Producer of Halos, pistachios wins corporate citizenship award for Lost Hills work

The Wonderful Company, the privately held farming giant that produces Halos mandarins, Pom Wonderful pomegranate beverages and Wonderful-brand almonds and pistachios, has won the 2016 Corporate Citizenship Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Corporate Citizenship Center.

The award was announced earlier this month.

The Wonderful Company, based in Los Angeles, was honored for its community development work in Lost Hills, where half of the households have family members working at the company's pistachios plant 13 miles away.

According to the Corporate Citizenship Center, the company invested more than $15 million to revitalize the community of Lost Hills, on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley in Kern County. The company has a number of growing, packing and production facilities around the San Joaquin Valley, including a pomegranate beverage operation in Del Rey and a Halos plant in Delano.

The company created an advisory board and the first town council in Lost Hills to help determine where money should be spent. Infrastructure improvements included two community centers, soccer fields, playgrounds and other improvements to the community park, paved roads, installation of sidewalks, bus shelters, storm drains and streetlights.

The company said it has also helped build affordable housing, finance and build the town's first sit-down restaurant, and recently received approval from the Kern County Board of Education to open a charter school in Lost Hills next fall.