Sempra donation supports local food bank, other Texas nonprofits

  • The Southeast Texas Food Bank received a monetary donation to feed local children during the ongoing health crisis.
    The Southeast Texas Food Bank received a monetary donation to feed local children during the ongoing health crisis.
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Sempra Energy announced March 23 that the Sempra Energy Foundation would donate up to $500,000 to help small to medium-sized nonprofits in Texas as they continue to serve critical needs related to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

“Many nonprofit organizations are faced with unprecedented demand for their services due to the current COVID-19 situation,” said Dennis V. Arriola, board chair of the Sempra Energy Foundation, and executive vice president and group president of Sempra Energy. “These grants will help them to continue serving the needs of vulnerable populations who need their support now more than ever.”

The grants for Texas nonprofits will be part of a larger $1.75 million Nonprofit Hardship Fund from the Sempra Energy Foundation that will be made available to charities in the areas of the United States where Sempra Energy and its family of companies operate, including California, Texas and Louisiana.

“Texans from all walks of life are coming together to defeat COVID-19 and its economic impact,” said Texas State Senator Kelly Hancock, the Chairman of the Senate Business & Commerce Committee. “I appreciate the Sempra Energy Foundation for stepping up to help local Texas nonprofits and communities with resources to recover from the impact of the coronavirus. I am confident that strong leadership from Texas citizens, employers, and charitable foundations will expedite the recovery process and get our communities and economies back on track.”

The Sempra Energy Foundation’s Nonprofit Hardship Fund will provide grants of up to $50,000 to nonprofit organizations serving populations affected by COVID-19. This could include, among other things: support for the increased volume of services being provided to clients, such as meals for homebound seniors; support for unexpected expenses associated with fulfilling those services; and/or support to sustain operations and services to populations impacted by COVID-19 amid pandemic-related cancellation of major fundraisers. 

“Sempra continues to show its generosity and commitment to standing in solidarity with some of the neediest members of the Southeast Texas community,” said Dan Maher, president and CEO of the Southeast Texas Food Bank. “After Hurricane Harvey’s impact, Sempra showed its great corporate spirit and rallied around our community in a substantial way. It has been proactive in working with us to address community needs ever since. So, while it is not surprising that Sempra would wish to be a partner as we respond to the unique challenges of the coronavirus, it is truly impressive that at a moment when philanthropy is expected to dip because of the national scope of this crisis, Sempra has risen up to make a huge investment in the health and well-being of children in Southeast Texas.”

Sempra Energy began operating in Texas more than 20 years ago. In May 2019, the company acquired a 50% limited-partnership interest in Sharyland Utilities, LLC. Sempra Energy is also the majority owner of Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (Oncor), the largest electric transmission and distribution utility in Texas, serving more than 10 million consumers. In 2019, Sempra Energy also supported Oncor’s acquisition of InfraREIT, Inc. Through the acquisitions of Oncor, InfraREIT and Sharyland, Sempra Energy has made investments of more than $10 billion in Texas.

Additionally, Sempra Energy’s subsidiary Sempra LNG is developing the proposed Port Arthur LNG export project in Jefferson County, Texas. Port Arthur LNG is a multibillion-dollar infrastructure investment that will enable the delivery of natural gas sourced from Texas to world markets. The project will also support manufacturing, small businesses and the community by creating thousands of jobs and contributing to the local economy. Sempra LNG develops and builds natural gas liquefaction facilities and is pursuing the development of five strategically located LNG projects in North America with a goal of delivering up to 45 million tonnes per annum of clean natural gas to the largest world markets, which would make Sempra Energy one of North America’s largest developers of LNG-export infrastructure facilities.

The Nederland Chamber of Commerce praised Sempra and Port Arthur LNG for the local grant monies.

“Sempra aand Port Arthur LNG recognize the struggle facing all of us at this challenging time,” the Chamber stated March 25. “These funds will help ease the burdens of those nonprofit organizations serving people and families significantly affected by COVID-19 in Texas.

Visit the Sempra Energy Foundation website, www.sempraenergyfoundation.org, for information about the foundation’s Nonprofit Hardship Fund, and to learn how to apply for a grant.