Minneapolis reveals General Mills’ support of gun summit

Minneapolis disclosed it received a $10,000 donation from General Mills, after MPR News questioned why the contribution was listed as “anonymous” in official city documents.

“General Mills made this donation to assist the police department [with] its efforts to reduce violent crime, and to help fund the Mayor’s gun summit a couple weeks ago,” city spokesman Matt Laible wrote in an e-mail.

Ways & Means Committee Chair Betsy Hodges said General Mills wished to remain anonymous, but city rules would not allow it. She called the omission “an honest mistake.”

The mayor’s summit focused on preventing violence through tighter gun regulations, the kind of thing that draws fierce opposition from groups like the National Rifle Association.

General Mills drew both praise and protest last year when it publicly opposed a ballot initiative that would have banned same-sex marriage in the Minnesota Constitution.

The Golden Valley-based company has not taken a public stance on gun control. General Mills did not immediately respond to a request for comment. UPDATE 4:45: In a brief statement, General Mills denied the donation was made anonymously, but did not elaborate.

Anonymous donations are common in the world of private charities, but state law requires city councils to formally accept virtually any gift the municipality receives.

The Minneapolis City Council recently voted to accept such mundane items as “dog and cat food, toys and treats, blankets, and animal supplies,” donated to its Animal Care & Control office. The city disclosed the source of every toy and treat.

Laible, the city spokesman, said Minneapolis could theoretically accept an anonymous gift, but only if no one from the city knew where the money came from.