Chicken producer Pilgrim’s Inc., which operates three plants in Alabama with some 3,200 employees, has announced plans to donate $1.6 million to help Alabama communities respond to coronavirus and move forward.
The investment is part of the firm’s $20 million Hometown Strong initiative, “that adds to commitments Pilgrim’s has made this year to protect employees and ensure their job security amid the global pandemic,” the company said in a press release.
The company plans to work with local officials — in Alabama, with officials in Enterprise, Guntersville and Russellville — to find the best use for funds.
“It is because of the great work being done in our hometowns that Pilgrim’s is able to provide high-quality chicken to families across our country,” said Fabio Sandri, interim president and CEO of Pilgrim’s. “Through this initiative, we’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with local leaders and our team members to determine how best to make meaningful and lasting impacts in our communities.”
“There is no doubt that Covid-19 has taken a toll on Alabamians, but because of strong partners like Pilgrim’s, we are bringing much-needed relief to communities around our state,” said Gov. Kay Ivey.
Pilgrim’s has a $113 million annual payroll in Alabama and pays Alabama farmers some $89 million a year. The firm has made capital investments totaling $146 million here in 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,” the firm said in its announcement. “During the pandemic, Pilgrim’s has invested more than $65 million to enhance safeguards for team members and to reward them with thank-you bonuses. This includes hiring 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.”