$10M in additional support approved for NC school nutrition programs

In October, Pilgrim’s announced a $515,000 investment in Sanford to support the community’s future through the company’s Hometown Strong program. Pilgrim’s has been working with local leaders to determine where the funds can best help meet immediate and longer-term community needs.

Tuesday, the company announced it is contributing $505,000 to establish a permanent home for the Sanford Agricultural Marketplace.

In partnership with the NC Cooperative Extension, the City of Sanford and Downtown Sanford Inc., the Pilgrim’s of Sanford Ag Marketplace will serve as a farmer’s market where Pilgrim’s team members and the community can access affordable, fresh and local foods.

Sanford Mayor Chet Mann has declared the Marketplace as a community staple to address food insecurity and improve community infrastructure.

The Marketplace will also serve as a multi-functional space for civic events and gatherings, including 4-H meetings, farmer education courses, a food donation hub, and bi-lingual classes on food safety, budget planning and cooking.

“We are honored to call Sanford our hometown and to be a reliable and responsible contributor to our local economy,” said Jamal Mohammed, Pilgrim’s Sanford complex manager. “Through our Hometown Strong initiative, we’re grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the community and look forward to sustainable agricultural growth right here in the heart of North Carolina.”

“I could not be more thrilled with the investment of over a half-million dollars for our new Agricultural Marketplace from Pilgrim’s,” said Sanford Mayor Chet Mann. “This incredibly generous investment will allow us to offer something long-term and sustainable to our residents. It will also continue to preserve our agricultural heritage and enhance our agri-business community while creating a fantastic venue downtown for civic events and community usage. A currently dilapidated building known by many as the former King Roofing Heating and Air building, now owned by the City, will spring back to life and kick off even more revitalization in East Sanford just bordering our downtown. I am grateful to Pilgrim’s for sharing our vision we have for this area and partnering with us to achieve even greater things for our citizens.”

The Pilgrim’s Sanford facility employs 1,060 people with an annual payroll of more than $35 million. The facility supports more than 160 growers, paying them more than $21 million per year for their birds.

Consistent with its long-term commitment to the local economy, Pilgrim’s Sanford has invested more than $110 million in capital improvements over the last five years.

Pilgrim’s anchors dozens of rural communities – operating more than 30 meat poultry and prepared foods plants and employing 31,000-plus people in the United States. Nationally, the Hometown Strong initiative is a $20 million investment from Pilgrim’s, which is part of a $50 million nationwide contribution from JBS USA. Visit hometownstrong.jbssa.com to learn more.

Hometown Strong is a national $50 million initiative that adds to commitments JBS USA has made this year to protect employees and ensure their job security amid the global pandemic. Hometown Strong is one of the largest community investment programs of its kind in the country. Visit hometownstrong.jbssa.com to learn more.



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