Sanderson Farms Cultivates Culture of Community, Charity, and Chicken
CEO and President, Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., has quietly woven charity into the corporate culture at Sanderson Farms over the years, and the donation numbers speak for themselves. Sanderson Farms has donated $12 million to various charities since 2011. What speaks even more to this attitude of generosity are the words of the company’s employees, who often describe Sanderson Farms as a family that takes care of the community.
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Sanderson Farms’ philanthropic efforts range in size and reach, but the sentiment is the same: to give back to the communities in which Sanderson Farms employees work and live. From sponsoring small-town sports leagues, to hosting the Sanderson Farms Championship PGA TOUR event, the company demonstrates its commitment to caring for people.
At each Sanderson Farms facility, an employee giving program is in place benefiting the United Way. Each employee contribution is matched by the company, and since 1999, over $9.9 million has been donated to local chapters of the United Way.
“In a small community like ours, these resources really help to improve quality of life,” said Angela Castellow, United Way Director, Colquitt County, Georgia. “Sanderson Farms’ contributions go towards teaching children how to swim, story time in the park, and a mobile library program. We still provide for a lot of basic needs, but these funds give us the capacity for educational outreach, as well.”
When Mississippi’s only professional sporting event found itself without a sponsor in 2013, Sanderson Farms stepped up to the plate for its home state. All proceeds from the Sanderson Farms Championship go to Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital and Mississippi charities. To date, the event has raised over $5 million. Following the 2018 tournament, a record-breaking $1.375 million was presented to Friends of Children’s Hospital. Sanderson Farms employees also choose to volunteer at the event each year, serving in roles from pro-am caddies to scoring.
“We know that the people who are buying our chicken aren’t doing it because we sponsor a golf tournament, but we don’t sponsor a golf tournament so that people will buy our chicken,” said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., CEO and Chairman of the Board of Sanderson Farms. “We do it for the 175,000 children who are treated at Children’s of Mississippi each year. In addition to the tournament’s charitable aspects, the event provides an economic impact of over $26 million to the state of Mississippi.”
In times of great need, Sanderson Farms is quick to provide monetary aid, as well as product donations. After the recent hurricanes affecting North Carolina and Georgia, the company made a $1 million donation to the American Red Cross. Over 2.4 million pounds of donated chicken products have been distributed to people in areas of natural disaster since 1999.
“The generosity of partners such as Sanderson Farms makes it possible for the Red Cross to respond at a moment’s notice with volunteers, equipment, and supplies,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “We are profoundly grateful for Sanderson Farms’ remarkable support to deliver shelter, food, and hope for people in their darkest hours.”
Sanderson Farms seeks to make a difference in the 17 communities across 5 states in which it operates. The company’s leadership recognizes that the best way to give back is to take care of the people who have helped Sanderson Farms to become the company it is today. For Sanderson Farms, and its employees, gratitude and generosity go hand-in-hand.
About Sanderson Farms
Sanderson Farms, Inc., founded in 1947, is engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen chicken and other prepared food items. Employing more than 15,000 employees in operations spanning five states and 17 different cities, Sanderson Farms is the third largest poultry producer in the United States. As a company, Sanderson Farms is committed to adopting a fresh approach in everything that we do. Not only where products are concerned, but companywide as well. Though the company has grown in size, it still adheres to the same hometown values of honesty, integrity and innovation that were established when the Sanderson family founded the company back in 1947.