PG&E Partners with Food For Thought to Provide Additional Support to Vulnerable Sonoma County Residents During Public Safety Power Shutoffs
Funding Also Provides Meals to Residents Quarantining at Home Due to COVID-19
By Deanna Contreras
PG&E announced it provided more than $15,600 in 2020 to Food For Thought, a nonprofit that serves Sonoma County residents with food and nutritional support, with delivery or curbside pick-up, during weather-related events and Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). This is one of nearly 50 contracted partnerships PG&E has developed to provide direct services in communities across Northern and Central California when power is turned off for safety during times of heightened wildfire risk.
PG&E’s funding last year helped Food For Thought provide critical food and nutritional support to Sonoma County residents who are living with HIV, congestive heart failure, COVID-19 and other serious illnesses by providing free weekly groceries and fresh produce, nutritional supplements, vitamins and medically-tailored meals.
“We are very grateful to PG&E for the support that we received,” said Ron Karp, Executive Director of Food For Thought. “Last May, we received a call from Sonoma County’s Department of Health Services requesting help in providing food for an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. That’s when we recognized the importance of serving additional people and their families who were going to be homebound due to illness. To meet the increased demand for our services, we launched our COVID-19 Nutrition Program. The funds provided by PG&E and other donors helped us expand our services. We could not have done it without the outpouring of support from the community,” added Karp.
PG&E partners with a variety of Community Based Organizations (CBO) to help nonprofit organizations plan for and provide critical services to vulnerable community members during PSPS events, which are intended to reduce the risk of major wildfires during severe weather.
In addition, PG&E supports local food banks tackling the pressing issue of food insecurity through its annual charitable contributions program, taking 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.
Customers who experience food loss as a result of a PSPS event can obtain replacement groceries during the PSPS event, and three days following. To find a food bank or Meals on Wheels program near you, visit www.pge.com/disabilityandaging and look for the “Find Your Local Food Bank” and “Find Your Local Meals on Wheels” hyperlinks.
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.