Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) last Wednesday, August 19, partnered with Clinicas del Camino Real (Clinicas) and Meruelo Enterprises to deliver hundreds of hygiene items and dry goods to farmworkers and their families who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The contactless donation event was organized through Feeding the Frontline: Feeding Our Farmworkers.
“SoCalGas recognizes the importance of supporting farmworkers during these challenging times with not only affordable energy but also with basic necessities like hygiene items and food,” said Maria Ventura, public affairs manager at SoCalGas. “We are proud to partner with Clinicas and Meruelo Enterprises, and to see our employees stepping up to help others in the communities we serve.”
“As one of the founding members of Feeding the Frontline, I am proud to partner with SoCalGas and Meruelo Enterprises in continuing our efforts,” said Roberto S. Juarez, Chief Executive Officer at Clinicas del Camino Real, Inc. “We are thankful for partners like SoCalGas and Meruelo Enterprises who support important initiatives within our communities.”
“Farmworkers have been unsung heroes during this pandemic. As a minority-owned enterprise, we feel a deep responsibility to give back and help the minority communities and workers that keep our economy going. Our diverse employees have embraced the ‘Feeding Our Farmworkers’ initiative, and because of our partnership with SoCalGas, we’re able to make a significant impact for these workers,” said Elizabeth Martinez, Director, Government Relations at Meruelo Enterprises.
For today’s drive, SoCalGas and Meruelo employees purchased items from Feeding The Frontline’s Amazon wish list or dropped off donated items at Clinicas’ headquarters in Camarillo. Employees donated hygiene items such as hand sanitizers, paper towels, diapers, soap, shampoo, face coverings, and gas cards as well as dry goods such as white rice, corn tortillas, beans and more.
Feeding Our Farmworkers is made up of business owners and community leaders from Ventura County who’ve joined together to provide food, support and recognition to the thousands of farmworkers providing essential duties in Ventura County during COVID-19. The group’s mission is to feed frontline workers by mobilizing local resources and planning regular food distributions specifically for farmworkers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since April, Feeding Our Farmworkers has held 27 food distribution events with over 21,000 farmworkers’ families served. Over 300 tons of food have been donated and distributed by community partners like SoCalGas and Meruelo Enterprises.
In addition to the $5,000 donation to Clinicas, SoCalGas has given more than $2.74 million to nonprofit organizations for COVID-19 recovery efforts since March to support the region’s workforce, feed the hungry, provide bill assistance to customers, and more.
Together, the Sempra Energy family of companies–including SoCalGas’s 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.