MOORE COUNTY, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Early in the pandemic, Moore County was hit hard with COVID-19 cases and JBS Cactus was considered a hot spot.
Now, Moore County has managed to slow the spread and JBS USA is looking to give back to the community.
JBS USA is investing $3.3 million to help Moore county. It’s part of their ‘hometown strong’ initiative.
“A couple of those things that we’re looking to do out there is, get the COVID response and relief. It’s one of our initiatives. It’s also food insecurity, as well as infrastructure within the community,” JBS Cactus General Manager, Manny Guerrero, told us Friday.
Guerrero, said they aim to help the communities where their employees live. A portion of the funds are committed to the YMCA of Moore County for an updated women’s locker room and scoreboard—and to the City of Cactus to help build the Cactus Aquatic Center.
“…our families live there, their children live there, so that would help that community infrastructure,” Guerrero said. “We’re talking to Moore County Hospital to see what those things that we could help them do from a COVID-19 response and relief.”
Moore County Judge, Rowdy Rhoades, said Dumas, Cactus, and Sunray have come a long way during the pandemic and this money from JBS will help add value to those communities.
“We’re gonna be able to grow,” Judge Rhoades said. “Whenever you improve Cactus, for instance, they put in a waterpark, people want to live there.”
Judge Rhoades said JBS Cactus employs more people in Moore County than any other industry and they are the second-biggest taxpayer.
Moore County will have less tax revenue this year, Judge Rhoades said, echoing how everyone has been deeply impacted by the pandemic.
“That’s hard, especially right now,” Judge Rhoades said of JBS’s initiative to give back. “Even though there was COVID money to help recover for different things, you’ve seen your whole economy shut down and we do appreciate JBS. There’s been some awesome leadership because they’re basically reinvesting back into our community.”
Moore County has managed to bounce back from the worst COVID-19 had to offer and Judge Rhoades believes they will come out stronger.
“This income will be strong. I think it’s really gonna make our hometown strong, and our whole community,” said Judge Rhoades. “The country, the State of Texas, and the government—they’re not going to save us. God’s going to save us. We have to be patient. We’ll get through the COVID, but it sure is nice for an industry to step up and pretty much save the day.”
While some of those funds are spoken for, Guerrero said JBS Cactus continues meeting with community leaders and they are still taking ideas and requests for how the funds should be spent.