LOS ANGELES, July 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced the company has donated $25,000 to local non-profit, LA Conservation Corps for the organization's Food Waste Prevention program. This program collects as much as 9,000 pounds of excess edible and inedible food from local restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores per day. The edible food is then provided to MEND, a non-profit who distributes the edible food to families in need in the San Fernando Valley, serving over 33,000 individuals monthly. The inedible food is donated to local community gardens and in the future will also be given to LA Compost at Cottonwood Urban Farm in Panorama City and the Kroger distribution center's anerobic digestion facility in Compton, for clean energy generation. Please see photos of Corpsmembers picking up and delivering food items here.
"The number of people experiencing food insecurity in Los Angeles has grown at an alarming rate due to the economic impacts of COVID-19," said Frank Lopez, senior governmental affairs manager at SoCalGas and board member at the LA Conservation Corps. "By providing LA Conservation Corps with this grant, we're able to enlist our youth to help us respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by feeding families in need and making use of food that would otherwise end up in a landfill."
"We are so grateful to SoCalGas for helping us continue this vital program, especially now as more and more people in our communities are struggling with food insecurity," said Wendy Butts, CEO of the LA Conservation Corps. "I am incredibly proud of and inspired by the selfless manner in which our Corpsmembers and staff have answered the call to serve those in need since the start of the pandemic. We hope to continue to build innovative and meaningful partnerships like this to affect real change."
Entering its second year of operation, LA Conservation Corps' Food Waste Prevention Program aims to provide a comprehensive prevention, recovery, and recycling solution to reduce food waste and increase food security for people in need. The program uses two refrigerated trucks, operated by two Corpsmembers to collect as much as 1,100-4,500 pounds of food per day from 30-40 donors, four days per week and delivers the food to local organizations who have a need.
The Corps Food Waste Prevention Program helped to increase MEND's capacity by providing pick-up and delivery from additional donors thus increasing the number of people MEND is able to serve from 20,000 to 33,200 individuals per month.
MEND food bank distributes the edible food to individuals in need in the Arleta, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, San Fernando, and Sun Valley areas.
In the future, the Corps plans to provide any excess inedible food to LA Compost at Cottonwood Urban Farm in Panorama City and the Kroger distribution center's anerobic digestion facility in Compton. Residents in San Fernando Valley neighborhoods such as, Porter Ranch and Sylmar, who are adjacent to the Sunshine Canyon Landfill, will benefit from the reduction in landfilled food waste and emissions from transportation to move food waste to the landfill. Composting at the Cottonwood Urban Farm benefits the residents of Panorama City and the Kroger distribution facility's anaerobic digester's production of clean energy benefits Compton residents.
Since the program began in 2018, the LA Conservation Corps has been able to;
divert nearly one million pounds of food waste from landfill
rescue and distribute 787,500 pounds of edible food to those in need
compost 14,043 pounds of inedible food between waste hauler and local community gardens
Last year, SoCalGas donated more than $7.6 million to community organizations, local non-profits and other groups. SoCalGas employees contributed more than $750,000 through payroll deductions and performed over 24,000 logged volunteer hours for various community groups throughout its service territory. Please see SoCalGas's 2019 Community Giving Summary for more information.
Since March, SoCalGas has donated more than $2 million to nonprofit organizations to support the region's workforce, feed the hungry, provide bill assistance to customers, and more as part of its COVID-19 recovery efforts. For more information on SoCalGas's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit www.socalgas.com/coronavirus.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Gas delivered through the company's pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians— about 45 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas's vision is to be the cleanest gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. In support of that vision, SoCalGas is committed to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2014 through 2018, the company invested nearly $6.5 billion to upgrade and modernize its pipeline system to enhance safety and reliability. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy(NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.
About LA Conservation Corps
Transforming Youth. Enhancing Communities. The Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LA Corps) is an environmentally focused youth development organization. For over 30 years, we have been unleashing the power of youth to restore the urban environment and preserve natural resources on the coast and in the forests and mountains surrounding Los Angeles. Every year hundreds of youth and young adults from all over the Los Angeles area known as Corpsmembers make Los Angeles' underserved urban neighborhoods better places to live, work, learn, and play. They build parks and community gardens, plant trees, restore habitats, clean alleys, recycle and much more. In the course of restoring the environment for future generations and serving the communities they live in, youth are empowered to chart their own courses towards new opportunities, newfound strength and direction, and a meaningful career through access to education, job training, and support services. For more information, visit www.lacorps.org or connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @lacorps and witness the #lacorpspower of Corpsmembers.