In 2020, JBS USA, Canada and Pilgrim’s U.S. launched Hometown Strong, a $70 million initiative to bring strength and stability to the communities where we live and work. Our facility management teams have been working with local leaders and organizations to determine how the funds can best help meet immediate and longer-term community needs.
“Hometown Strong is our way of showing our ongoing commitment and support to the communities where our team members live and work,” said Andre Nogueira, JBS USA CEO.
Projects include donating books and computers to underserved children, constructing warehouses for food pantries, funding high school agriculture programs, as well as developing land for playgrounds, community gardens and team member housing.
To date, Hometown Strong has invested in over 150 projects across the following categories, with more projects to come:
in social services
in community infrastructure
in public services
Throughout the global pandemic, our team members and our communities have looked to us for reassurance that we can—and will—get through this pandemic. Toward that end, JBS USA and Pilgrim’s are excited to provide meaningful investments in projects that will have positive impacts for generations to come. Click here to read more about our Hometown Strong initiative.
As part of our Hometown Strong initiative, JBS USA and Pilgrim’s U.S. are building the largest free college tuition program in rural America—Better Futures. Through this program, our team members and their child dependents have the opportunity to pursue their higher education dreams for associate degrees and trade certificates at community and technical colleges—tuition free.
We recognize and believe in the transformative power of higher education and the opportunities that come from education, coursework and technical skill training.
Better Futures removes a major financial barrier to college attendance and stands to become the largest free college tuition program in rural America. JBS USA and Pilgrim’s advisors will also help team members—many from first-generation American families—navigate the application process, which can be a deterrence to people applying to college for the first time.
The Better Futures program provides meaningful investments in the futures of our team members, their families and our communities.
Click here to learn more about the Better Futures initiative.
In light of the recent bushfires that burned across Australia, JBS Australia donated $1 million to the Australian Volunteer Trust, established by the Business Council of Australia in partnership with Equity Trustees. The Trust will be a permanent and ongoing fund to support the children of volunteers who have died in fighting the fires and any future major disasters. The Trust represents a vehicle to support these families and especially the children of these volunteers through their education.
The impact of the fires has been significant, and devastated communities across mainland eastern states. We have a direct contact and long-term relationships with many livestock producers and communities in these affected areas and our support for them will continue.
JBS Australia CEO Brent Eastwood said, “As the CEO of a business employing over 12,000 people across five Australian states, we understand the importance of a safe working environment and making sure our people go home to their families in the same way they arrived to work. Unfortunately, we have seen with these fires and other recent natural disasters such as floods, there are times when volunteer lives are lost in the line of duty and families are forever impacted. The Trust represents a vehicle to support these families and especially the children of these volunteers through their education.”
Along with this donation, JBS Australia will continue to work with and support affected communities and our livestock producers through regular business and food donations.
JBS Australia is a member of the Business Council of Australia.
In 2019, Pilgrim’s U.S. launched the Tomorrow Fund, a scholarship program to support the collegiate pursuits of our team members and their direct dependents. Our vision is to become the best and most respected company in our industry, creating the opportunity of a better future for our team members. In line with this pursuit, we established the Tomorrow Fund to help our team members achieve their dreams and create a better future for themselves and their families through education. Every year, an eligible student from each of our 30 processing facilities across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, plus our corporate office, will be awarded a full-ride scholarship to an eligible university of their choice. Our goal is to invest $2 million in the Pilgrim’s Tomorrow Fund scholarship recipients by 2025.
The Tomorrow Fund supports team members and direct dependents pursuing an initial bachelor’s degree, an accredited vocational-technical certification or an associate degree. Award recipients participate in a Pilgrim’s mentorship program and are extended internship offers for the summer at Pilgrim’s locations across the country.
At Pilgrim’s, we believe our people are our greatest strength. The Tomorrow Fund invests in the future, supports our local communities and improves the lives of our team members and their families through empowerment, education and personal growth. We awarded our inaugural class of Tomorrow Fund leaders with a full-ride scholarship in Fall 2020 and will announce the second class of 30 awardees in 2021.
Click here to read more about the Tomorrow Fund.
Our 2020 focus continued to be supporting our team members and the communities where we live and work. Some of our philanthropic work included:
During 2020 and two years prior, we obtained the ESR Distinctive (Corporate Social Responsibility Distinctive), which is granted by CEMEFI Mexican Center for Philanthropy. This is the highest recognition awarded in Mexico to companies committed to socially responsible and sustainable management.
Moy Park established a £1 million Community Support Fund aimed at supporting and enriching the lives of those in need across its local communities. This new initiative builds on Moy Park’s range of existing and long-established community measures, including charity and educational programs.
Moy Park’s HR and Performance Director, Kirsty Wilkins said, “The food industry plays a vital role, keeping our supermarket shelves stocked and we are thankful to our local towns, villages and team members who are part of this important effort. Moy Park is a people focused organization, and we invest heavily in development opportunities for our colleagues in the workplace. This new community initiative is a natural extension of this approach and we look forward to receiving applications from local groups.”
From 2018 to 2020, Pilgrim’s UK has donated more than £65,000 to Mind, which provides mental health support services that have become even more important throughout the pandemic.
Pilgrim’s UK staff have taken part in a host of activities to raise funds for Mind, including a sponsored staff head shave, which raised more than £600; climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds; and participating in a 100km challenge, which raised more than £2,000.
Pilgrim’s UK also regularly donates to Mind through its staff lottery, which has raised nearly £30,000 throughout the past four years.
In addition to numerous community investment projects, JBS USA donated more than 22.4 million (4 oz.) servings of food in 2020. We partner with local food banks and community kitchens to provide fresh meat and poultry produced in nearby facilities.