Pilgrim’s Announces Recipients of Hometown Strong Funding in Athens

Press Release Oct 19, 2021
Hslogo Pilgrims Corrected

Pilgrim’s is providing an update on how its Hometown Strong funds are being invested in Athens, Ga., to support the community’s future.

In December 2020, Pilgrim’s announced a $790,000 investment in the community. The company has worked closely with local leaders to identify where the funds can best help meet immediate and longer-term community needs in three key areas: food insecurity, community infrastructure and well-being, and COVID-19 emergency response and relief efforts.

Pilgrim’s Athens has funded the below Hometown Strong projects to date:

  • Athens YMCA will receive $400,000 to fully fund construction of an 11,000-square-foot covered pavilion to shelter the local field hockey arena.
  • The Athens Salvation Army will receive $200,000 to support efforts to increase housing capacity in the area. Funds will be used toward repurposing an existing thrift store into a 6-unit family housing shelter.
  • Athens-Clarke County Schools will receive $100,000 toward necessary expansion of the school’s career labs and programs to provide students with a variety of post-graduate resources.
  • Madison County High School will receive $80,000 for the development of a 20-acre site into a multi-use facility that will include classroom space, a show arena and livestock holding pens. The site will also be used for forestry, horticulture and agronomy classes.

“Investment in our community through the Pilgrim’s Hometown Strong initiative is going to make a difference for our team members and our neighbors,” said Corey Watson, Pilgrim’s Athens complex manager. “We are proud to bring these resources to Athens and excited to see the positive, lasting impact these projects will have on our community.”

“The pavilion turned a gated concrete slab into a treasure chest of opportunity. The new space will be incredibly versatile to meet many different needs,” said Shae Wilson-Gregg, CEO of the Athens YMCA. “It gives us a shady location for kids to learn how to shoot basketball, eat afternoon snack and have the ultimate Friday dance party. It gives our adults a location for fitness classes, personal training sessions and outdoor workouts. It gives us additional opportunity to serve our community through family events, wellness courses and blood drives. We are immensely grateful.”

The Pilgrim’s Athens production facility employs more than 1,600 people with an annual payroll of more than $41 million. The facility supports 259 growers, paying them more than $25 million per year for their livestock.

Pilgrim’s anchors dozens of rural communities – operating more than 30 meat poultry and prepared foods facilities 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 $70 million nationwide contribution from JBS USA. Visit hometownstrong.jbssa.com to learn more.