Southern California Gas Co. Tuesday announced “Giving Tuesday” donations totaling $100,000 to support food and holiday toy distributions hosted by three Los Angeles County nonprofits.

The nationwide day of supporting charities — always on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving — inspired the utility to support Alma Family Services, Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND) and the Mid Valley Family YMCA.

Since March, SoCalGas has donated more than $3.2 million to more than 200 nonprofit organizations for COVID-19 recovery efforts.

“This Giving Tuesday is important more than ever, especially around the holidays, a time of need for many, and this year is no exception,” said Andy Carrasco, the utility’s vice president of communications, local government and community affairs. “I know personally that these contributions will help ease some of the worries our neighbors are experiencing in this unprecedented time.”

Alma Family Services provides a range of services for families, including those with special needs. The organization plans to use the SoCalGas donation to help pay for food and holiday toy distributions in East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.

“During the holiday season, families struggling with multiple stressors cannot afford to dedicate any resources outside of their basic needs,” AFS President and CEO Lourdes Caracoza said. “This donation has come at a critical time in an unprecedented year in which children and their families’ needs have been exacerbated by the pandemic.”

MEND has provided services in Los Angeles County for nearly 50 years, including the operation of a food bank, homeless care services and a clothing center. It will use the donation to help address food insecurity.

“Today is Giving Tuesday, a day when the world comes together to provide hope for the most vulnerable,” MEND President Janet Marinaccio said. “Receiving such a generous gift from Southern California Gas Company on this day means so much to us. It not only is doubled because of a challenge match we received, but also provides incredible relief for thousands of people who line up at MEND every week in need of food.

“This year has been especially challenging because the food supply chain is overloaded,” she said. “We have also seen a drastic drop in donated goods because of canceled food drives. For the first time, MEND has had to purchase volumes of food to meet the demand. We are truly grateful for the partnership of SoCalGas.”

The Mid Valley Family YMCA also plans to use its share of the donation for food distribution.

“Since the beginning of this pandemic the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles has continued to serve the needs of the community by providing meals to children and families, establishing digital hubs for internet access to close the digital divide as well as providing emergency childcare for children of first responders and other essential workers,” said Lionnel Zaragoza, senior branch executive of the Mid Valley YMCA in Van Nuys.

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