News Releases

Jun 13, 2014

General Mills grants celebrate Twin Cities’ Communities of Color


Foundation celebrates 60 years with $1,000,000 to local nonprofits

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.  – To celebrate 60 years of giving, the General Mills Foundation, in partnership with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, has doubled its grant pool for 2014 to $1 million. This year’s grants, ranging from $10,000-$60,000, celebrate the innovative work of 40 outstanding Twin Cities’ nonprofits that support the needs of our diverse community. General Mills launched the Celebrating Communities of Color grants program ten years ago.

“These grants focus on Twin Cities organizations with innovative programs that strengthen this community,” says Ellen Goldberg Luger, executive director of the General Mills Foundation.  “Celebrating Communities of Color is another way General Mills can nourish our communities by supporting a broad spectrum of organizations that provide impactful services to our diverse community.”

Since 2004, the Communities of Color program has served more than 700,000 children, families and individuals across the seven-county metro area with a total of $5 million in grants. Areas of focus include hunger and nutrition wellness, and education.   

Here's a sampling of the 2014 Communities of Color grant recipients:

Breakthrough Saint Paul—St. Paul
Breakthrough Twin Cities: Promise Neighborhoods Expansion
Breakthrough Twin Cities (BTC), formerly Breakthrough Saint Paul, provides a variety of programs to academically talented youth and future leaders who struggle with a lack of resources. The program serves middle and high school youth and is being expanded to students in the Saint Paul Children'shy Collaborative (SPCC) and Minneapolis' Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ). The program offers six weeks of full-time summer academic and non-cognitive instruction with daily lessons in math, science, social studies and English along with one elective course. At-risk students receive tutoring and mentoring, one-on-one counseling for college preparation and essay coaching. Students participate with their families in workshops and meetings. All students are supported in applying for college grants and scholarships. BTC's goal is to serve more than 1,600 youth and to recruit at least 130 diverse and talented teaching fellows to explore a career in the field of education.

NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center—Minneapolis
Mobile Food Marketplace Program
NorthPoint's Mobile Food Market was launched in May, 2013 to fight hunger and help reduce food insecurity in North Minneapolis. The program helps increase the availability of nutritious foods to home-bound residents, particularly seniors who struggle to access food either from a grocery store or a food shelf because of transportation, limited mobility or cultural reservations. The project also allows NorthPoint to connect residents with health and wellness resources that can assist them in achieving and maintaining their health and independence. This includes providing nutrition education and health screenings with the food delivery. Foods distributed through the Mobile Food Marketplace include non-perishable fruits and vegetables, a variety of grains including rice and spaghetti, dried beans, canned protein, juices, milk and frozen meat.

Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota—St. Paul
Southeast Asian Health Promotion and Access Project
This project developed out of the need to increase Vietnamese and Karen refugee and immigrant awareness of the importance of physical activity and good nutrition. The project will promote preventive health care via healthy nutrition to raise awareness of the prevalence of heart disease in these populations. Changes in dietary habits have made the Vietnamese and Karen high-risk for high blood pressure and cholesterol levels which lead to heart disease. The project will also assist Southeast Asian refugees and immigrants in securing appropriate health insurance coverage. The project also serves immigrants from Somalia who express a need for education and access to health care. VSS works to serve the health needs of the community by encouraging individuals and families to be more active.

Information on the General Mills Celebrating Communities of Color initiative is available at: Celebrating Communities of Color Grants.

