Foster Farms celebrated the expansion of its Fresno chicken processing plant today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony bringing local dignitaries and Foster Farms representatives together to honor the company’s economic contribution to the community. The expansion has added 200 new production-related jobs, bringing the total number of Fresno plant employees to 1,200.

The $7.4 million expansion project added 45,000 square feet to the existing 150,000-square-foot facility located at 2960 South Cherry Avenue. The expanded plant will produce about 165 million pounds of poultry products annually, with the upgrade enhancing product handling and significantly increasing production, packaging and storage areas. Foster Farms has operated the Fresno poultry processing facility since 1990, when it opened with 200 employees.

“Foster Farms has a longstanding history in the Fresno community,” said George Foster of Foster Farms. “We are proud to bring new jobs into the Fresno area and will continue our commitment to this community for many years to come.”

Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson spoke on behalf of the city. “As one of the largest employers in Fresno, Foster Farms has fueled the economic growth and development of the community,” Patterson said. “Foster Farms has contributed significantly not only to Fresno’s business community, but also to its many worthy organizations.”

Foster Farms recently contributed a $350,000 donation to Ronald McDonald House of the Central Valley. The funds will be used for building a new facility to provide lodging for the families of seriously ill children who are being treated at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera.

“Foster Farms’ donation reflects the company’s commitment to giving back to the community,” said Patty Manfredi, development fund director of the Ronald McDonald House of the Central Valley. “As we move forward with this project, Foster Farms’ generosity is greatly appreciated.”

Family-owned Foster Farms, established in 1939, is based in Livingston, Calif. Foster Farms produces and delivers more than 650 million pounds of fresh chicken and turkey each year to customers throughout the West.