Social Responsibility

Kemin is dedicated to building a better future through our commitment to charitable giving, nonprofit partnerships and service activities in communities around the globe.

The absolute heart of our charitable ethics began with our founders, R.W. and Mary Nelson. As Kemin grows and becomes increasingly involved with meaningful causes in the communities we serve, we honor and continue their strong sense of responsibility to the global community.

“We have a responsibility to return to our community and the world a portion of what we earn from our endeavors.” – Mary Nelson, Co-founder of Kemin Industries

At Kemin, we center our charitable giving and community outreach initiatives around four key areas:

  • Science and general education
  • Affordable housing and food security
  • Sustainability 
  • Creation of vibrant communities

Our Charitable Contributions Committee welcomes requests for sponsorship, charitable giving & volunteers.

Submit a donation request

Kemin Partnerships and Charitable Involvements

As a socially responsible company with opportunities for community sponsorship, Kemin works closely with a variety of organizations, including, but not limited to, the organizations listed below.

World Food Programme

The World Food Programme (WFP) is Kemin’s largest global, community partner and together, work to improve the quality and safety of the worldwide food supply chain. The World Food Programme was recently awarded the Noble Peace Prize for it’s efforts to combat hunger and its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas. As one of the world's leading humanitarian agencies, WFP fights hunger worldwide, provides food assistance in emergencies and programs that help communities improve nutrition and build resilience.

In 2019, Kemin’s partnership with WFP assisted 25 million people.

As one of its first corporate partners, Kemin and WFP have worked together for more than a decade to assist with complex and evolving food quality and safety strategy. Kemin provides critical assistance in developing and implementing a Food Safety Quality Management System and Quality Culture within WFP to better assist with emergency food programs, especially in crisis situations and war-torn areas.

In 2017, Kemin formally extended our partnership with World Food Programme and agreed to donate additional services, including laboratory analysis in Belgium and expertise in quality management from the U.S.A., to help achieve Zero Hunger.

Habitat for Humanity

Since 2001, Des Moines-based Kemin team members have donated volunteer hours to help build homes for low-income, deserving families through Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity.

After a devastating earthquake in Nepal impacted a Kemin employee, team members around the globe donated money to support victims of the tragedy. Through employee donations and a Kemin corporate match, we sent $90,000 to assist Habitat for Humanity with relief efforts. In 2016, Kemin, in direct partnership with Habitat for Humanity in Nepal, sent 40 employees to the Kavrepalanchok District of Nepal to take part in the relief effort.

In 2018, Kemin employees from five continents traveled to Brazil to build cisterns for families in need as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Water for Lives program.

Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council

Kemin partners with the Iowa Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Council to support and shape the direction of Iowa STEM education. As part of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Kemin is preparing students to become leaders in finding solutions for the global challenges our world faces.

In 2014, Kemin began the annual I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award to honor teachers who are inspiring Iowa’s students to develop a passion for STEM. These teachers are making a difference in the lives of students by providing excellent curriculum, encouraging lifelong learning and helping students take STEM beyond the classroom and into the future.

Dr. Chris Nelson, President and CEO of Kemin, formerly served as the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council co-chair alongside Governor Kim Reynolds. Emily Fuerst, Research and Development Director of Kemin Crop Technologies, currently serves as a council member.


In 1999, Herb Elliot, a now-retired Kemin employee, played the role of Santa Claus on a visit to the Youth Emergency Services & Shelter (YESS), now known as Ellipsis, in Des Moines, Iowa. Heartbroken after seeing children without the joy of family or gifts at Christmas time, he was inspired to make a difference and organize a fundraiser among Kemin employees.

Since Elliot’s inspiration in 1999, the Kemin Ellipsis Charity Auction has become an annual employee event, raising more than USD $863,000 in donations. The funds raised go toward Christmas gifts for children living in the shelter, and the remainder is used to support the nonprofit organization’s growing operational needs.

The World Food Prize

For almost 30 years, Kemin has been an active partner with The World Food Prize, founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner and Iowa native Norman Borlaug and headquartered in Des Moines. The World Food Prize honors outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions to improve the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world. Together, Kemin and The World Food Prize work to alleviate hunger around the world and draw attention and resources to the challenges facing food security worldwide.

Kemin Hope Primary School

After an earthquake devastated Sichuan Province, China in 2008, Kemin team members around the globe donated money to help rebuild the area. Through employee donations and a Kemin corporate match, Kemin funded the rebuilding of a primary school in Qin Chang village, southwest of Chengdu.

Kemin Hope Primary School was built 10 years ago, with modern facilities and learning environments that accommodate 300 students and 10 teachers. In the decades since, Kemin has continued to support the school by awarding scholarships to the highest achieving students each year.

For inquiries regarding sponsorships or community engagement opportunities, contact Head of Worldwide Communications Lauren M.G. Burt.

RW and Mary Nelson at the Kemin Hope Primary School

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