Cargill Inc. is donating a shipload of rice to alleviate starvation in the Horn of Africa -- enough rice to feed nearly 1 million people for a month.

The Minnetonka-based agribusiness giant will ship 10,000 metric tons of rice, worth about $5 million, to support the World Food Program USA's efforts. It's the largest corporate food contribution the nonprofit agency has ever received.

The crisis in the Horn of Africa is leaving 13 million people at risk of starvation and malnutrition, according to the World Food Program USA. The Cargill rice will go to relief efforts in northeastern Kenya, where starving Somalis have taken refuge.

The militant Somali group Al-Shabab has banned aid groups from Somalia, which is stricken by famine and riven with lawlessness.

The World Food Program USA raised money to cover the costs of transporting Cargill's rice donation to the Kenyan port of Mombasa. Cargill sourced the grain, arranged for its purchase and bagging, and chartered a vessel to ship it from India. The rice arrived Nov. 26.

"Given the desperate need in the Horn of Africa and our unique ability to source and move food to where it is needed, Cargill, with support from its family shareholders, responded in a way in which we hope will ease suffering," Cargill Chief Executive Greg Page said in a news release.

Mike Hughlett • 612-673-7003