Pilgrim’s to Invest $785,000 in Sumter to Support Local Community as Part of Hometown Strong Initiative

Press Release Oct 19, 2021
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Building on its ongoing sustainability and social responsibility efforts, Pilgrim’s today announced plans to invest $785,000 in Sumter, South Carolina, to support the community’s future. Pilgrim’s has been working 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. 

Two projects have already been selected to receive funding. First, the Sumter School District received $245,000 to fund the Pilgrim’s Mobile STEM Explorer, a refurbished activity bus, created to increase awareness and promotion of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. Additional components include a mobile classroom for hands-on learning experiences including coding, programming, robotics and circuitry.

Additionally, Liberty STEAM Charter (LSC), a new tuition-free, open-enrollment public charter school, received $100,000 in funding to refine educational programming, professional development, classroom materials and facility renovations. LSC specializes in vocational education and STEM coursework and began welcoming its first students on Aug. 9 of this year.

“The Pilgrim’s Hometown Strong program affords us the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to some important community initiatives,” said Keith Martin, Pilgrim’s Sumter complex manager. “By strengthening local educational opportunities with these invaluable resources, we are not only making an investment in our students, but also future leaders in our community.”

“We are extremely grateful for this opportunity to partner with Pilgrim’s to enhance learning opportunities for our students through a Mobile STEM Explorer,” said Dr. Penelope Martin-Knox, Sumter School District Superintendent. “Today's students will be the workforce of tomorrow. By investing in our students' education, the local community is essentially investing in itself to ensure its success for tomorrow.”

The Pilgrim’s Sumter production facility employs more than 1,000 people with an annual payroll of more than $26 million. The facility supports 99 growers, paying them more than $24.6 million per year for their chickens.

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.