Press Release from JBS
Building on ongoing sustainability and social responsibility efforts, JBS USA and Pilgrim’s, American-based food companies, announced plans to invest $6.5 million in Texas to help local communities respond to coronavirus and invest in the future.
The investment is part of a new, national $50 million initiative called Hometown Strong that adds to commitments JBS USA and Pilgrim’s have made this year to protect employees and ensure their job security amid the global pandemic.
It’s essential to us that we make lasting investments to benefit our team members and neighbors,” said Tim Schellpeper, President of JBS USA Fed Beef, which includes the beef production facility in Cactus. “We are humbled to partner with community leaders to ensure our contributions will make a difference now and in the future.”
“Our success as a company is dependent on the success of the communities where we live and work,” said Fabio Sandri, Pilgrim’s interim president and CEO, which includes chicken facilities in Lufkin, Mt. Pleasant, Nacogdoches, and Waco. “We want to be a good neighbor, and we believe this is an opportunity to move our hometowns forward in a positive way.”
JBS USA and Pilgrim’s will partner with local officials and community leaders in Cactus, Lufkin, Mt. Pleasant, Nacogdoches, and Waco to identify investment projects that strengthen these hometowns where the company’s team members live and work.
“Thanks to the JBS USA and Pilgrim’s Hometown Strong initiative, Texas will have even more support and greater access to crucial resources as we respond to COVID-19,” said Gov. Greg Abbott. “This $6.5 million investment will help strengthen community infrastructure, provide additional COVID-19 response and relief resources, and help alleviate food insecurity. I am grateful to JBS USA and Pilgrim’s for their commitment to supporting their hard-working employees, as well as their communities.”
JBS USA and Pilgrim’s have a significant presence in Texas, employing nearly 10,000 people and paying producers and growers more than $2.1 billion each year. That supports the area facilities, including a beef production facility in Cactus and chicken production and prepared-foods facilities in Lufkin, Mt. Pleasant, Nacogdoches, and Waco. An essential contributor to the Texas economy, JBS USA and Pilgrim’s have an annual payroll in Texas of more than $372 million and have contributed more than $326 million in capital investments over the last five years.
Nationally, the $50 million investment – one of the largest of its kind made – will include donations to alleviate food insecurity, strengthen long-term community infrastructure and well-being, and support COVID-19 emergency response and relief efforts. By the end of the year, we commit all funds.
JBS USA and Pilgrim’s anchor dozens of rural communities – operating more than 60 meat, poultry, and prepared foods plants and employing 62,000-plus people. JBS USA and Pilgrim’s have invested more than $100 million to enhance safeguards for team members and nearly $100 million to reward them with thank-you bonuses and increased wages. It includes hiring more than 1,000 new team members to conduct additional, around-the-clock sanitation and cleaning services, and to provide education, training, and enforcement of COVID-19 preventive measures.