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Apr 17, 2020

General Mills announces “manufacture to donate” initiative to address urgent hunger needs

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The company also will launch a paid community service program for Minneapolis, Minnesota-based employees to redirect their work hours to serving hunger-relief nonprofits

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota - With urgent need for both food donations and volunteers stemming from COVID-19, General Mills – in partnership with Feeding America – is announcing two new initiatives to help address these challenges: 

  • General Mills facilities will manufacture and immediately donate $5 million worth of product to Feeding America food banks.
  • General Mills will create an option for employees to work at food-related charities in the Twin Cities while retaining their regular pay. 

"During these unprecedented times we know that our food and our employees can play an important role in helping feed people facing hunger in our communities,” said Jeff Harmening, Chairman and CEO of General Mills. “Our teams are proud to produce food the world loves and needs right now when there is such a critical demand.”

Manufacturing $5 million of product to immediately donate to Feeding America

In response to the pandemic, General Mills has developed a “manufacture to donate” initiative that will provide $5 million worth of food - including whole grain cereals, frozen whole grain waffles and granola bars - for Feeding America to distribute within its network of 200 food banks. The General Mills manufacturing plant in Chanhassen, Minnesota, is among the locations making food for this charitable initiative.

This product donation is the latest in a series of actions the company recently announced to support its employees and communities in response to the impact of COVID-19.

This included $5 million in charitable grants from the General Mills Foundation to support food access and other basic needs in its key global markets and manufacturing communities around the world.

The $5 million in gifts include grants from the General Mills Foundation spanning Asia, Europe, Australia, Latin America and North America to increase food bank capacity, ensure food access and address vital needs of vulnerable populations amid the pandemic.

These contributions supplement the $21 million in cash giving by General Mills and its Foundation last year, along with more than $40 million worth of food product donations provided by General Mills to nonprofit food bank partners to help ensure food security across global communities.

Launching a paid community service program for employees

General Mills employees who are unable to perform the tasks of their usual jobs remotely during the pandemic or have extra time during their day can now sign up for volunteer work assignments at a non-profit in their community while receiving regular pay from General Mills.

The program is intended for employees located near the company’s Minneapolis headquarters, and volunteer assignments are with nonprofits that have been deemed essential organizations given their roles helping fight hunger during the pandemic. Eligible organizations include Catholic Charities, The Food Group, Help at Your Door, Loaves and Fishes and Second Harvest Heartland (a Feeding America member food bank).

“General Mills' unique offer to deploy their manufacturing lines and their employees will help Feeding America network food banks meet people's rising need for food assistance,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “We are deeply grateful for General Mills’ contribution during this crisis and for their 40 years of support of our mission."

About General Mills 

General Mills is a leading global food company that serves the world by making food the world loves. Its brands include Cheerios, Annie's, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Häagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, BLUE and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2019 net sales of U.S. $16.9 billion. In addition, General Mills’ share of non-consolidated joint venture net sales totaled U.S. $1.0 billion.

Media:  
General Mills Corporate Communications
763-764-6364
media.line@genmills.com