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Brazilian meat packer donates $120 million to combat coronavirus pandemic

JBS SA, whose meatpacking plants in Brazil and in the United States have been hit by coronavirus outbreaks have said it was donating 700 million reais ($120 million) to initiatives aimed at combating the pandemic.

12 May 2020, at 8:57am

The Brazilian company said in a securities filing that the funds will be used "to help the communities where its team members live and work around the world" as meat processors battle novel coronavirus infections in their workforce.

In Brazil, the company will donate 400 million reais to support public health and social assistance initiatives in 17 states, including by providing personal protective equipment and food, and funding the construction of hospitals.

Some 300 million reais will be donated to fight COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, mainly in the United States where the company operates several beef and pork plants, according to the filing.

At least 30 meat-packing workers have died of COVID-19 and more than 10,000 have contracted it in the United States, according to a union representing more than 250,000 meatpacking and food processing workers.

One JBS pork processing plant there was temporarily shuttered to contain an outbreak.

One of the company's chicken plants in Brazil was closed last Thursday for 15 days to contain the spread of the virus.

Other meat plants could be soon be disrupted as Brazil's rate of infected people continue to rise.