Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that General Mills has signed on to the "Help Your Neighbor" initiative, pledging to donate thousands of boxes of cereal and cans of soup to regional food banks in New York State this holiday season.
General Mills will donate 15,000 boxes of Big G cereals to the Food Bank of Western New York in Buffalo, and a total of 3,000 cans of Progresso soup to be divided between the Food Bank for Westchester and the Food Bank for New York City.
"With shortages at food banks across the state, the 'Help Your Neighbor' campaign is bringing together businesses and organizations to serve those in need," Governor Cuomo said. "I thank General Mills for its leadership in being one of the first companies to join this initiative and for helping to make sure vulnerable New Yorkers do not go hungry this holiday season."
The "Help Your Neighbor" initiative encourages New Yorkers and businesses to donate resources to help restock and fill the shelves of food banks across New York State. Regional food banks are the primary source of food for those in need, as they stock networks of food pantries and soup kitchens. As a result of the recent storms and flooding as well as the difficult economic times, food banks have struggled to provide enough food for those seeking assistance. Governor Cuomo launched the "Help Your Neighbor" campaign on November 23 to fill the shelves of food banks across the state to ensure those in need do not go hungry during the holiday season.
"Help Your Neighbor" is a part of Governor Cuomo's "NYGives" campaign, a statewide effort to encourage charitable giving and generosity throughout the holiday season. "NYGives" connects businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and those seeking to give with organizations that directly serve New Yorkers most in need. The campaign will continue through the end of 2011. The first company to join the campaign, Jetro/Restaurant Depot, has committed to increase its food bank food donations by 25%, from $200,000 to $250,000.
Ellen Luger, executive director of the General Mills Foundation and vice president, General Mills, said, "For generations in good times and bad General Mills has displayed a deep, unwavering commitment to our communities. We live our mission of nourishing lives each and every day by sharing not only our financial resources, but also our expertise and unique skills as we strive to improve the lives of children and families around the world. We applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership in addressing these needs and are pleased to join this effort."
This donation continues General Mills' commitment to nourishing communities across the country, and around the world. General Mills is one of the largest corporate givers in the United States and last year the company contributed more than $118 million to strengthen families and communities through a focus on hunger and nutrition wellness initiatives. Additionally, General Mills is one of the top contributors of food in the United States. Last year, it donated more than $28 million in products to Feeding America, the country's largest hunger relief organization whose network consists of more than 200 food banks. Over the past five years, General Mills has donated more than 4.7 million pounds of food to food banks across New York State through its partnership with Feeding America.