Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and the Latino Restaurant Association (LRA) held a meal distribution event at Mercy Hospital Southwest in Bakersfield and Adventist Health Delano Regional Medical Center. Hundreds of healthcare workers received a free meal provided by local Latino-owned restaurants. The events were made possible thanks to a grant from SoCalGas to LRA's Feed Frontliners Program, which provides support to healthcare workers and restaurants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield is overwhelmed by the generosity of the SoCalGas and the LRA," said Toni Harper, vice president at Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield. "As we continue to weather the pandemic, our caregivers are working tirelessly to ensure every patient and family have the best care.  A gesture such as this by SoCalGas and the LRA renews their spirit and for that, we are eternally grateful."

"This pandemic has impacted all of us in different ways. Our goal with these events is to express our appreciation for healthcare workers and support local restaurant owners whose businesses have been affected by the pandemic," said Robert Duchow, public affairs manager at SoCalGas. "We are proud to continue supporting the communities we serve every day."

SoCalGas employees from Bakersfield also volunteered at the events, distributing meals and care packages to healthcare workers. 

Meals for the events were prepared by LRA member restaurants, La Costa in Bakersfield, and by Hole-in-One in Delano. SoCalGas' grant to the Feed Frontliners Program helped fund the purchases of the meals, which will support the restaurants whose business has been impacted by the pandemic

"The Latino Restaurant Association is so thankful to SoCalGas for partnering with us to bring our Feed Frontliners Program to the Bakersfield and Delanocommunity," said Lilly Rocha, LRA Board Chair. "SoCalGas has been with us from the beginning, starting with a handful of meals to local ICU units to 250 meals at Adventist Health Delano Regional Medical Center and Mercy Hospital respectively. The strength of the program is in supporting two vulnerable and impacted communities - frontline healthcare workers combating COVID-19 every day and restaurants who are struggling to stay open."

SoCalGas is dedicated to supporting the health, safety, and wellness of our community. In addition to supporting the LRA's Feed Frontliners Program events, the utility has donated more than $2 million to nonprofit organizations to support the region's workforce, feed the hungry, provide bill assistance to customers, and more as part of the COVID-19 recovery.