Hormel Foundation 75 years

Anniversary Recognizes Transformation of Community

The Hormel Foundation celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, and leaders gathered today in downtown Austin to recognize the impact of the $197 million given to Austin organizations over 75 years. Through the Foundation’s support and leadership, grants have virtually transformed all parts of the Austin community through providing everything from stocking food shelves to cancer research to education opportunities.  The short program included a message from Gary J. Ray, chair of The Hormel Foundation, and a ribbon cutting ceremony commemorating the occasion by Austin Area Chamber of Commerce.

“The Hormel Foundation believes by continuing the investments we make in our community, we support and benefit our families, students, employees and business and organizational leaders,” said Gary Ray, chair of The Hormel Foundation.  “By providing vital resources to deserving organizations, we will continue to positively impact the world.”

Thirteen qualifying organizations are supported by The Hormel Foundation, including Austin Area Foundation, Austin Community Charitable Fund, Austin Public Schools, Austin Salvation Army, Austin Community Growth Ventures, Austin Scholarship Committee, Cedar Valley Services, City of Austin, Mayo Clinic Health System Austin, The Hormel Institute-University of Minnesota, Riverland Community College Austin, United Way of Mower County and YMCA.

“These organizations and their unique missions serve the people of our community and beyond, and are core strengths of Austin,” said Ray.  “The organizations each have tremendous needs and demands for their services. We are pleased to partner with these organizations to provide support. Through this, we can positively impact the people in our community and around the world.”

Education opportunities, supporting provision of food, shelter and transportation, providing services and space for people with disabilities, success programs for both high school and first generation college students, new programs/areas of excellence at higher education organizations, health and wellness and family support programs are only some of the ways The Hormel Foundation impacts the people of Austin.

The Hormel Institute, a world-renowned cancer research center with global collaborations and impact, is the principal recipient of The Hormel Foundation’s annual contributions, as established by a 1942 agreement between the University of Minnesota and The Hormel Foundation.  Due to the Foundation’s annual support, 100 percent of every dollar donated to The Hormel Institute’s can be used exclusively for cancer research.

“We are proud of how our support has made it possible for The Hormel Institute’s research to globally impact the scientific community and help people everywhere through medical research discoveries,” said Ray.  “The groundbreaking research and worldwide collaborations – as well as future economic opportunity – is a major achievement in our 75 years.”

Since 1941 The Hormel Foundation has given nearly $197 million to the Austin area.  In 2015 total contributions were $21.4 million, which included the annual contributions budget of $7.1 million, plus another $14.3 million of other spending including $3.4 million toward Vision 2020 projects, to improve overall quality of living and working in Austin.

Established by Hormel Foods Corp.’s founder George A. Hormel and his son, Jay C. Hormel, one of The Hormel Foundation’s purposes is to serve as a charitable organization to benefit the Austin community.  Its first contribution in 1941 was for $10, and its annual contributions to the community have grown steadily and significantly over the years. The Hormel Foundation ranks fifth in annual giving among Minnesota’s largest community/public foundations, with those in the lead located in the Twin Cities, according to the Minnesota Council on Foundations.