ATLANTA (April 7, 2020) – Gas South, one of the Southeast’s leading natural gas providers, announced it will donate more than $1 million this year to support families throughout Georgia and Florida impacted by COVID-19.
Because the need for community assistance is so urgent, Gas South will deploy $850,000 of COVID-19 relief funds in the month of April. Additionally, the company increased annual funding to four of its primary non-profit partners with the broadest capacity to reach those in our community affected by COVID-19: the United Way, Atlanta Community Food Bank, Heating Energy Assistance Team (HEAT) and YMCA of Metro Atlanta.
Also receiving immediate funding as part of Gas South’s ongoing mission to “Be a Fuel for Good” are Ser Familia, The Salvation Army and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
“The difficulties presented by COVID-19 to our community and nation are unprecedented, and we want to support our neighbors with these donations while encouraging others to join,” said Kevin Greiner, Gas South president and CEO. “We have partnered with each of these incredible organizations in the past, so we’re confident in their ability to put these donations to work effectively and immediately.”
While Gas South’s community assistance annual giving typically includes smaller donations to dozens of local causes over the course of a year – and focuses almost exclusively on programs for children in need – Gas South will now commit more dollars to fewer organizations while expanding the focus to also include programs providing utility payment assistance and support for unemployed restaurant and hotel workers.
The donations to these non-profit partners represent substantial increases over prior year funding, including:
- United Ways in Atlanta and Florida will receive $250,000, more than triple the funding provided by Gas South last year. This includes $150,000 to United Way of Greater Atlanta, which is directing some of its funding to address the digital divide – the significant disparities in students’ access to in-home learning devices and internet access – which is essential to enabling students to keep up with their schoolwork remotely. PowerMyLearning is one of the organizations aiding in this effort. Gas South’s relief funds also include $50,000 for unemployed restaurant workers in partnership with the Georgia Restaurant Association, and $50,000 to Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Miami.
- Atlanta Community Food Bank, which distributes more than 60 million meals across north Georgia, will be the beneficiary of $200,000 – 20 times the previous year’s amount. Funding will support feeding children who are out of school and have no access to school pantries and free/reduced lunches. This donation also supports the Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association to provide food for hotel workers.
- YMCA of Metro Atlanta, which provides programming for all ages and hunger relief for thousands of children and families, will receive $150,000 – more than four times the previous year’s funding. Gas South’s gift will provide essential childcare for first responders and healthcare staff at one location — serving up to 50 children — for eight weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Heating Energy Assistance Team (HEAT), which helps low-income families and individuals across Georgia pay their heating bills, will receive $150,000 – five times the amount Gas South donated last year. These funds will provide heat for over 1,000 individuals who are unable to pay their bills due to these extenuating circumstances.
- Ser Familia, which helps Latino youth, couples, parents and families through educational programs, will receive $75,000 – more than seven times the previous year’s donation. The funds will address basic needs of families in the Hispanic community impacted by COVID-19.
- The Salvation Army will receive $50,000, with $20,000 donated in April for COVID-19 relief efforts and $30,000 in October for Project Share, The Salvation Army’s utility assistance initiative.
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul will receive $45,000, which will go toward providing basic needs for families.
Each of the donations will be allocated to initiatives and programs that support families and children in our community most impacted by COVID-19. For example, grocery stores have become barren, and the need for food and supplies is so great, that the Atlanta Community Food Bank has become the main grocery store for families. Yet, it has been a struggle for the non-profit to keep its shelves stocked.
“With so many people stocking up at the grocery stores, we’ve lost about a third of what we normally get from stores and general donations,” says Kyle Waide, president and CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “This tremendous donation from Gas South will enable us to purchase nutritious food faster for our families in desperate need.”
The suspension of public school for the remainder of the year has put additional strain on parents, especially those who are on the front lines and not able to care for their children while working from home.
“Our childcare program is open to the brave individuals who are working to meet the needs of the community, including medical professionals, law enforcement, grocery workers, and others who cannot work from home at this time,” said Lauren Koontz, YMCA of Metro Atlanta president and CEO. “The support of Gas South enables the YMCA to truly deliver on our promise of service to those who turn to us for community and to those who turn to us for survival. We are extremely grateful for their commitment and contribution to our collective efforts during this crisis.”