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Hormel Foundation donates over $325,000 to local service organizations impacted by COVID-19

 In response to the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, The Hormel Foundation has approved a number of supplemental grant applications for social and community services in Austin and Mower County. 

Among the recipients of supplemental grants made in the first six months of 2020:

  • 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 six 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.

“We recognize our role as one of the institutions providing stability and resiliency to our community,” said Jeff Ettinger, chairman of the foundation’s board of directors, in a press release Monday. “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.”