Hormel gives back to veterans: More than 750 hygiene packs donated

Dove Mullins, chemistry lab manager at Hormel Foods, and Jeffrey Baker, vice president of foodservice at Hormel Foods, get a high and tight haircut at a presentation to give over 750 hygiene packs to homeless veterans in Minnesota Friday morning. Jenae Hackensmith/jenae.hackensmith@austindailyherald.com

Dove Mullins, chemistry lab manager at Hormel Foods, and Jeffrey Baker, vice president of foodservice at Hormel Foods, get a high and tight haircut at a presentation to give over 750 hygiene packs to homeless veterans in Minnesota Friday morning. Jenae Hackensmith/jenae.hackensmith@austindailyherald.com

Hormel employees were able to give back to veterans Friday morning, donating over 750 bags filled with hygiene products to homeless veterans.

Hormel Military Veterans Engagement Team, or HMVET, presented the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans with 755 bags of hygiene products to be distributed to homeless veterans and their families throughout Minnesota.

“We hit a record today, 755 bags,” Luann Kellogg, HMVET co-chair, said. “Last year, our first year, was 600, so we went above and beyond that this year and surpassed our [goal] of 700.”

She was excited about the large amount of donations and the generosity of the people who helped donate.

“It’s amazing what they’ve done here. I don’t think words can honestly express the emotion that you feel when you see people when they come together,” she said. “It kind of makes everything seem right in the world for a day, when you see the generosity of people helping others that are in need.”

In recognition for reaching the donation goal set by HMVET, Jeffrey Baker, vice president of foodservice at Hormel Foods, and Dove Mullins, chemistry lab manager at Hormel Foods, volunteered to receive a high and tight haircut during the presentation.

Hormel Foods Corps. President James Snee was proud of the donations.

“What a testament to our organization, which is made up of all of you,” he said during the presentation. “Clearly our company supports veterans. We have supported veterans, and will continue to support veterans.”

He said he is appreciative and humbled by the sacrifices that have been made, and are still being made, by active and retired military families and personnel.

Seeing all the boxes of bagged products spoke volumes to Snee.

“It’s shocking in a very good way,” he said. “It just speaks volumes about the generosity of our organization. This incredibly worthwhile project shows the true character not only of our company but of our people through the amazing generosity. The project is in no doubt saving and changing lives for retired military personnel, not only in Minnesota but all across the country.”

For United States Air Force veteran James Kellogg, the donations were very appreciated.

“It’s awesome, it’s addressing a real issue that we have here in our country, and it’s an ongoing issue,” he said. “We’re trying to get it to zero [homeless veterans], but it’s a huge task and any help that we can get to assist our homeless veterans is very much appreciated.”

He said when Corporate America steps forward like they did in donating these products, they’re doing the right thing and creating a system for the entire cause to help homeless veterans across the nation.

Michael McLaughlin, the program outreach manager of the southern region of Minnesota Assistance Council for Veteran’s Program, said there were about 600 homeless veterans in Minnesota in 2014.

“With homeless veterans, or those that are in some sort of housing crisis, usually a lot of the everyday stuff that we take for granted takes the back burner for them when they’re worried about trying to put a roof over their head or food on the table,” he said.

But with over 150 more packs than last year, McLaughlin said the generosity is phenomenal.

 

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