Hormel Foods Announces 2023 Class of Hormel Heroes Scholarship Recipients

PR Newswire
Friday, November 10, 2023 at 1:00pm UTC

Hormel Foods Announces 2023 Class of Hormel Heroes Scholarship Recipients

PR Newswire

$10,000 scholarships support students with military backgrounds pursuing careers in culinary arts or foodservice management related programs

AUSTIN, Minn., Nov. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL), a Fortune 500 global branded food company, is today announcing the recipients of this year's two $10,000 Hormel Heroes Scholarships. The Hormel Heroes Scholarship Program, administered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), was established by Hormel Foods in 2019 to support students with military backgrounds pursuing degrees in culinary arts or a foodservice management-related program. To date, the company has awarded $120,000 to nine students.

"As a 'thank you' for their service, Hormel Foods is honored to support our military members in their career aspirations," said Mark Ourada, group vice president of Foodservice at Hormel Foods. "These scholarships are a way to show our appreciation for students who serve or have served our country and are pursuing careers in the foodservice industry. It is a pleasure to congratulate our 2023 scholarship recipients, Britany Belcher and Danny Wheeler. Thank you both for your dedicated service. We are proud to support you and your future endeavors."

Belcher, an Air Force veteran who served as an A1C specialist, is currently a freshman studying culinary arts at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary in Boulder, Colo. As she works to acquire her associate degree, her plan is to eventually pursue her bachelor's and master's degrees in nutrition.

"Having spent the last 14 years in child nutrition in the public schools, I've come to recognize the dire need for quality food that is both nutritionally sound as well as delicious," Belcher said. "Thanks to this scholarship, I won't have to utilize student loans to acquire my associate degree. I have two small children, so funding was the deciding factor for attending school. I can now pursue my passion and fight for my community's children without worrying about how I'll pay back thousands of dollars in loans."

Wheeler is an active member of the U.S. Army National Guard, serving as an E4 specialist. He is currently a senior at the University of Missouri studying hospitality management.

"I am the first generation of my family to go to college, and my parents wanted me to have opportunities they did not have," Wheeler said. "They took it upon themselves to help in any way they could; my mother taking on a second job, my father picking up additional shifts, and myself enlisting in the military were the sacrifices we had to make for me to pursue higher education. Because of your generosity and commitment to furthering my education, the financial burden has been lifted off of my family's shoulders. Seeing the stress being taken off my parents' face once they heard about my scholarship was the most rewarding part of this entire experience. Your belief in my potential has left an indelible mark on my future, and I am committed to making the most of this opportunity." 

Since 1987, the NRAEF has provided more than $26 million in scholarships and grants to over 5,500 students and foodservice educators pursuing restaurant-related degrees and professional training. For more information about the NRAEF, visit ChooseRestaurants.org.

About Hormel Foods — Inspired People. Inspired Food.™
Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a global branded food company with over $12 billion in annual revenue across more than 80 countries worldwide. Its brands include Planters®, Skippy®, SPAM®, Hormel® Natural Choice®, Applegate®, Justin's®, Wholly®, Hormel® Black Label®, Columbus®, Jennie-O® and more than 30 other beloved brands. The company is a member of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats, was named on the "Global 2000 World's Best Employers" list by Forbes magazine for three years, is one of Fortune magazine's most admired companies, has appeared on the "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list by 3BL Media 13 times, and has received numerous other awards and accolades for its corporate responsibility and community service efforts. The company lives by its purpose statement — Inspired People. Inspired Food. — to bring some of the world's most trusted and iconic brands to tables across the globe. For more information, visit hormelfoods.com.

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF)
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation's mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry's training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Employer and Advance today's and tomorrow's restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include: ProStart® — a high school career and technical educational program; Restaurant Ready — partnering with community-based organizations to provide justice-involved youth with skills and training and job opportunities; Military — helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice and hospitality degrees; and the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship Project — a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation (AHLAF) providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. For more information about the NRAEF, visit ChooseRestaurants.org.


Media Relations

Hormel Foods



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SOURCE Hormel Foods Corporation