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Walmart, Entertainers, Food Companies Launch Joint Campaign to Fight Hunger

Press release from the Walmart Foundation; April 9, 2012:

Nashville, Tenn., April 9, 2012 – The anti-hunger movement got some major backing today when representatives from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, The Band Perry, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and four of the nation’s largest food companies — General Mills, ConAgra Foods, Kraft Foods and Kellogg Company — announced they have come together to fight hunger this spring. At an event in Nashville, leaders of this effort launched a campaign that will enable millions of Americans the opportunity to get involved by shopping at Walmart or visiting the company’s Facebook page today through April 30.

Spring traditionally brings a decrease in donations to food banks, leaving them unable to meet the needs of nearly 49 million Americans who at some point this year will be uncertain where their next meal will come from. To help bridge this gap, Walmart is inviting customers to visit one of its 3,854 Walmart stores and Neighborhood Markets nationwide and purchase products from participating suppliers that will help provide meals to families struggling with hunger. In-store signs will help direct customers to participating products and on-package labels will advise customers how to generate meals by entering product codes online, sharing a hashtag on Twitter or scanning a QR code.

“Hunger is a defining issue for America as millions struggle to put food on the table every day. Helping fight hunger is something our associates, customers and supplier partners believe in and together we can help make a positive impact on this issue,” said Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of Walmart’s U.S. grocery business. “Simply by going into a Walmart store or going online, every consumer in America has the opportunity to join this effort.”

Through this effort, more than 42 million meals will be donated to Feeding America food banks and Action for Healthy Kids.

Customers can also visit Walmart’s Facebook page to vote for one of 200 communities hardest hit by unemployment. The community with the most votes will receive $1 million to help fight hunger. The next 20 communities will each receive $50,000 for hunger relief. The Facebook campaign will also provide information on how users can donate or volunteer with hunger fighting organizations in their local communities.

“No one in America should go hungry and we are proud to partner with Walmart in this effort,” said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America. “Through this program, Walmart and its partners are making a powerful impact that will not only address hunger this spring, but will have a lasting effect on the issue of hunger in America.”

As the nation’s largest grocer and largest retailer, Walmart is uniquely positioned to help end hunger in America. In 2010, the company committed $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger. As a part of this commitment, Walmart pledged to donate more than 1.1 billion pounds of food from Walmart stores, distribution centers and Sam’s Club locations, valued at $1.75 billion, as well as $250 million in grants to support hunger relief organizations.

The company is also lending its expertise to help food banks operate more efficiently. Thus far, Walmart has contributed more than 594 million pounds of food and $122 million in grants to hunger relief programs.

To participate in the Facebook campaign visit www.facebook.com/walmart. To learn more about the program, including details on participating products, visit www.walmartstores.com/fightinghunger.

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Press Releases

General Mills Expanding Murfreesboro Plant

State of Tennessee Press Release, Sept. 29, 2010:

Governor Bredesen, Commissioner Kisber, Locals Applaud Move to Create 80 New Jobs

NASHVILLE — Governor Phil Bredesen and Commissioner Matt Kisber, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development today joined with Rutherford County elected and chamber officials in congratulating General Mills, Inc of Minneapolis, Minn. for the company’s decision to invest $100 million in the expansion of the company’s production facility in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Company officials say the plant, which manufactures products for General Mills’ Yoplait brand, will add approximately 80 jobs.

“I’m very pleased to have one of the world’s most respected food companies growing and thriving in Tennessee,” said Governor Bredesen. “This expansion is not just an endorsement of Tennessee’s business climate, but in the quality and productivity of the workforce in Murfreesboro.”

“We’ve worked hard to make Tennessee’s business climate one of the best in the U.S.,” said Commissioner Kisber. “When the sixth largest food company in the world chooses Tennessee to grow their business, it means our state is an integral part of a global brand.”

General Mills product brands are well known to consumers around the world and in addition to Yoplait, includes Pillsbury, Green Giant, Cheerios and Betty Crocker. The company has more than 30,000 employees worldwide and its products are marketed to more than 100 countries on six continents around the world.

“General Mills has been a wonderful corporate citizen of our community for many, many years,” said Murfreesboro Mayor Tommy Bragg. “The addition of 80 new jobs to our community will be a strong addition to the local economy.”

“Rutherford County is fortunate that we’ve had such strong partnerships which worked together to make this project a reality,” said Norman Brown, chairman, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. “The state of Tennessee, the city of Murfreesboro, Destination Rutherford, TVA and Murfreesboro Electric each brought important skills to the table and helped make this an easy decision for General Mills.”

“TVA was pleased to be a part of the team that helped put this project together,” said John Bradley, senior vice president of economic development. “Our strong working relationship with local distributors like Murfreesboro Electric demonstrates the importance of working together to create and retain jobs for our customers in the Tennessee Valley.”

The Yoplait line of products is a $1.5 billion business for General Mills and is America’s leading yogurt brand. Products include Yoplait Original yogurt, Yoplait Light and Go-Gurt yogurt for kids. In addition to being a long time corporate citizen of Rutherford County, the General Mills facility in Murfreesboro has also participated with General Mills plants around the world in innovating new safety measures to reduce the stresses and strains which accompany employee lifting and an employee-led sustainability program in Murfreesboro resulted in energy, water and waste cost savings of more than $86,000 for the company in 2009.

About General Mills

One of the world’s leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Yoplait, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2010 global net sales of US$16 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales.