CALGARY -- JBS Foods is investing $2 million to help the community of Brooks, Alta. respond to pressing needs resulting from the pandemic.

The move is part of its $50-million Hometown Strong initiative aimed at protecting employees and providing job security.  

"JBS Foods Canada has been working with local leaders to identify where the funds can best help meet immediate and longer-term community needs," the company said in a release.

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

JBS Foods is one of the largest employers in the Brooks area of southern Alberta.  

"The Hometown Strong initiative is allowing us to make a lasting investment that will strengthen our community and improve the lives of our team members and neighbors," said David Colwell, president of JBS Foods Canada.

The JBS Foods Canada production facility in Brooks employs more than 2,800 people with an annual payroll of more than $110 million.

"The beef facility supports more than 500 local producers, paying them $1.6 billion per year for their livestock," the company said.

The Brooks plant was hard hit by COVID-19 earlier this year, with hundreds of employees testing positive.

The city of Brooks is about 180 kilometres southeast of Calgary.