Instead of peeing in Cheerios, Duluth campaign suggests donating them

As Cargill controversy continues on Park Point, Duluth group creates ‘Cheerio Challenge’

Birds-eye view of waves breaking on the beach with houses and buildings.
Kathy Cargill says she had a plan to support the Park Point community, then she backed out and said residents were "too close-minded."
Derek Montgomery for MPR News

Duluth residents have turned a recent viral comment from billionaire Kathy Cargill on its head, instead using it to motivate people to donate boxes of cereal to families in need.

Cargill’s company has bought more than a dozen properties on Duluth’s Park Point since 2022—often for well above market value—and subsequently demolished many of them, raising concerns among residents and elected officials over her intentions.

Duluth Mayor Roger Reinert sent Cargill a letter in February, noting that “any loss of residential housing is not helpful” in addressing Duluth’s housing crunch. In a social media post he said he hasn’t received a response to his request for a meeting, and suggested that people didn’t have to sell their properties to her.

Cargill had remained largely mum on her plans until this weekend, when she told the Wall Street Journal, “I think an expression that we all know— don’t pee in your Cheerios— well, he kind of peed in his Cheerios right there, and definitely I’m not going to do anything to benefit that community.”

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Now, a group of Duluth residents has launched the #DuluthCheerioChallenge to gather food —including boxes of Cheerios — and financial donations, to support Duluth charities Chum, Union Gospel Mission and the Salvation Army during Minnesota Food Share Month.

“Let’s show what a large-minded community can do when they come together,” said Chad McKenna, spokesperson for the group that launched the Facebook page.

That’s a reference to another comment Cargill made to the Wall Street Journal, in which she said the city could forget about her plans to invest in pickleball courts, a coffee shop and other “beautifying” updates to Park Point.

Cheerios 70th
Duluth residents have launched the #DuluthCheerioChallenge to gather food donations.
David Duprey | AP

“There’s another community out there with more welcoming people than that small-minded community,” she said.

Starting Wednesday morning and continuing through Friday at 4 p.m. the group is accepting donations at the Duluth Labor Temple, at 2002 London Road.

“Let’s have some fun with this,” McKenna said. “Gather together with your friends, your co-workers, do a Cheerio drive at your place of work, at your school, and let’s gather some food and raise some money for those in our community that are in need.”