CORPUS CHRISTI – With essential employees hard at work day in and day out and most of the county staying home, it can be hard to show appreciation for those workers risking their lives to keep others safe. But that doesn’t mean that their efforts have gone unnoticed.

Cheniere Energy, Inc. announced on April 16 that it has pledged $150,000 to organizations in the Coastal Bend region providing essential services to those most at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. These donations are being made as part of Cheniere’s more than $1 million commitment to organizations across the globe in response to COVID-19 outbreak.

“We thank the brave and dedicated frontline workers caring for members of our community during this crisis and the local organizations continuing to provide critical services to the underserved,” said Ari Aziz, Cheniere’s vice president and general manager of the Corpus Christi LNG facility. “Local resources are strained, and we hope our contributions can help organizations continue their important work during this pandemic.”

As part of their larger #LNGives campaign, Cheniere’s $150,000 donation in the Coastal Bend is supporting two local groups providing meals and materials to those in need: The Coastal Bend Food Bank (CBFB) and the Salvation Army of the Coastal Bend.

Essential workers in the Coastal Bend have surely felt the love. On April 3, Cheniere donated 50 meals from Chick-fil-A to the healthcare workers of Driscoll Children’s Hospital, to thank them for their service.

They’ve also delivered meals to local government workers in Gregory and Portland who are keeping the community safe and healthy.

Cheniere said it is committed to its role as a responsible corporate leader and delivers on this promise by engaging in philanthropic activities that support the company’s values. For more information about Cheniere’s corporate giving, visit cheniere.com.

Another energy company in the area, Phillips 66, donated $20,000 to the CBFB as part of their $3 million commitment to COVID-19 relief efforts across the United States as well as the United Kingdom. Due to social distancing guidelines, a virtual presentation of the check took place April 14.

“I’m glad we’re stepping up because it affects not only the communities we work in but our employees and our way of life,” said Phillips 66 Area Supervisor Ron Grandstaff. “We live here, we work here, and we want to help the community thrive.”

Considered an essential social service, the CBFB and partner agencies have remained fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. They distribute food across 11 counties including McMullen, Live Oak, Bee, San Patricio, Aransas, Nueces, Jim Wells, Duval, Kleberg, Brooks and Kenedy. The CBFB is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies on food donations from local and regional producers, growers, distributors and retailers to supply its programs. Once donated, food is inspected, sorted and labeled. It is then repackaged for distribution to charities, food pantries, shelters and senior centers, to name a few.

Due to social distancing rules, the CBFB has relied on volunteers to drop off food to senior citizens and those who are homebound. They also are distributing via mobile pantries, allowing the public to pick up food without leaving their car.

According to CBFB Executive Director Bea Hanson, they have seen an increase in people who need their services during the pandemic, which makes the donations from Cheniere, Phillips 66 and other industries and businesses all the more timely. For every dollar that is donated, the CBFB can provide three meals to one person.

“We couldn’t do what we do if it weren’t for big companies such as Phillips 66 who care enough to help the communities that they serve,” she said. “We feel so grateful to them for supporting us because when we run out of food, we need the funds to be able to order more, and without funds, we couldn’t do it. So we are very grateful.”

Back in March, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV) also joined other businesses with a monetary donation to the CBFB. This was in request to a specific need for elderly neighbors and was designated for cleaning supplies and food staples.

GCGV has previously supported the food bank and other regional food pantries with contributions, helping with this most basic but crucial need.

“We are considering additional efforts to continue and possibly broaden that meaningful support of our community, to find ways to thank those who are helping others take care during this time,” GCGV’s Pubic and Governmental Affairs Manager Brandon Maxwell said. “Along those lines, we delivered Easter baskets for children staying at a Portland youth shelter and to residents at Pavilion Assisted Living Center. Portland’s finest – its police and firefighters – feasted on a special Easter delivery from Northshore Country Club courtesy of GCGV.

“These are simple acts of gratitude and encouragement are intended to help our community during these tough times.”