AUSTIN, Minn. – To help cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, The Hormel Foundation says it has given away over $300,000 during the first half of 2020.
“We recognize our role as one of the institutions providing stability and resiliency to our community,” says Jeff Ettinger, chairman of the foundation’s board of directors. “It’s a testament to the foresight of George and Jay Hormel that they created such a strong economic engine in the form of Hormel Foods and then established the foundation to harness that engine for the benefit of the community. In doing so, they created a true ‘virtuous circle’ that continues to work successfully more than 75 years later.”
Among those receiving supplemental grants are:
• The Austin Community Charitable Fund received $26,000 to fund a gift card program to benefit the Salvation Army as well as small businesses. When a gift card to a local business is purchased by a community member, a matching amount will be given to the Salvation Army.
• The Austin Public Library is using $38,000 to lease 200 internet hotspots for 6 months to be used for 160 students whose lack of connectivity is challenging their ability to participate in distance learning.
• Riverland Community College received $10,125 to purchase masks for all students and an additional $15,000 to fund a program to assist students impacted by the pandemic.
• Two organizations addressing mental health needs in the community received grants. Nexus-Gerard Family Healing received $65,000 for telehealth services and the Comprehensive Human Services Foundation received a $20,000 supplemental grant to provide mental health services to low-income and uninsured/under-insured clients.
• SEMCAC Community Action Agency provides meals to senior citizens through the Mower County Senior Center. Since its meal program shifted to a pick-up service, demand for the program has grown. In response, the Foundation has donated $152,000 to help provide approximately 1,000 meals per day.