Suwannee Valley Times is distributed into the following cities and towns: Lake City, Live Oak, Madison, Branford, Dowling Park, Falmouth, Lee, Wellborn, Jasper, White Springs, Fort White, High Springs and Alachua

Pilgram’s invests in Live Oak community

City of Live Oak Check Presentation from September 14, 2021. -Photo: Submitted

By Nikki Richardson, Corporate Communications

Live Oak, Fla., – In a November 18, 2021 press release, Pilgrim’s provided an update on how its Hometown Strong funds are being invested in Live Oak to support the community’s future.


  In October 2020, Pilgrim’s announced a $765,000 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.


The Pilgrim’s Live Oak production facility employs more than 1,500 people with an annual payroll of more than $55 million. The facility supports 135 growers, paying them more than $24 million per year for their chickens.


Pilgrim’s Live Oak has fully allocated the Hometown Strong funding to the below projects:


• Suwannee Parks & Recreation received $335,000 to fund a “Park Improvement Package,” which includes investments in a family-friendly waterpark, restroom facilities and significant improvements to the Douglas Park Boys and Girls Club and Police Athletic League (PAL) programs.


• Pilgrim’s Live Oak Tomorrow Fund Scholarship program will receive $200,000 to expand the number of full-ride college scholarship recipients. 


• Suwannee High School received a total of $165,000 to fund two departmental upgrades:
An investment of $115,000 will be allotted to the culinary art classroom and learning lab to fund commercial-grade appliances and culinary equipment.


An investment of $50,000 will be allotted to developing agriculture facilities that will provide enhanced educational support for students pursuing a future in agriculture.


• Three local community organizations received $55,000 to support local families in need, victims of domestic violence and annual donations for underprivileged children during the holiday season.
 
“Through the Pilgrim’s Hometown Strong program, we’re showing appreciation for our local community by making meaningful investments and upgrades to important community spaces,” said Jeff Garner, Pilgrim’s Live Oak complex manager. “Whether making improvements inside the classroom or supporting a local family in need, we are excited to see the difference these projects can make for our community.”


  “Pilgrim’s has shown an extraordinary measure of generosity toward our city and county,” said Live Oak Mayor Frank Davis. “We are blessed to have a company that not only employs a large number of people, but also produces healthy food for us to enjoy, especially during these uncertain times.”


  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.