GREENVILLE, S.C., Nov. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy is kicking off a monthlong initiative to support organizations in South Carolina that address food insecurities and inequities across the state. This effort will provide nearly $250,000 to about 50 feeding programs leading up to Thanksgiving Day.
"Finding healthy and affordable fresh food is a challenge for many of our friends and neighbors across the state," said Mike Callahan, Duke Energy South Carolina state president. "Every community is home to families who face hunger – nearly 11 percent of South Carolinians lack consistent access to high-quality meals. That is a staggering statistic that many organizations across the state are working to reduce and hopefully one day eliminate."
Each week in November, Duke Energy will highlight the critical community partners that do this incredible work. First up – FoodShare South Carolina.
The Duke Energy Foundation is providing FoodShare South Carolina$50,000 to enable 13 community-based organizations across the state to distribute more than 63,000 pounds of fresh produce through 4,200 family food boxes through November.
Each box comes with up to a dozen varieties of top-quality fruits and vegetables that are sourced as locally and seasonally as possible. Recipe cards (in English and Spanish) are included with each order to introduce simple and easy ways to use the produce in that box. The retail value of each box is between $20 and $30. The funding from Duke Energy allows customers to purchase them at either $10 credit/debit or $5 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Mill Village Farms provides these fresh food boxes in Greenville, sourcing much of the produce from local sustainably managed farms that provide employment opportunities and fresh produce in food deserts.
"Access to fresh, affordable food should not be limited by where you live or how much you make," said Dan Weidenbenner, executive director of Mill Village Farms. "Mill Village and the Food Share program is ensuring every family has access to fresh fruits and vegetables. We are so grateful for Duke Energy standing by our side to enable this nourishing work."
In addition to Greenville, the funding to FoodShare South Carolina will support food box distribution in Cherokee, Chesterfield, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Lee, Marlboro, Spartanburg, Union, Williamsburg and York counties.
Duke Energy employees and retirees will also be volunteering their time and efforts with these and other organizations throughout the month to assist in packing and distributing food boxes, as well as providing sweat equity to other feeding programs in their neighborhoods.
"Duke Energy is committed to building vibrant communities across the state," Callahan said. "As we approach the holiday season, we hope folks join us in doing what they can to assist those in our communities who might need a helping hand."
The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts, and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. More information about the foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at duke-energy.com/foundation.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America's largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2021 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' "America's Best Employers" list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.