JBS USA has announced additional cities in its national $50 million initiative called Hometown Strong that adds to commitments made this year to protect employees and ensure their job security amid the COVID-19 pandemic. JBS USA is partnering with local officials and community leaders across the U.S. to determine what is needed most.
“We take great pride in feeding millions of American families every day, and this year brought home the fact that our responsibilities – and the challenges we can help solve – go beyond the production of quality food,” JBS USA chief executive officer Andre Nogueira said. “We’re deeply connected to our communities, and Hometown Strong is our way of showing that commitment and support. We know each community need is different, and we’re listening to local leaders to determine where help is needed most.”
The initiative is one of the largest community investment programs of its kind in the country. JBS USA anchors dozens of rural communities – operating more than 60 meat, poultry and prepared foods plants and employing 62,000-plus people. Funds will be directed to every community JBS USA calls home.
Cities receiving monetary investment from the initiative so far include Greeley, Colo.; Green Bay, Wis.; Louisville, Ky.; Grand Island, Neb.; Marshalltown and Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Worthington, Minn.
“A hallmark of capitalism, at its best, is when businesses reinvest in the communities in which they do business,” Greeley Mayor John Gates said. “I appreciate the investment JBS is making in Greeley to not only benefit their employees but the community as a whole. I would also like to specifically thank the employees at JBS who have served to provide food for our nation.”
Donations will help alleviate food insecurity, strengthen long-term community infrastructure and well-being and support COVID-19 emergency response and relief efforts. All funds will be committed by the end of the year.
“The COVID-19 crisis has dramatically affected our rural communities -- and especially some plant communities -- in the most extreme ways,” Rep. Collin Peterson (D., Minn.) said. “I’m pleased to see JBS USA and Pilgrim’s [Pride] recognize the partnership they have with the towns in which they operate and invest in those local communities.”
JBS USA responded to the global coronavirus pandemic with investments of more than $100 million to enhance safeguards for team members and nearly $100 million to reward them with thank you bonuses and increased wages. This 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.