/ About / Corporate Responsibility


To have the greatest impact, Hormel Foods focuses our philanthropic efforts on three areas: hunger, education and supporting the local communities where we operate. These areas most closely align with our business initiatives, and we have found that they are also the areas our employees support with passion.


Throughout our more than 120-year history, we have shared our food products to support the fight against hunger. We produce high quality, differentiated products for our consumers, and we use our expertise in food manufacturing, distribution and protein as a resource to help hunger relief efforts in the United States and abroad.

Our formal hunger relief strategy – On Our Way to Ending Hunger – involves three pillars: Nourish, Collaborate and Motivate.


Nourish speaks to ending hunger one community at a time. We join in this effort by nourishing communities with donations throughout the United States and around the world.

One of the ways we nourish communities internationally is through a product we developed called Spammy®, a shelf-stable poultry product fortified with vitamins and minerals, to help prevent malnutrition in children in Guatemala.

Read more about how we Nourish communities in our 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report.


Collaborate is about all parties working together. We know that ending hunger is a task that requires partnership, so we work with retailers and other organizations to research partners and solutions, raise awareness and support hunger relief programs.

For example, we participate in Hunger-Free Minnesota, a statewide coalition of community and corporate organizations aimed at closing the “missing meals” gap in Minnesota. Its goal is to provide 100 million additional meals, annually and sustainably, for Minnesotans in need by 2014. Jeffrey M. Ettinger, Hormel Foods chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer, serves on the steering committee of Hunger-Free Minnesota along with seven other Minnesota company CEOs.

Read more about how we Collaborate in our 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report.


Motivate is how we understand the hunger problem and mobilize our employees and communities to do something about it. We motivate through our plant community donations program, which began in 2011 and provides grants to plant managers in various U.S. communities to support hunger-relief organizations in their local communities. We have also funded and conducted research to understand and raise awareness of the hunger problem.

Read more about how we Motivate in our 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Back to top

Community Involvement

Across the United States, our employees are involved in their communities and committed to making a difference in the places where they live and work. As a company, we want to support their efforts. Read more about the variety of ways Hormel Foods and our employees are contributing to communities.

  • A team of Atlanta Plant (Tucker, GA) employees, friends and family members, including several breast cancer survivors, participated in the 2012 Susan G. Komen cancer walk, which raises money to help fight breast cancer. Atlanta Plant team members also contributed $2,500 to the cause.
  • Rochelle (IL) Foods employees and their families participated in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life. Through bake sales, raffles and donations, they raised $4,644.
  • The Women Our Way employee resource group held its first 5K race September 2012 to raise funds for the American Red Cross and Kids Against Hunger in Austin, MN. A fun run/walk was also held following the race, which followed the same 3.1 mile loop and included gift bags for the children participating in the event. Overall, 136 people participated. “The Women Our Way employee resource group wanted to create an opportunity for employees and the community to come together for a morning of giving, healthy activity, education and networking,” said Kathleen M. Heneke, product manager, foodservice.
  • More than 1,750 Hormel Foods employees at the Austin (MN) Plant raised $142,262 for the United Way of Mower County (10 percent of the organization’s goal), surpassing past donations of $141,000 and $132,990 in 2011 and 2010, respectively. “This is an outstanding workplace campaign,” said Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt, United Way of Mower County executive director. “Hormel Foods has always been a great community supporter. The Austin Plant campaign chair, Ryan Cline, and his team did an amazing job out of the goodness of their hearts, and the generosity of Hormel Foods employees will go a long way in helping those in need in Mower County.”

The Hormel Institute

Neighboring the Hormel Foods Corporate Office in Austin, MN, is The Hormel Institute, a world leader in cancer research. Throughout the years, we have financially supported the efforts of leading scientists to focus on The Hormel Institute’s singular mission: to provide research that can prevent and control cancer through natural and nontoxic means.

Recently, The Hormel Institute received more than $90,000 in donations and a $1.7 million federal grant to support skin cancer research led by Dr. Rebecca Morris, leader of the Stem Cells and Cancer section at The Hormel Institute. In addition, The Hormel Institute has also recently formed a major partnership with China’s Henan Province that will accelerate discoveries aimed at improving health worldwide.

Key findings from a stem-cell self-renewal study led by Dr. Zigang Dong, executive director of The Hormel Institute and Dr. Ann M. Bode, associate director of The Hormel Institute, were published in a leading scientific journal, Nature: Structure and Molecular Biology. Researchers at The Hormel Institute have gained national recognition for numerous projects, including:

  • Work related to cancer and obesity;
  • Bringing more clarity on how a compound found in green tea inhibits cancerous activity (a discovery described by fellow cancer researchers as a major breakthrough);
  • The study of lupeol (a natural compound found in fruits and vegetables) as a potential new therapeutic agent to treat prostate cancer; and
  • A compound from mangos shown to inhibit rapid cell growth and support cell death against human leukemia as well as lung, breast, colon and prostate cancer cells.

For more information, visit The Hormel Institute website.

Back to top


Hormel Foods Charitable Trust

Each calendar year, the Hormel Foods Charitable Trust Matching Gifts program matches individual employee and retiree donations to approved colleges and universities and to elementary and high schools. Since its inception, the program has matched millions of dollars in gifts to educational institutions.

Read more about our education efforts in our 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Back to top