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Giving to others; Hormel workers donate to homeless vets

Jeff Baker, vice president of marketing, food service, for Hormel Foods Corp., smiles as he gets a "high and tight" haircut Friday as part of a fundraising effort for homeless veterans. Baker and other members of Hormel's Military Veterans Engagement Team (HMVET) recently donated more than 700 bags filled with hygenic products to the Minnesota Area Council for Veterans to help Minnesota's homeless vets. Trey Mewes/trey.mewes@austindailyherald.com

Jeff Baker, vice president of marketing, food service, for Hormel Foods Corp., smiles as he gets a “high and tight” haircut Friday as part of a fundraising effort for homeless veterans. Baker and other members of Hormel’s Military Veterans Engagement Team (HMVET) recently donated more than 700 bags filled with hygenic products to the Minnesota Area Council for Veterans to help Minnesota’s homeless vets. Trey Mewes/trey.mewes@austindailyherald.com

Hormel Foods Corp. employees have given back once again, this time a little closer to home.

After veterans who worked at Hormel’s corporate office and Austin plant heard about a recent increase in homelessness among veterans, Hormel’s Military Veteran Engagement Team decided to do what they could to provide hygienic supplies through the Minnesota Area Council for Veterans.

To that end, Hormel employees recently raised more than 700 bags worth of hygienic supplies to donate to MACV.

“I don’t have the words to describe how wonderful this is,” said Jeff Baker, a vice president for marketing, food service, who sweetened the incentive for employees.

He would get a military-style “high and tight” haircut if employees were able to donate at least 600 bags, or a bag each for the 600 or so veterans who are homeless every night in Minnesota, according to MVAC officials.

“If I knew they were going to donate this much, I’d get a haircut every week,” Baker said.

Baker has sponsored HMVET since its inception and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1986 to 1990. He said he was grateful for the employees, who he said immediately contributed when they heard about the fundraiser.

“Our employees are incredibly generous,” he said.