For maximum impact, Hormel Foods focuses on two areas for our philanthropy efforts – education and hunger. We support scholarships, hunger initiatives and community activities that advance these two important areas of focus. We have found these are the areas that most directly align with our business initiatives and are two areas our employees support with passion.


Contributing to Communities

In fiscal year 2010, we gave $5.7 million in cash and in-kind donations toward efforts in communities where our employees live and efforts that help alleviate hunger.

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Community Involvement Examples:

  • In 2010, Jennie-O Turkey Store raised more than $137,000 in company and employee contributions for the United Way of Greater Minnesota, which is headquartered in Willmar, MN.
  • Hormel Foods contributed 18,000 cans of SPAM® classic and 18,000 cans of Hormel® chili to the Minnesota Zoo display celebrating its 10-year anniversary of the Wells Fargo Family Farm. At the end of the display in October 2010, the cans of food were donated to Second Harvest Heartland, a member of Feeding America and the Upper Midwest’s largest hunger-relief organization.
  • Hormel Foods donated 50 cases of Hormel® Petite Turkey Breasts to the Paul Hall Chicago Boy and Girls Club to feed families during the holidays in December 2010.
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store donated $15,000 to the Willmar Grow Mobile, a program of the local United Way, which takes a renovated camper out into the low-income neighborhoods and to day care centers to provide early childhood programming in locations where needed.
  • The class at Kennedy Elementary School in Willmar, MN, thanks the Jennie-O Turkey Store for their donationJennie-O Turkey Store contributed nearly $25,000 to local schools and libraries to support reading programs and to buy books and computers.

Disaster Relief

In 2010, some of our communities were hit with tornadoes and flooding that destroyed homes and caused people in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa to evacuate. In one such community, the small town of Wadena in west central Minnesota, the tornado ripped through town on June 17th, destroying 234 homes and the high school and heavily damaging other homes, the county fairgrounds and the community center. Close to 4,000 volunteers converged between June 25th and 28th to help Wadena residents. To assist in feeding the volunteers, Jennie-O Turkey Store donated nearly 500 pounds of sliced turkey and turkey roasts. The product was shipped to Mason Brothers, a local wholesale grocery company in Wadena, for storage and preparation. Due to a strong team effort and commitment to communities, the product was in Wadena within six hours from when Jennie-O Turkey Store started coordinating the donation on June 24th.

Community Infrastructure

High speed networks and economic development are intrinsically connected. The Google Fiber network is a project that aims to build and test ultra-high speed broadband networks in one or more trial locations across the country. As a result, Hormel Foods joined a community group effort to encourage Google to test its Google Fiber ultra-high-speed broadband network in Austin, MN. Hormel Foods understands the value of technology in connecting it to the rest of the world. While Austin ranked sixth in this race for securing the town as a site for the Google Fiber project, we will continue to support innovative projects that will benefit our communities. For more information, please click here for the Austin, MN We Gig It site.

Fighting Hunger Domestically and Internationally

We formalized our efforts to fight hunger in fiscal year 2010 through a multi-pronged approach called On Our Way to Ending Hunger.

We are a company with expertise in food manufacturing, distribution and protein, which are important components to feeding the hungry around the world. Our goal is to produce high-quality, differentiated products for our consumers and throughout our 120-year history we have shared these items to support hunger relief. For these reasons, we titled our program “On Our Way to Ending Hunger,” and it includes hunger relief efforts in the United States and abroad founded on three pillars:

  1. Collaborate
  2. Nourish
  3. Motivate


  • We are working with other retailers and partners to research, raise awareness and support hunger relief programs.


  • To nourish, we developed Spammy™, a shelf-stable turkey protein product fortified with vitamins and minerals, which was created to address the global malnutrition crisis.
    • Hormel Foods has donated the product to children and families in Guatemala through our partnership with Food for the Poor and Caritas Arquidiocesana, and the company donated 168,000 cans as part of disaster relief efforts after the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010.
  • We also contributed 18,000 cans of SPAM® classic and 15,000 cans of Hormel® chili to the Minnesota Zoo’s display celebrating its 10-year anniversary of the Wells Fargo Family Farm. At the end of the display in October 2010, the cans of food were donated to Second Harvest Heartland, a member of Feeding America and the Upper Midwest’s largest hunger-relief organization. See the video of the can construction here.
  • As part of a promotion to make Farmer John the official hot dog of Los Angeles, Farmer John donated one pound to various Los Angeles-based food banks, including Union Rescue Mission, in an effort to give back to those in need. At the end of the campaign in November 2010, Farmer John donated more than 50,000 pounds of product.
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store contributed nearly 33,000 pounds of products to secondary food banks, local food shelves and feeding programs.


  • We conducted our fifth annual Hormel Hunger Survey and found Americans believe the problem of hunger is getting worse and that one in four Americans, either themselves or someone they knew, had to choose between paying bills or feeding their family in the past year. See the full findings from this year and past surveys.

Supporting Education in our Community


For the 44th consecutive year, we awarded scholarships to 19 students entering undergraduate colleges in the fall of 2010 through the Hormel Foods Charitable Trust fund. These students showed exemplary scholastic abilities, standardized test scores, involvement in school and the community, and leadership qualities.

  • Jennie-O Turkey Store also awarded more than 58 education scholarships in excess of $50,000 total to employees, their dependents and graduating seniors who plan to attend an accredited two-year technical/vocational college or a four-year college or university to obtain a bachelor's degree.

Ellis Middle School Science Labs Finished

In 2010, Ellis Middle School in Austin, MN, opened the doors of its four newly upgraded science labs and three computer labs. In 2009, we reported our donation of $150,000.

The Hormel Institute

2010 marked the final year of the company’s $5 million contribution to The Hormel Institute's expansion project, which was completed in September 2008. In 2010, The Hormel Institute received more than $1 million in grants for five cancer research projects being conducted at The Hormel Institute and published a study on the cover of the nation's leading cancer journal, "Cancer Research," which links capsaicin, a component of chili peppers, to skin cancer.

"Through the outstanding success and unwavering financial support from Hormel Foods, The Hormel Institute has grown to be an emerging world leader in cancer research.  The Hormel Institute - featured twice in the past 13 months on the cover of Cancer Research, the number one cancer journal in the United States - remains focused on one mission and that is research into what can prevent and control cancer through natural and non-toxic means. The legacy of The Hormel Institute belongs to every generation of Hormel Foods employees. Their support paves the way for our research to flourish,” said Zigang Dong, M.D., Dr. P.H., executive director of The Hormel Institute University of Minnesota-Mayo Clinic.

For more information, visit The Hormel Institute’s website.