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Press Release

Kellogg Company Steps Up During Economic Downturn With Innovation and Generosity

United Way Recognizes Kellogg Company, General Mills, Inc., Procter & Gamble, Dominion Resources, Inc., and Wells Fargo With Top National Award for Community Efforts 


ALEXANDRIA, VA — Today, United Way recognized Kellogg Company with its highest national award in honor of innovative actions the company and its employees took to improve lives and local communities. Kellogg Company is the first Michigan-based company to win Spirit of America®. General Mills, Inc., Procter & Gamble, Dominion Resources, Inc., and Wells Fargo received Summit awards.

"Kellogg Company and its employees have clearly demonstrated their commitment to improving lives by going far beyond just running a campaign. They've stepped up with increased product donations, volunteerism, social media outreach, cause marketing and even economic revitalization efforts in their headquarter city," said Brian Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way Worldwide. "We are proud to recognize our Global Corporate Leadership partner Kellogg with United Way's highest national award for their innovation, leadership and generosity."

Kellogg Company's $5.9 million campaign pledge in 2009 was 19% over goal. Kellogg also stepped up with an incremental $600,000 grant to United Way of Greater Battle Creek to address increased basic health and income needs in the Company's headquarters hometown. Among other outcomes, this grant provided 20 pounds of fresh vegetables weekly to nearly 2,000 people. Further, Kellogg employees across the U.S. held more than 45 food drives that collected more than 47,000 pounds of food. In fact, Kellogg has donated more than 94 million pounds of food, or 66 million meals, over the past five years.

In 2009, Kellogg was the first to produce food solely for donation, donating an entire day's worth of cereal production (3.7 million pounds) to Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger relief organization. The Company's innovation continued in a celebrity partnership with Katalyst, a social media studio co-founded by Ashton Kutcher. Kellogg teamed up with Katalyst to spotlight the issue through an innovative online video created with user-generated content and directed by Demi Moore to raise awareness that one out of every eight Americans struggle with hunger.

"I wanted to send the Kellogg Company a note of thanks for your ‘day of production.' The role modeling Kellogg is playing within the food industry will have great influence and consequence," said Bill Bolling, Founder & Executive Director, Atlanta Community Food Bank. "We have talked for years about just such a program and have hoped and prayed that a very significant and well respected company like Kellogg would one day set the example. Our hope is that it will be emulated by others around the world."

Kellogg went beyond food donations, spearheading a downtown revitalization effort in Battle Creek, including the expansion of its global nutrition research facility, as well as committing to move more employees downtown, donating a building for potential use as a math and science education center, and partnering with various organizations to bring new businesses and jobs to the community.

Kellogg also worked with Action for Healthy Kids to improve healthy eating and physical activity among children around the country. This includes helping dozens of schools nationwide increase the number of kids eating a healthy breakfast at school. Creighton School District in Arizona has increased breakfast participation by more than 230% over last year by serving breakfast in classrooms. Kellogg also partners around the globe, including working with United Way of Mumbai, India to provide meals to underprivileged children, and as a founding partner of The Global FoodBanking Network.

"There has probably never been a more critical time for companies and their people to invest in their communities," said David Mackay, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kellogg Company. "I'm very proud of the commitment our company, employees and retirees have to making our communities stronger, in particular with our United Way partnership. On behalf of our entire organization, I'm humbled and honored to accept the United Way Spirit of America Award."

In addition to the 2010 Spirit of America Award, United Way presented Summit Awards for exceptional community efforts to:

  • General Mills, Inc. for nourishing lives and communities by contributing more than 5% of company pretax profits to communities (a record $91 million in 2009). In addition to their $12.6 million United Way campaign, General Mills contributed $500,000 over four years and partnered with United Way of the National Capital Area to reduce childhood obesity in the nation's capital. Plus, 82% of General Mills employees volunteered in their communities, including skills-based volunteerism in Malawi and Tanzania where General Mills scientists, engineers, agronomists and nutritionists are helping solve the root causes of hunger by supporting women as farmers, food processors and providers.

  • Procter & Gamble for their commitment to touch and improve lives, including contributing over $100 million annually in cash and product donations, raising more than $17.6 million for communities through the United Way campaign. P&G is committed to helping children in need through the company's Live, Learn and Thrive cause. P&G is on its way to benefiting more than 300 million children by 2012 through programs, having reached 135 million in the past two years alone. Live, Learn and Thrive comes to life through dozens of programs, including those that provide access to clean drinking water and vaccines to protect babies and mothers. P&G also provides access to education around the world, including the construction of 200 schools in poor rural areas of China. Local United Ways and United Way Worldwide are also critical partners in helping P&G achieve its goal of helping children get off to a healthy start, receive access to education, and build skills for life.

  • Dominion and its employees for investing more than $20 million in communities, including more than $2.8 million through the United Way campaign. The company assists more than 4,700 individuals through EnergyShare, a program administered by United Way, even making 75,000 outbound phone calls to ensure customers received help. Employees decided to redirect Family Day event money to provide $1 million to free medical clinics. The company also created an innovative "United Way rap" music video. In 2009, Dominion employees volunteered 125,000 hours, including delivering meals to seniors, supporting U.S. troops, and mentoring elementary school students.

  • Wells Fargo for giving $202 million in grants in 2009, including more than $60 million through the United Way campaign, a 22 percent increase over 2008. Additionally, more than 32,000 Wells Fargo team members volunteered 1.23 million hours. Volunteer activities included delivering more than 900 financial literacy presentations, volunteering to provide free tax preparation to hardworking low-income families and training more than 13,000 students in Teach Children to Save outreach. Further, Wells Fargo team members served on more than 10,000 nonprofit boards across the country. The company has been recognized by Forbes, Business Week, Newsweek and others as one of the world's most admired, generous companies.

The Spirit of America Award, now in its 23rd year, is United Way's highest national honor for a corporation, recognizing the United Way Global Corporate Leadership company with the most comprehensive commitment to improving lives and strengthening communities. Applicants are evaluated by corporate peers, labor representatives and local United Ways.