MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Video images of flooded homes and crowded shelters do not begin to capture the pain.

But some Minnesota companies are sending relief and answering the call for help.

United Health Group, Optum and United Healthcare lead the way with a cash donation of $1 million for Hurricane Harvey relief. That contribution will be distributed among Texas stakeholders most in need.

The Minnetonka-based health insurer will also double contributions from employees and will incentivize them to volunteer at relief shelters and with flood cleanup.

“Our hearts go out to the millions of people affected by this devastating storm, and we are committed to supporting the relief and recovery effort through our contribution,” said United Health Group President Dave Wichmann.

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Global food giant General Mills is now helping to feed the hungry through its foundation.

“What we’re seeing in Houston is absolutely heartbreaking,” said Mary Jane Melendez, General Mills’ foundation executive director. “Do something to help. Every little bit helps, and that community is in such dire need right now that we have a responsibility to do what we can to help make their lives a little bit easier at this point.”

General Mills is sending shipments of EPIC provisions, Yoplait, Nature Valley and other company brands to those displaced and in staying in shelters.

“General Mills is sending more than half-a-million dollars of food donations right now to the food bank of central Texas, to help feed all of those children and families that have been displaced,” Melendez said. “There’s such a need right now, the need for, you know, ready-to-eat foods.”

General Mills will also match the donations from employees.

Target’s $500,000 gift will help the services of the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and Team Rubicon, which matches military veterans with first responders.

Maplewood-based 3M is now shipping products, including reflective tapes, masks and insect repellent to the hard-hit Houston area. The company also expects to donate $375,000 in combined employee and company donations to the American Red Cross.

St. Paul’s Ecolab will also make a cash donation, along with an employee match. But more immediate are the 10 truckloads of cleaning and sanitizing products, now in huge demand in the flood-ravaged region.

Bill Hudson