October 18, 2022

BHE Renewables Fights Hunger in the Imperial Valley

IMPERIAL – In response to record high inflation and increasing demand for Imperial Valley Food Bank’s services, BHE Renewables has graciously contributed funds to purchase two truckloads full of food to feed the Imperial County, along with ensuring 200 local students have enough food on weekends to support them during the school year.

The donation was received at the annual Harvest Bowl dinner when Marketing and Community Relations Manager Bari Bean of BHE Renewables presented a check to the I.V. Food Bank for $100,000 on behalf of the BHE Foundation. “As an organization, we are proud to support the tremendous work the Imperial Valley Food Bank is doing, and through this donation, support those struggling with food insecurity in the Imperial Valley,” said Bean. “From volunteering time, to supporting initiatives such as these, our team will continue to be a catalyst to help those in need in the Imperial Valley.”

“We appreciate this partnership with BHE Renewables to help further Imperial Valley Food Bank’s mission of fighting hunger and bringing health and hope to the Imperial Valley,” said Sara Griffen, Executive Director for the I.V. Food Bank. “It is wonderful to see a local company with such a large corporate presence match the support we’ve often relied on from individual donors.”

The I.V. Food Bank continues to feed a record number of Imperial County residents - about 25,000 each month.

“The pandemic was a test of our resiliency, but current supply chain issues, rising inflation costs, and high transportation expenses have resulted in empty shelves in our warehouse,” Griffen said. “We simply do not have enough food to give out to the number of people at our distribution sites.”

For 31 years, the I.V. Food Bank has relied heavily on donations from various sources to feed the community; however, current circumstances now require the food bank to purchase truckloads of food to feed Imperial County.

Based on the rising cost of food, the local nonprofit has announced they will need to dedicate at least $1 million to food purchases this year to keep up with rising demand for food assistance locally, explained Griffen.

“BHE Foundation's gift is an important first step in us reaching our goal of $1 million to feed the community,” Griffen said.

The Berkshire Hathaway Energy Foundation funded the $100,000 donation to the I.V. Food Bank, with $60,000 dedicated to purchasing food for the community and $40,000 directed to funding the organization’s Weekend Backpack Program.

A total of 200 Imperial County students struggling with food insecurity will now have nutritious food to take home every weekend during the school year thanks to the generous contribution made to the Weekend Backpack Program by BHE Renewables, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

Beyond BHE Renewables philanthropic support, their staff also provided in-person assistance during a volunteer day held at the I.V. Food Bank in late September.

Employees from BHE Renewables’ 10 geothermal facilities operating as CalEnergy Operations in Calipatria and staff from other Berkshire Hathaway Energy owned facilities throughout the country worked together as a group of 20 inside the food bank’s local warehouse.

BHE Renewables volunteers filled hundreds of Weekend Backpacks and boxes for a community food distribution on Wednesday, September 28.

“We are grateful to BHE Renewables for recognizing the need to address food insecurity in the community and we look forward to hosting their volunteers again in the future,” Griffen said.