SDG&E’s signature employee volunteer program, Environmental All Stars, is finding a way to help the community, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees and their families have been volunteering with ProduceGood to glean fresh citrus from private orchards and donate that produce to people experiencing food insecurity.
On a typical Saturday pre-COVID-19, you could find more than 100 SDG&E employees and their families volunteering to restore habitats, clean up canyons, give communities a facelift, or build school gardens. Through the Environmental All-Stars program, SDG&E employees regularly volunteer their time for a variety of projects in the community.
After a few-month hiatus, employees are back to volunteering, albeit in a very different way than before.
Thanks to a partnership with local nonprofit organization ProduceGood, small teams of employees and their household units have been able to spend their Saturday mornings once again giving back to the community.
Operating outdoors with a group size of ten or fewer, wearing face coverings and limiting volunteers to employees and their household unit, SDG&E has been able to maintain compliance with current public health orders and keep everyone safe.
With many San Diegans facing economic hardship during the pandemic, SDG&E is partnering with ProduceGood to address food insecurity while gleaning produce that might otherwise go to waste. Over the course of three weeks, SDG&E employees visited private orchards in Valley Center and Rancho Santa Fe to glean and recover 3,098 pounds or 9,294 servings of produce.
Produce gleaned in Valley Center was delivered to O’Side Kitchen Collaborative and produce from Rancho Santa Fe was delivered to Jewish Family Services. Both receiving agencies use the fresh produce for prepared meals and fresh food distribution directly to community members in need.
As a small organization, ProduceGood relies on hundreds of volunteers to sustain their programs, which seek to pair excess food with food distribution partners. You can learn more about opportunities to help at their volunteer page.
We’re very proud of the work our employees have done with ProduceGood, and their work to benefit their community isn’t going to stop there. Our Environmental All-Stars will continue volunteer efforts in September by participating in I Love A Clean San Diego’s Coastal Cleanup Day, providing employees and their households with the tools and training to conduct their own neighborhood cleanups.