June 28, 2023 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is awarding grants of $250,000 to $1 million to 21 community-based nonprofit organizations regionwide, enabling them to expand essential services for vulnerable residents who struggle with basic needs. The grants stemmed from the SDG&E Community Assistance Fund, a $10 million shareholder-funded charitable initiative aimed at improving housing stability and food security. This grant program is the largest one-year charity initiative that SDG&E has ever had.
“Beyond delivering clean, safe and reliable energy service every day, SDG&E is also passionate about improving lives in the communities we serve,” said SDG&E CEO Caroline Winn. “Shelter and food are fundamental, and yet many in our region struggle with the cost of these basic needs. With these grants, we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to support the missions of so many dedicated local organizations to help expand essential services that are desperately needed right now.”
While inflation is easing across the rest of the country, prices in the San Diego metro region continue to outpace other metros. San Diego’s inflation rate is the second highest in the nation. Additionally, the San Diego housing market consistently ranks as one of the least affordable in the nation.
“The past few years have been difficult for many people in our region because the cost of living has skyrocketed,” said Anahid Brakke, CEO of the San Diego Hunger Coalition, who served on the advisory committee for the Community Assistance Fund. “As a result, community-based organizations are struggling to keep up with a surge in demand for assistance while, at the same time, balancing their own higher operating costs with a post-pandemic drop in charitable donations. The grants from SDG&E could not come at a better time for San Diego County individuals and families.”
According to the San Diego Hunger Coalition, as of December 2022, 23% or nearly one in four residents in San Diego County, live in a household that can’t afford to eat three healthy meals a day. People of color, particularly Hispanic/Latino, Black and Native Americans, continue to experience food insecurity at a higher rate than the rest of San Diego County.
The grants will allow local nonprofit organizations to expand a wide range of essential programs, ranging from emergency rent assistance and legal advocacy for eviction prevention, to food pantries and meals for seniors. The grant recipients serve a diverse client base, including military families, older adults, and refugees.
The Community Assistance Fund builds on SDG&E’s long history of giving back to local communities. Over the past 12 years, SDG&E has invested more than $100 million in shareholder dollars to support workforce development, public safety, environmental stewardship, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, among other causes. Most of SDG&E’s charitable giving is directed to diverse and underserved communities.
For a list of the grant recipients, visit sdge.com/community-assistance-fund.
The San Diego Foundation is administering the grants on behalf of SDG&E. SDG&E has worked with the foundation for many years to address community needs and tackle social inequities, including launching the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund and the Black Community Investment Fund. To ensure an open and transparent grant selection process, SDG&E and SDF convened an advisory committee of subject matter experts to review grant recommendations.
SDG&E is an innovative energy delivery company that provides clean, safe and reliable energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The company is committed to creating a sustainable future by increasing energy delivered from low or zero-carbon sources; accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles; and investing in innovative technologies to ensure the reliable operation of the region’s infrastructure for generations to come. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra (NYSE: SRE). For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.
About San Diego Foundation
San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region. Our strategic priorities include advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity, building resilient communities, and delivering world-class philanthropy to realize our vision of just, equitable and resilient communities. For more than 47 years, SDF and its donors have granted more than $1.4 billion to support nonprofit organizations strengthening our community. Learn more at SDFoundation.org.
Lorena Nava Ruggero, San Diego Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org, 619-814-1365