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Fighting hunger

We were glad to note the emphasis at Hormel Foods’ annual meeting on the company’s efforts to fight hunger. It’s good to see a major corporation involved in the fight against hunger — not only because it’s particularly appropriate for a food company, but because hunger is a major issues in America, in Minnesota and right here in Austin.

Between 10 percent and 15 percent of Austin area residents miss at least a meal a day because they cannot afford food, a shocking number but one that holds true in many parts of America. As Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger reminded stockholders Tuesday night, Hormel gave more than $5 million to hunger relief nationwide last year, including $110,000 in communities where the company has plants. The value of those gifts goes beyond the food that they buy; news that one of the nation’s biggest companies is taking aim at the hunger problem draws necessary attention to the issue.

The irony of hunger is that our country has enough food; what it does not have is a network that will ensure all of that food gets where it is needed. Awareness of the problem, as well as dollars to combat it, are essential. Hormel deserves recognition, and thanks, for its efforts.