LOS ANGELES, June 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), Homeboy Industries, and Alma Family Services today hosted a drive-thru meal distribution event to benefit East Los Angeles families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was made possible in part thanks to a $25,000 donation from SoCalGas to Homeboy Industries’ Feed HOPE program, which provides meals to Angelenos facing food insecurity due to the pandemic. More than 5,000 meals were distributed to 1,000 families through Alma Family Services’ coordination of a collaborative event with other local community organizations. Please see here for photos from the event.

«The COVID-19 pandemic has been met with heartrending and widespread hunger among hardworking families in East Los Angeles,» said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. «I am working with Alma Family Services and SoCalGas to make sure that families don’t go hungry. I am committed to fighting hunger, and I want people to know that if you need sustenance, we are here for you.»

«As we navigate through this pandemic, it is important that we come together to help the most vulnerable members of our communities,» said Trisha Muse, director of community relations at SoCalGas. «At SoCalGas we are proud to support this event by not only feeding our community, with the help of Alma Family Services, but by also helping Homeboy Industries provide meaningful work for their café and bakery employees.»

Since 1992, Homeboy Industries has helped former gang members and inmates have an opportunity to acquire job skills and seek employment in a safe, supportive environment. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization launched the Feed HOPE program to give back to the community while bringing in funds to keep their employees working and their businesses running. Homeboy Industries has been partnering with businesses and organizations from the nonprofit and public sectors to create and deliver prepackaged, healthy meals to those suffering food insecurity in Los Angeles through this program. The meals provided at today’s event were made by men and women who have completed Homeboy Industries’ 18-month program and are currently part of their Feed HOPE initiative. SoCalGas’ donation to the program, will help the organization hire and train employees for their Homegirl Café and Homeboy Bakery.

«We are grateful for the partnership with SoCalGas, the Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis and Alma Family Services, in support of our Feed HOPE project,» said Thomas Vozzo, CEO of Homeboy Industries. «The collaboration highlights the commitment and dedication to ensuring services and care are provided to the Los Angeles communities we serve. This work is more important than ever, especially because of the social and economic effects of COVID-19. Ongoing, critical services to address such things as food scarcity is an important focus for so many of us who are—at this moment—working with those on the margins.»

Since 1975, Alma Family Services has provided a wide range of supportive services in Los Angeles County. Alma Family Services, which is dedicated to advancing the quality of life of families and individuals coping with a range of needs, has mobilized resources to help those most impacted by the pandemic. In partnership with Supervisor Hilda Solis and other elected officials as well as systems of care, Alma Family Services is helping families cope with the impact this crisis is having on all life domains, including food security, which can also trigger significant emotional angst for families who are already experiencing multiple stresses.

«The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated social and economic inequities, hitting those most vulnerable among us extremely hard,» said Diego Rodrigues, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Alma Family Services. «Alma is pleased to have the opportunity to provide resources to our community members through innovative partnerships with local organizations. We are grateful for LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ leadership and SoCalGas’ generosity which helped feed 1,000 families in the East Los Angeles Area. Alma is proud to serve alongside those investing in our most impacted communities during these unprecedented times.»

SoCalGas employees also volunteered at the event, distributing meals and sharing information on customer assistance programs. The utility also donated four pieces of commercial cooking equipment to Homeboy Industries to help support their operations, in addition to this $25,000 donation.

To date, 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’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit www.socalgas.com/coronavirus.

About SoCalGas  

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’ 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 Homeboy Industries

Homeboy Industries is the largest and preeminent gang rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. For 32 years, the organization has offered an «exit ramp» for those stuck in a cycle of violence and incarceration, helping them develop the strength and skills to transform their lives and become contributing members of our community. The organization’s holistic approach, with free services and programs, supports nearly 9000 men and women per year as they work to overcome their pasts, reimagine their futures, and break the intergenerational cycle of gang violence. Therapeutic and educational offerings (case management, counseling, and classes), practical services (e.g., tattoo removal, work readiness, and legal assistance), and job training-focused businesses (e.g., Homeboy Bakery, Homegirl Café & Catering, and Homeboy Electronics Recycling) provide healing and alternatives to gang life, while creating more inclusive and healthier communities. 

About Alma Family Services – Providing Quality Services to Families for Forty Five Years

Alma Family Services was established in 1975 in East Los Angeles by parents to provide, along with other purposes, a comprehensive range of multilingual community-based services for families including those with special needs. Since its inception, Alma has a «whatever it takes» tradition of multilingual, culturally competent services to meet client’s needs in their homes and residential facilities, schools, social and vocational programs, juvenile facilities, and other settings as appropriate. Alma has expanded services to additional communities through 16 service locations in the County of Los Angeles and one (1) service location in the Jurupa Area of Riverside County. Alma also provides mental health services which are functionally integrated within community health facilities and domestic violence programs in the greater East Los Angeles and San Gabriel communities including The Wellness Center at the Historic General Hospital Center in Boyle Heights.

About Southern California Gas Co.: Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 145 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.6 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.

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SOURCE Southern California Gas Company