United Way recently recognized Kellogg Company with the Spirit of America Award. The award, which honors innovative actions a company and its employees take to improve the lives of local communities, is considered United Way's highest national award. General Mills, Procter & Gamble received Summit awards. “Kellogg Company and its employees have clearly demonstrated their commitment to improving lives by going far beyond just running a campaign. They've stepped up with increased product donations, volunteerism, social media outreach, cause marketing and even economic revitalization efforts in their headquarter city,” said Brian Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way Worldwide. In winning the award, Kellogg Company had pledged $5.9 million in 2009 and came in 19 percent over goal. The food manufacturer also provided a $600,000 grant to United Way of Greater Battle Creek which addressed increased basic health and income needs in the Company’s headquarters hometown. According to the company, employees across the U.S. held more than 45 food drives that collected more than 47,000 pounds of food. In addition to the 2010 Spirit of America Award, United Way presented Summit Awards for exceptional community efforts to: General Mills contributed more than 5% of company pretax profits to communities (a record $91 million in 2009). In addition to its $12.6 million United Way campaign, General Mills contributed $500,000 over four years and partnered with United Way of the National Capital Area to reduce childhood obesity in the nation’s capital. Additionally 82% of General Mills employees volunteered in their communities, including skills-based volunteerism in Malawi and Tanzania where General Mills scientists, engineers, agronomists and nutritionists are helping solve the root causes of hunger by supporting women as farmers, food processors and providers. Procter & Gamble contributed more than $100 million annually in cash and product donations, raising more than $17.6 million for communities through the United Way campaign. P&G has been helping children in need through the company’s Live, Learn and Thrive cause. P&G is on its way to benefiting more than 300 million children by 2012 through programs, having reached 135 million in the past two years alone. Live, Learn and Thrive comes to life through dozens of programs, including those that provide access to clean drinking water and vaccines to protect babies and mothers. P&G also provides access to education around the world, including the construction of 200 schools in poor rural areas of China. Local United Ways and United Way Worldwide are also critical partners in helping P&G achieve its goal of helping children get off to a healthy start, receive access to education, and build skills for life.