During Recent Public Safety Power Shutoff, Partnerships with Food Banks Provided Additional Support to Vulnerable Residents
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is providing $675,000 to 37 food banks serving communities in PG&E’s service area in Northern and Central California.
The funding will help the nonprofit food banks provide critical food support to residents coping with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding also assists area food banks in preparing to serve vulnerable community members during natural disasters and potential Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS), which are intended to reduce the risk of major wildfires during severe weather.
“Every day, food banks are on the frontlines responding to the increasing needs of hungry Californians,” said Stacia Levenfeld, Chief Executive Officer, California Association of Food Banks. “During this public health and hunger crisis, it’s critical for the community to stand together to support our food banks and to nourish and uplift every member of our community. We are grateful to PG&E for supporting our food banks and in turn helping to combat record levels of food insecurity and hunger.”
“We know that many in our communities struggle with financial uncertainty and food insecurity, in some cases created or worsened by the global pandemic. These challenges can be even more difficult to cope with during emergencies. That’s why we’re supporting local food banks to help them meet critical food needs during disasters and power outages,” said PG&E Vice President of Regulatory and External Affairs Robert Kenney.
PG&E’s grants take into account whether a food bank is located in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 High Fire-Threat District as designated by the California Public Utilities Commission. These areas are at elevated or extreme risk for wildfires. To promote equity among counties with higher need, grant amounts will take into account county poverty and unemployment levels, using the California Department of Social Services’ formula.
Support for Customers during Recent PSPS
PG&E partners with a variety of Community-based Organizations (CBOs) to help nonprofit organizations plan for and provide critical services to vulnerable community members during natural disasters including wildfires, power outages, and PSPS events.
Customers who experience food loss as a result of a PSPS event can obtain replacement groceries during the PSPS event, and three days following, through a partnership with PG&E. During the PSPS that occurred Sept. 7-9, 2020, PG&E-funded CBO partnerships with local food banks distributed 8,700 boxes of groceries. Each box feeds a family of four for one week.
“We appreciate PG&E’s support during the recent PSPS event. Everyone we worked with at PG&E showed genuine concern for our community and helped us problem-solve so we could continue to serve the individuals and families who rely on us. We can’t say it enough: Thank you,” said Nicole McNeely, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Nevada County.
Also during the Sept. 7-9 event, PG&E’s partnerships with Meals on Wheels provided 250 seniors with an additional meal each day the power was off, and a wellness check. To find a participating food bank or Meals on Wheels organization please visit www.pge.com/disabilityandaging.
Ongoing Support to Cope with Disasters
Additionally, in April 2020, PG&E announced it provided a $150,000 charitable contribution to help the California Association of Food Banks establish the California Food Bank Rapid Response Fund. The fund provides critical support for food banks to increase their capacity to purchase food and supplies and supplement their staffing during the COVID-19 pandemic and future emergencies. In addition, PG&E employees donated more than $35,000 to the California Association of Food Banks to support COVID-19 relief, which was matched 100 percent by The PG&E Corporation Foundation.
The Rapid Response Fund distributed funding to 40 food banks serving all 58 California counties, with 34 located in PG&E’s service area. Customers in need of assistance can find a food bank close to them by searching their ZIP code at http://www.cafoodbanks.org/find-food-assistance or by calling their local 211 number or the statewide hotline at 833-544-2374.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 23,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com and www.pge.com/news.