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We focus our philanthropic efforts on three areas: hunger relief, education and supporting the local communities where we operate. These areas closely align with our business initiatives, and over the years we’ve learned they are also the areas our employees are most passionate about.

Hunger Relief

Throughout our 125-year history, we have donated our food products to help fight 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 around the world.

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


Nourish addresses the goal of ending hunger by nourishing communities with donations, from our local communities to communities all around the world.

A key way in which we nourish communities internationally is through SPAMMY®, a shelf-stable poultry product that is fortified with vitamins and minerals. We developed this product to help fight malnutrition in children in Guatemala. In July 2014, Hormel Foods announced promising results of a nutrition study demonstrating the benefits of supplementing traditional diets with high-quality protein and micronutrients. As a part of the 20-week trial, fortified or unfortified versions of SPAMMY® were fed to more than 160 schoolchildren in Guatemala. The results revealed:

  • All participants showed greater-than-expected improvement in cognitive scores.
  • There was a 44 percent reduction in the number of school days missed due to illness.
  • Children receiving fortified SPAMMY® showed statistical improvements in vitamin D and B12 levels, underscoring the magnitude of deficiencies of these two essential vitamins in young Guatemalans.
  • A positive correlation between the increase in cognitive gain scores and vitamin D concentrations in the group that received the fortified SPAMMY®.

Read more about SPAMMY® and how we nourish communities in our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.


Collaborate is about all parties, internal and external, working together to help end hunger. We know that ending hunger is a task that requires partnership, so we work to research partners and solutions, raise awareness and support hunger relief programs.

Read more about how we collaborate in our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.


Motivate is how we understand the hunger problem and mobilize our employees and communities to get involved in this important cause. One way we accomplish this is through our Plant Community Donations Program, which began in 2011 and provides grants to our plant locations 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 at the local community level.

Read more about how we motivate in our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Community Involvement

Our employees are involved in their communities and committed to making a difference in the places where they live and work. Below, you can read more about the variety of ways in which Hormel Foods and our employees are contributing to communities:

  • Farmer John (Vernon, Calif.) and Saag's Products (San Leandro, Calif.), subsidiaries owned by Hormel Foods, donated $20,000 to help fight hunger in Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif., and their surrounding communities in June 2015. Donations of $5,000 each were provided to the Davis Street Family Resource Center, the Alameda County Community Food Bank, Midnight Mission and the St. Vincent's Meals on Wheels.
  • In May 2015, CytoSport, Inc., maker of Muscle Milk® products, announced the 19 high school athletic programs that would receive grants as part of the 2014 Muscle Milk® Recovery Grant Program. In its third consecutive year, the program accepted applications from August through November and received more than 450 submissions from high schools in need across the country. The maker of Muscle Milk® products provided a total of $250,000 in grants in 2015 to help rebuild and revitalize high school athletic programs.

Read more about our community involvement efforts in our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.


The Hormel Foundation

The Hormel Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was established as a separate entity from Hormel Foods in 1941 by the company’s founder, George A. Hormel, and his son, Jay C. Hormel. The Hormel Foundation was reorganized in 1980 as a supporting organization under IRS Section 509(a)(3). As a supporting organization, it is organized and operated for the benefit of those charitable organizations represented on its board, such as The Hormel Institute (a world leader in cancer research).

In 2015, The Hormel Foundation reached a record high of giving $21.4 million. Since 1941, The Hormel Foundation has given more than $130 million.

For more information, visit The Hormel Foundation website.


The Hormel Institute

Neighboring the Hormel Foods Corporate Office in Austin, Minn., is The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, a globally recognized cancer research center. Started by Jay C. Hormel in 1942, The Hormel Institute is one of the oldest research centers in the United States.

Throughout the years, we have donated money and resources to support the efforts of the scientists and their focus on The Hormel Institute’s mission: discoveries that can prevent and control cancer through natural and nontoxic means.

In May 2014, The Hormel Institute finished the design of a second major expansion (after tripling size in 2008) and held a groundbreaking ceremony with the state’s governor, U.S. senators and other state and national leaders. The 20-laboratory expansion was funded with $13.5 million in state of Minnesota bonding funds included in a bill written by Senator Dan Sparks and Representative Jeanne Poppe, supported by former Senate Majority Leader David Senjem and Minnesota legislators, and signed by Governor Mark Dayton. The Hormel Foundation matched the state’s $13.5 million commitment to construct the new lab building that provides space for another 130 faculty and staff jobs.

Hormel Foods made a major contribution to the west part of the expansion, a $4.5 million Live Learning Center that features a multi-purpose room and 250-seat lecture hall with theater-style seating and state-of-the-art global communications technology. The entire expansion was completed in 2016.

Discoveries at The Hormel Institute reach the world. Researchers led a group of scientists in discovering a “missing link” in the major cell pathway involved in chronic inflammation and findings were published in the world’s leading scientific journal, Nature. Scientists at The Hormel Institute have gained international recognition for cutting-edge research, such as:

  • 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 found in 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.

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 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.

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