General Mills: Strategic Philanthropy and Product Reformulation

By Alexandra Luterek and Vera Oziransky

Poverty and food insecurity, or a lack of access to healthy foods, affect millions of Americans. In 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households (which means that they lacked reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food), including 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), led by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), works to improve the nutritional status and well-being of America’s most vulnerable. Nearly half of all SNAP participants are children, and 82 percent of all SNAP benefits go to vulnerable houses that include a child, elderly person, or disabled person.

As one of the world’s largest food and beverage manufacturers headquartered in Minneapolis/St. Paul, General Mills is engaging in strategic philanthropy to address hunger and food insecurity in communities where it has a large presence.

Over the past 60 years, General Mills Foundation has given $2 billion to community initiatives, focusing specifically on the geographic areas near its largest manufacturing communities worldwide and near its headquarters in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. Among other organizations, the company has contributed $2.75 million to Hunger-Free Minnesota, a collective impact model with 8 initiatives and over 100 cross-sector partners to collectively add 60 million meals to Minnesota’s hunger-relief system.

Read more about how businesses can use Strategic Philanthropy to promote community health and close disparity gaps in our report, “Beyond the Four Walls: Why Community is Critical to Workforce Health” and access the full case study on how General Mills is investing in its hometown community here. F


Are you a community that has engaged business to promote community health, or a business that is investing in local health promotion? Let us know how on social media using #Beyond4Walls or by commenting below.


Thumbnail image credit: Elon University


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