AUSTIN, MINN. — Last week, Hormel Foods Corporation announced the largest annual profit sharing distribution in company history. More than $15.9 million was dispersed to eligible hourly and salaried employees during the Thanksgiving Eve Day tradition.

The program was started by Jay C. Hormel in 1938 and is voluntarily paid at the discretion of the company’s Board of Directors.

"Recognizing our employees for their contribution to the company’s success is an important aspect of our heritage," said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer. "It is exciting to honor our team members for delivering great-tasting products to our consumers through this 71-year-old program."