MT. PLEASANT, Texas – One of the nation’s top chicken producers is investing $1.5 million into the East Texas region.

Representatives with Pilgrim’s say the Hometown Strong Initiative will support the community’s needs, and help respond to needs resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Pilgrim’s is located in Mount Pleasant, but the company employs people from across the East Texas region.

The plant is now working with local leaders in Mount Pleasant to identify where the funds will best be able to meet the community’s immediate and long-term needs.

The three key areas are: food insecurity, infrastructure, and COVID-19 emergency response and relief efforts.

Pilgrims Complex Manager Rapheal Boyd believes the Hometown Strong Initiative will invest in the region’s future.

“I think this Hometown Strong is a perfect avenue to provide that way to give back to our communities because it’s going to have a direct impact on our team members lives,” explained Boyd.

Texas A&M Texarkana Economics Professor Larry Davis says the pandemic has changed spending habits for people in communities across the nation.

“I think the major impact will be a psychological impact on people. They may become more cautious in their spending. The pandemic snuck up on us,” said Davis.

The Pilgrim’s plant in Mount Pleasant employs about 3,200 people and supports about 290 growers in the East Texas region.

All community projects will be determined by the end of the year.

Community members may send suggested proposals for investment to [email protected]

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. Visit to learn more.

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