JBS USA today has reached a milestone of $100 million being committed to the company's Hometown Strong initiative, one of the largest rural community investment programs of its kind.
Since the program was launched in May 2020, JBS USA has worked with community leaders and local officials to identify meaningful investments to strengthen local communities where the company operates.
Hometown Strong started with a $50 million commitment in response to the global pandemic. So far, over $43 million of that has been invested in more than 200 projects in 42 local communities across 25 U.S. states and Alberta, Canada. Since that initial announcement, the company has also made $10 million worth of in-kind donations of meat and poultry products to food banks and others in need around the country.
In June of this year, JBS USA announced an additional $20 million investment in the United States and Canada to support affordable housing projects, in partnership with local leaders and businesses. This includes building new homes, establishing revolving funds to stimulate ongoing housing construction and ultimately helping the company's team members achieve their dreams of home ownership.
Now, the company has committed another $20 million to support Hometown Strong projects nationally – bringing its total commitment to $100 million.
"The JBS USA Hometown Strong program demonstrates our commitment to improving our communities in a lasting way," says Tim Schellpeper, JBS USA CEO. "From education and recreation to healthcare and social services, we have been partnering with our local communities to invest in a variety of projects – all with the goal of strengthening the places where our team members live and work."
Examples of Hometown Strong investments to date include:
- In Grand Island, Nebraska, pre-kindergarten children in the public school district now have their first dedicated building fully equipped to meet their early childhood learning needs. JBS USA invested $400,000 to convert a vacated 47,300-square-foot store near the city center into 10 classrooms, quiet and active sensory rooms and learning spaces, a STEAM room, plus an outdoor playground to welcome 300 kids.
- The East Side Community in Green Bay, Wisconsin, will be developed with a $500,000 donation from JBS USA, plus a gift of 25.5 acres of land valued at $331,500. This project will include a modern, unique park space, a community garden and outdoor gathering space, and housing for local families.
- JBS USA is the primary donor for the state-of-the art indoor sports complex in Ottumwa, Iowa. Thanks to a donation of $1 million, this complex will provide year-round recreational opportunities for the community. The presence of this facility has the added benefit of making Ottumwa more attractive for recruiting efforts aimed at businesses, possible new residents, tourism and more.
- In Gainesville, Georgia, Pilgrim's invested $795,000 in community wellness by helping fund the completion of the Highlands to Islands (H2i) Trail, a multi-use path that will connect several cities within Hall County, including Gainesville, Oakwood and Flowery Branch. As public usage of the trails increases, this connector will unify all paths through the system under one name.
The company continues to identify new projects with local community partners as part of the program on an ongoing basis. To learn more about the initiative, the local response from community officials and to find information about all of the Hometown Strong projects funded to date, please visit the Hometown Strong page.