Southern California Gas Co. Thursday announced a $50,000 donation to the Latino Restaurant Association to support two Feeding Frontliners campaign events and the nonprofit’s new Restaurant Recovery Educational Boot Camp, which will provide free business education to about 100 minority restaurant owners.

The first Feeding Frontliners campaign event funded under the utility’s donation was held Thursday at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital. More than 550 healthcare workers received warm meals from three local restaurants, officials said.

“We are proud to show our continued appreciation to our community heroes while supporting local restaurants through our partnership with LRA,” said Andy Carrasco, vice president of communications, local government, and community affairs at SoCalGas.

“”We are also proud to sponsor LRA’s Educational Bootcamp program to help restaurant owners weather this storm,” he said. “The past year has been challenging for so many and we want to thank those who play an important role in serving our communities.”

LRA co-founder Lilly Rocha said the nonprofit launched is Feeding Frontliners campaign “as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to support minority-owned restaurants and bring a little joy to frontline workers. Through the generosity of community partners like SoCalGas, we have been able to expand our support to minority business owners.”

Since last March, SoCalGas and the LRA have provided more than 2,700 meals to healthcare workers in 10 medical centers and have supported nine minority-owned restaurants across Southern California through the campaign.

This week, LRA began accepting applications for its free Restaurant Recovery Educational Boot Camp, a six-week virtual program designed to provide eatery owners with tools and resources to grow their business. Sessions will be hosted in English and Spanish.

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