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April 27, 2012

VEAP & Western National Announce New Driving Away Hunger Program

(Minneapolis, Minn.) Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP) and Western National Insurance Group today announced a new commitment by Western National to donate new vehicles to VEAP to build the nonprofit's capacity for transportation services.  This commitment, known as "Driving Away Hunger", will bring at least one brand-new vehicle each year to VEAP's fleet.

Driving Away Hunger vehicles will be used for a variety of purposes, including providing transportation from VEAP's food shelf and providing rides to limited-income seniors and individuals with disabilities who are unable to transport themselves to medical appointments, grocery shopping trips, and visits to hospitals or nursing homes. Previous donations of used vehicles by Western National have increased VEAP's transportation capacity by as much as 23% in a single year.

VEAP staff accepted the first Driving Away Hunger donation, a new minivan, this morning at Western National's office.

"We're pleased to be able to grow our support for VEAP and the great work they do in the communities where we work and live," said Stuart Henderson, president and chief executive officer of Western National Insurance Group.  "As the need for VEAP's services is rapidly growing, we believe it's our responsibility as a charitable partner and community member to help build VEAP's capacity to serve those in need.  Driving Away Hunger is the next big step in that direction."

"The Driving Away Hunger program is a great example of a local business partnering with VEAP to make a real difference," said Susan Russell Freeman, executive director of VEAP.  "With this new commitment, Western National is helping ensure that our fleet has the right number of reliable vehicles we need to provide services in the South Twin Cities Metro — now, and in the years ahead."

Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP), headquartered in Bloomington, Minn., is Minnesota's largest food shelf and a provider of a range of services (including transportation, social services and financial support, and children and youth services) that help low-income people meet immediate needs and reach long-term stability goals.  VEAP serves the communities of Bloomington, Richfield, Edina, and South Minneapolis.

Western National Insurance Group, headquartered in Edina, Minn., is a super-regional group of eight active companies serving the property-and-casualty insurance needs of individuals, families, and businesses.  Written premium as of December 30, 2011 was $314.4 million, on Policyholder Surplus of $269.6 million and Assets of $689.7 million. The group’s products are sold exclusively through professional independent agents in 14 states in the Midwestern, Northwestern, and Southwestern U.S.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Norman, AIT
Director of Communications
Western National Insurance Group
(952) 921–5680
steven.norman@wnins.com

Patty Schulz
Advancement Director
Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP)
(952) 955-8310
PattyS@veapvolunteers.org