2014 Celebrating Communities of Color Grant Recipients
(Alphabetical by Organization)

AccountAbility Minnesota—Saint Paul
Financial Coaching Program

Augsburg College—Minneapolis
MN Urban Debate League

Baby's Space: A Place to Grow—Minneapolis
Camp Tatanka

Breakthrough Saint Paul—Saint Paul
Breakthrough Twin Cities: Promise Neighborhoods Expansion

CAPI USA - Centre for Asians and Pacific Islanders—Minneapolis
Asian Food and Nutrition Services

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis—Minneapolis
Northside Child Development Center (NCDC)

Community Design Center of Minnesota AKA Urban Roots—Saint Paul
Cooking and Nutrition Adventures for Healthy Youth

Community Emergency Assistance Programs (CEAP)—Brooklyn Center
Food Shelf Expansion to Reflect a Community of Color

Community Initiatives for Children—Minneapolis
HIPPY Healthy Kids

Emergency Food Shelf Network, Inc.—New Hope
Culturally Competent Food Shelf Resources

Givens Foundation for African American Literature—Minneapolis
Givens Foundation Education Residency Program

Headwaters Foundation for Justice—Minneapolis
African American Leadership Forum

Hmong Academy—Saint Paul
Music Now: Creating, Performing and Archiving Traditional and Cultural Music

Holy Rosary Catholic Church--Minneapolis
¡Ándale! (Let's Go!)

Independent School District No. 281—New Hope
Cooper Cares

Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest (JAUM)—Maplewood
JA Company Program for Communities of Color

MacPhail Center for Music—Minneapolis
MacPhail Community Partnerships

Mentoring Peace Through Art Inc—Hopkins
Art to Work: Creating Ferociously Competent Workers through Community Art

Migizi Communications, Inc.—Minneapolis
New Media Pathways

Minneapolis Public Schools, Special School District #1 / Special School District No. 1—Minneapolis
L.E.A.P! (Leading, Engaging, Advocating: Parents!) Leadership Academy

Minneapolis Urban League—Minneapolis
The 13th Grade: A Career Pathway Program For Young Adults 18-24

Minnesota African Women's Association (MAWA)—Brooklyn Center
Amakolo African Girls Pathway to Success Project

New American Academy (NAA)—Edina
Empowering immigrant youth and families through mentoring, leadership development and connecting one another

NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center—Minneapolis
Mobile Food Marketplace Program

People Serving People, Inc.—Minneapolis
PSP Culinary Arts Training and Nutrition Education

Perspectives, Inc.—St. Louis Park
Kids Connection

Project Success-Students Undertaking Creative Control—Minneapolis
Patrick Henry and Project SUCCESS Class of 2017 9th Grade Transition

Public Art Saint Paul—Saint Paul
Create: The Community Meal

Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation Inc.—Saint Paul
New Lens Urban Mentoring Society

Saint Paul City School—Saint Paul

SteppingStone Theatre—Saint Paul
Celebrating Mainstage at SteppingStone Theatre

Teatro del Pueblo, Inc.—Saint Paul
The Astronaut Farmworker

The Aliveness Project—Minneapolis
Meal Program and Food Shelf

The Sanneh Foundation—Saint Paul
The Sanneh Foundation Dreamline Program

Think Small—Saint Paul
Healthy Children, Healthy Lives

TU Dance—Saint Paul
World premiere dance work by Uri Sands inspired by African American contralto Marian Anderson

Twin Cities Public Television, Inc.—Saint Paul
TPT's Super WHY Reading Camps

Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota—Saint Paul
Southeast Asian Health Promotion and Access Project 

Youth Farm and Market Project—Minneapolis
Growing Youth Farm Initiative - The Urban Klatsch 

Youth Café & Food Justice Program at Oak Park Neighborhood Peace Center

Donna Svendsen
General Mills

About the General Mills Foundation
The mission of the General Mills Foundation is to nourish communities globally with remarkable philanthropy. During fiscal 2013, General Mills provided more than $153 million to communities across the world. Of the total, the Foundation contributed $27 million in grants in the targeted areas of alleviating hunger, advancing nutrition wellness and improving K-12 education, in addition to $46 million in food donations. General Mills employees also support their communities through volunteerism, with 83 percent of U.S. employees contributing their time and talent in their communities each year. To learn more about the ways General Mills nourishes lives through philanthropy and community engagement, please join us on Facebook at or visit us at the General Mills Foundation website.


Related Downloads

2014 report on our progress (pdf)