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4 Ways Kemin Partners with Habitat for Humanity

Posted March 08, 2024 by Megan Boettcher, WW Digital Communications Specialist

The joy in the room is palpable when a family receives the keys to their new home built by volunteers from Habitat for Humanity. More than just a house, this home gives them a sense of security and stability. 

Kemin is proud to have partnered with Habitat for Humanity for more than 20 years. This long-standing relationship has grown because one of Kemin’s core values is servant leadership. “We have a responsibility to return to our community and the world a portion of what we earn from our endeavors,” says Mary Nelson, Co-founder of Kemin Industries. 

While financial donations are a large part of the partnership, Kemin believes that corporate social responsibility is more than simply donating funds to a cause. Here are four ways Kemin partners with Habitat for Humanity.  

How Kemin Maintains a Long-Term Partnership with Habitat for Humanity

1. Offer Local Volunteer Opportunities for Employees

Team members from all areas of Kemin spend their time and energy volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. In 2023, 45 team members participated in an onsite build at its Des Moines campus, where employees volunteered to construct interior and exterior walls, and 62 team members volunteered to build a Habitat house at the Iowa State Fair. Over the years, Kemin team members have volunteered for dozens of builds and helped make repairs and renovations to existing homes. 

2. Support Employees who Volunteer for Global Habitat for Humanity Builds


In 2018, a group of 22 Kemin employees and Nelson Foundation board members traveled to Brazil to build cisterns for families in need of clean water as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Water for Lives program.

In 2016 Kemin had 50 team members volunteer for a Habitat project in Nepal. “As a global company, Kemin recognizes that helping your neighbor goes beyond who’s next door. It’s about improving the quality of life for those around the world, which is our global vision,” says Dr. Chris Nelson, President and CEO of Kemin Industries.


3. Serve on Habitat Board of Directors 

Currently, two Kemin leaders serve on the board of directors for the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity. Sharing our expertise in engineering and finance helps the non-profit further their mission to create a world where everyone has a decent place to live. “I am incredibly passionate to be a part of the Habitat board,” says Pat Wood, Kemin CFO. “Habitat is critical to support our local communities as they help people who would not otherwise be able to own their homes and build families. This allows them to build up the community around them and creates new opportunities for them. Our vision and mission are so closely aligned as we strive to transform the world, Habitat is building homes, communities, and hope.” 

4. Provide Financial Support for Habitat for Humanity

In February 2024, Kemin announced a $1 million donation to the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity’s Framing Our Future capital campaign which will fund key priorities to advance affordable workforce housing. “Kemin and the Nelson family’s incredible investment in Habitat will impact thousands of Central Iowans over the years to come through affordable homeownership,” said Lance Henning, CEO of GDM Habitat. “This gift is another vote of confidence in our organization and our mission.”

Practicing Corporate Social Responsibility at Kemin   

Kemin is compelled by curiosity to create a better future through our commitment to charitable giving, nonprofit partnerships, and engagement in our Kemin communities around the globe. At Kemin, we center our global charitable giving and community engagement initiatives around four pillars:

  1. Science and general education
  2. Affordable housing and food security
  3. Sustainability
  4. Creation of vibrant communities

Learn More about Kemin's Corporate Social Responsibility Projects

Megan Boettcher
Megan Boettcher, WW Digital Communications Specialist

Megan is a strategic communications professional with more than 20 years of experience writing and creating content for B2B and B2C brands.