The Duke Energy Foundation today announced a $1 million donation to assist Florida communities through COVID-19 initiatives and education grants.
The company’s $450,000 COVID-19-related grants address immediate social service and hunger relief needs resulting from the virus pandemic. Disbursed through 50 organizations, the funds will support more than 2,000 families by helping to pay gas or electric utility bills, and also will support programs that address food needs for all ages, children to seniors.
In addition, the Duke Energy Foundation recently granted $550,000 to 22 Florida-based organizations to support energy, engineering and environmental educational initiatives. Given the COVID-19 crisis, the Foundation has also provided each organization with the option to use the funds to address unforeseen operational challenges.
“These targeted investments, coupled with the actions Duke Energy has taken to help our customers during this challenging time, help fulfill critical community needs – and hopefully lessen the burden – for Floridians experiencing financial hardships during the virus pandemic,” said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida president.
Duke Energy Florida has taken additional steps to support customers during these unprecedented times, including not disconnecting service due to nonpayment and waiving late payment and returned payment fees.
“Heart of Florida United Way and the community it serves is grateful to have a partner like Duke Energy supporting us during this challenging time,” said Jeff Hayward, President & CEO of Heart of Florida United Way. “The amount of requests for assistance is unprecedented, and the contribution from Duke Energy will help support many families who are trying to keep their lives together.”
The largest COVID-19 response grants include:
- Citrus County United Way (Citrus County)
- Heart of Florida United Way (Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties)
- Lake/Sumter County United Way (Lake and Sumter counties)
- Marion County United Way (Marion County)
- Pasco United Way (Pasco County)
- United Way Suncoast (Pinellas County)
- Second Harvest Food Bank (Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Volusia and Brevard Counties)
- Seniors First Meals on Wheels (Orange County)
- St. Petersburg Free Clinic (Pinellas County)
- United Way of Central Florida (Hardee, Highlands and Polk counties)
- Volusia/Flagler County United Way (Volusia and Flagler counties)
For information on how to access utility bill pay assistance, visit the Duke Energy website with nonprofit organization contact information listed by county.
Utility bill pay assistance is not limited to Duke Energy bills. To learn more about Duke Energy’s response to the COVID-19 virus, please visit the company webpage.