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General Mills partners with American Refugee Committee


Additional Minnesota companies encouraged to join relief efforts

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The General Mills Foundation today announces up to $100,000 in support to the American Refugee Committee (ARC) to speed famine relief efforts to the millions of Somalis on the brink of starvation. An initial $50,000 donation has been made to ARC, a humanitarian organization based in the Twin Cities that has a team in Somalia distributing food in the nation’s capital of Mogadishu. To encourage further corporate giving, the General Mills Foundation has offered to match contributions from other Twin Cities companies, up to $50,000, that support ARC’s relief work in Somalia.

“As a food company in the metro area with the largest Somali population, General Mills is uniquely positioned to do one of the things we do best, which is provide hunger relief to children and their families,” said Ellen Goldberg Luger, vice president and General Mills Foundation executive director.

“As the famine in Somalia reaches historic proportions, we encourage other Minnesota companies to support the critical relief work being done by the American Refugee Committee to address this devastating crisis.”

ARC is working closely with the Somali Drought Relief Commission, the American Relief Agency for the Horn for Africa (ARAHA), and other local organizations in Mogadishu to provide aid to hungry Somalis housed in camps in their nation’s capital.

"Our teams on the ground in Somalia describe the unimaginable: stories of parents making agonizing decisions to save their children... stories of people walking for 30 days to find food. Conditions are dire,” said Daniel Wordsworth, president of the American Refugee Committee. “We’re pleased that General Mills stepped forward with an incredibly generous leadership donation to leverage the support of our whole community. These contributions will save lives.”

ARC is also working closely with the local Twin Cities Somali community, as it has for the past two years, and recently launched the Neighbors for Nations program, which supports Somalis in Somalia and in the Twin Cities metro area.

About General Mills
One of the world’s leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Yoplait, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2011 global net sales of US$14.9 billion.

About the General Mills Foundation
The mission of the General Mills Foundation, celebrating 56 years of giving, is to nourish communities. In fiscal 2010, General Mills awarded more than $100 million to communities across the country. Of the total, the Foundation contributed $22 million in grants in the targeted areas of hunger and nutrition wellness, and K-12 education. In addition, 82 percent of U.S. employees volunteer in the communities where they live and work. More information is available at

About The American Refugee Committee
American Refugee Committee programs are built from the ground up. We work with people at the most vulnerable points in their lives, when they have lost everything to war or disaster. They let us know what they need most, and we work together to develop ways to help them get it. Our programs are as diverse as the people we serve, but they all work together for the same goal: to help people take back control of their lives. We help nearly 2.5 million people a year through programs around the world. Through our “Neighbors for Nations” initiative, we are partnering with the Somali diaspora community to build community in Somalia and in the U.S. We are based in Minneapolis, Minn.

About Neighbors for Nations
Neighbors for Nations is a first-of-its-kind program in which Minnesotans are uniting with our Somali-American neighbors and the American Refugee Committee to strengthen communities here in Minnesota while addressing the humanitarian crisis in Somalia. Through a series of innovative events, volunteer opportunities, and initiatives, people from diverse backgrounds and life experiences are coming together here in Minnesota to deepen understanding, build stronger neighborhoods, and make change in Somalia.


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