Mills has displayed a deep, unwavering commitment to our communities,” said Ken Powell, chairman and CEO, General Mills.“We live our mission of nourishing lives each and every day by sharing not only our financial resources, but also our expertise and unique skills as we strive to improve the lives of children and families around the world. United Way has been a vital partner in helping our company lives out this mission.”

The United Way Spirit of America and Summit Awards program, now in its 23rd year, is United Way’s highest national honor for corporations. It recognizes the United Way Global Corporate Leadership companies with the most comprehensive commitment to improving lives and strengthening communities. Applicants are evaluated by corporate peers, labor representatives and local United Ways.

United Way presented General Mills with United Way Summit Awards in Corporate Philanthropy, Community Investment and Community Impact.

About United Way
United Way is a worldwide network in 45 countries and territories, including nearly 1,300 local organizations in the U.S. It advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all, by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, income and health. The United Way movement creates long lasting community change by addressing the underlying causes of problems that prevent progress in these areas. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change. For more information about United Way, please visit: LIVEUNITED.org.

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 2009 global net sales of US$15.9 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales. 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 or Donna Svendsen
General Mills
763-764-6364

OR

Amanda Ponzar
United Way
703-836-7112  x253