Building on its ongoing sustainability and social responsibility efforts, Pilgrim’s announced plans on Dec. 8 to invest $300,000 in Natchitoches, La., 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.
One project has already been selected for funding. In partnership with the City of Natchitoches, Pilgrim’s is contributing $250,000 to continue developing and upgrading ParcNatchitoches. The Pilgrim’s investment will allow the city to move forward with expansion plans to include covered pavilions, a dog park, walking/biking trails and a kid’s discovery park.
“Through the Hometown Strong program, we are demonstrating our strong commitment to Natchitoches, and we’re excited for the opportunity to make a difference,” said Mark Haecker, Pilgrim’s Natchitoches complex manager. “Our investment in Parc Natchitoches will provide multiple recreation activities and improve the quality of life for members of our community.”
“Pilgrim’s has brought economic growth to the City of Natchitoches as well as a solid partnership over the years supporting our community’s needs,” said Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams, Jr. “This investment in Parc Natchitoches is not only appreciated, but proves Pilgrim’s commitment to the city will continue to be beneficial and impactful for years to come.”
The Pilgrim’s Natchitoches production facility employs more than 600 people with an annual payroll of more than $21 million. The facility supports 62 growers, paying them more than $21 million per year for their livestock. Consistent with its long-term commitment to the local economy, Pilgrim’s Natchitoches has invested more than $24 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 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 $50 million nationwide contribution from JBS USA.