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Hormel Foods Hosts Student Winners of its 13th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest


Austin, Minn.

Hormel Foods team members commemorate MLK Day and Black History Month with an essay competition for elementary and middle school students from across the country

Three winners of the 13th annual Hormel Foods MLK essay contest visited the company’s World Headquarters on Wednesday, Feb. 28, to read their winning essays to Hormel Foods team members. Three students – Yvanna Lopez from Austin, Minnesota; Madison Blair from Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Aisha Mohamed from Barron, Wisconsin – claimed the top honors among hundreds of entries from 15 schools this year.

The Hormel Foods Black Leaders & Allies Advancing Cultural Knowledge (BLAACK) business resource group sponsors the annual essay competition for elementary and middle school students across the United States. Contestants are asked to write an essay with the theme, “What Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Means to Me.”

“We’re here today to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by having the top three students from across the country share what Dr. King means to them,” said Cedric Moore, BLAACK president and senior customer executive for Retail sales at Hormel Foods. “One thing I admire about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was his persistence and that he never gave up. He fought for the equal rights for all individuals and that is evident as we look around this room at the diversity that sits amongst us all. Today, these students are displaying the excellence of Dr. King’s legacy by sharing their essays with us.”

The nationwide competition promotes the value and importance of cultural differences and provides a platform for celebrating diversity. The goals of the program are to promote Dr. King’s legacy, encourage children to aim high, give them exposure to minority professionals in business and create a lasting partnership between Hormel Foods and local schools.

These three students honored Dr. King’s legacy by putting into words what he means to them.

“When I think of Dr. Martin Luther King I think freedom, bravery, and perseverance,” Madison Blair said in her essay. “I work hard as a student because Dr. King fought for me so I can have the best education.”

About Hormel Foods – Inspired People. Inspired Food.

Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a global branded food company with over $12 billion in annual revenue across more than 80 countries worldwide. Its brands include Planters®, Skippy®, SPAM®, Hormel® Natural Choice®, Applegate®, Justin’s®, Wholly®, Hormel® Black Label®, Columbus®, Jennie-O® and more than 30 other beloved brands. The company is a member of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats, was named one of the best companies to work for by U.S. News & World Report, one of America’s most responsible companies by Newsweek, recognized on Fast Company’s list of the 100 Best Workplaces for Innovators, has appeared on the “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list by 3BL Media 13 times, and has received numerous other awards and accolades for its corporate responsibility and community service efforts. The company lives by its purpose statement — Inspired People. Inspired Food.™ — to bring some of the world’s most trusted and iconic brands to tables across the globe. For more information, visit