Southern California Gas Co. in conjunction with five regional charity organizations launched the “Fueling Our Communities” program to provide free meals to individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program, which is funded by a $500,000 donation from SoCalGas, will provide close to 140,000 meals to 40,000 individuals from underserved communities in Tulare, Kern, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial counties. The program will span over the summer season in 44 cities and will feed seniors, students, families and migrant farm workers while stimulating local small businesses.
“As the summer season is approaching and more areas are reopening, we must keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing and there are many vulnerable populations in need,” said Andy Carrasco, vice president of strategy and engagement, and chief environmental officer at SoCalGas. “Through the ‘Fueling Our Communities’ initiative, SoCalGas hopes to help fill an essential need by providing meals while helping local businesses as well. We are thankful for all the amazing organizations and community leaders who have stepped up and joined us to give back to those who need it the most.”
The program will also partner with small businesses to help stimulate the local economy. Participating charitable partners include:
• Family Service Association (FSA) – Banning, Cabazon, Calimesa, Hemet, Jurupa Valley, Moreno Valley, Perris, Riverside, Corona and San Jacinto in Riverside County and Chino, Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Joshua Tree, Loma Linda, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, San Bernardino, Upland, Yucaipa and Yucca Valley in San Bernardino County
• The American Legion — Brawley, Calexico, Calipatria, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial and Westmorland in Imperial County
• Food Share — Oxnard and Santa Paula in Ventura County
• Kern Economic Development Foundation — Arvin, Bakersfield, California City, Delano, McFarland, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi, Wasco in Kern County
• Sequoia Regional Economic Development Foundation — Dinuba, Exeter, Farmersville, Lindsay, Porterville, Tulare, Visalia, and Woodlake in Tulare County
“We’re thrilled to partner with SoCalGas this Summer to provide nutritious meals to the senior population in the Inland Empire. This program will provide meals to seniors in 24 cities in Riverside and San Bernardino counties– many which are in rural and underserved areas,” said Shannon Gonzalez, chief program officer at FSA. “In addition to distributing meals to senior residents weekly with our city partners, FSA will also purchase gift certificates from local restaurants which will allow recipients to visit their favorite food spots and contribute to the local economy.”
“Kern Economic Development Foundation is pleased to have been selected by SoCalGas for this fantastic program to support our local economy by supporting local restaurants, while also feeding those in need,” said Richard Chapman, executive director for Kern Economic Development Foundation. “We are thrilled to have Community Action Partnership of Kern working alongside us to implement this program which will provide thousands of meals to Kern County residents over the next few months.”
SoCalGas is dedicated to supporting the health, safety, and wellness of its community. In addition to supporting the ‘Fueling Our Communities’ events, the utility has donated more than $2.5 million to nonprofit organizations to support the region’s workforce, feed the hungry, provide bill assistance to customers, and more as part of COVID-19 recovery efforts. Together, the Sempra Energy family of companies – including SoCalGas’ sister California utility San Diego Gas and Electric, and the Sempra Energy Foundation – have donated more than $12.5 million to those in need during this crisis.
For more information about SoCalGas’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.socalgas.com/coronavirus.