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General Mills Invites Office Employees to Work in Plants

The company's new staff support actions allow healthy office workers to help in its factories and include enhanced benefits for plant employees.

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN — General Mills recently announced a series of actions to support its employees and communities in response to the impact of COVID-19, including:

  • An opportunity for corporate employees to work at manufacturing plants
  • Enhanced benefits for plant employees, including a daily bonus
  • $5 million in charitable grants by the General Mills Foundation to support food access in our key global markets and support for our manufacturing communities around the world

“Our company’s purpose is to make food the world loves. But the unique circumstances of today call on General Mills to make food the world needs,” said Jeff Harmening, chairman and CEO of General Mills. “Our most important objectives are the continued health and safety of our employees and our ongoing ability to serve our consumers around the world. We see it as imperative that we help ensure a steady and reliable food supply for people and pets.”

To show continued support for its employees and communities, General Mills has announced several initiatives: 

Corporate employees can work at manufacturing plants 

To ensure the company continues to safely manufacture food to service consumer demand, General Mills has offered healthy office employees the opportunity to provide temporary help in manufacturing facilities and support them in a variety of ways.

Enhanced benefits for plant employees 

To support employees who are working at manufacturing plants during this dynamic environment, the company has created several additional benefits to support them and their families: 

  • A daily bonus will be provided to production-essential plant employees who are working on-site. This will be in effect for a minimum of four weeks and will continue to be evaluated as the situation evolves. 
  • Employees will receive two weeks of paid leave under conditions including voluntary or mandated quarantine, school closure for a child, medical risk, and suspended work as a result of COVID-19.
  • In several locations, the company will provide childcare consultations with employees to address childcare concerns, including flexible work schedules. 

$5 million in grants 

The General Mills Foundation will donate US $5 million in charitable gifts to ensure the most vulnerable children have access to meals amid school and community program closures. Additionally, the General Mills Foundation will support strategic community partners near its manufacturing plants, to ensure they are better equipped to face the challenging demands of today and the days ahead.

These gifts include the foundation’s previous philanthropic grants spanning Asia, Europe, Australia, Latin America and North America to increase food bank capacity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and supplement the $20 million in cash given by General Mills and its foundation last year and more than $40 million worth of food product donations provided by General Mills to food bank partners to help ensure food security across global communities.

“As a company, we have the values, insights and partners to positively impact the lives of millions of people worldwide during this unprecedented time as the world navigates the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mary Jane Melendez, president of the General Mills Foundation. “These grants will help expand food access and lend added support for many of our communities around the world.”

Employee engagement

General Mills employees who participate in the company’s charitable gift matching program have an additional $500 in matching foundation funds, for a total of $1,500 this year. In addition, employees created an internal movement to inspire the company’s 35,000 employees around the globe to take small, local, safe actions to help others during the pandemic. The company has also launched an internal group, “We’re In This Together” as a space to support and serve one another while adhering to social distancing and stay-at-home guidelines.

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