SoCalGas volunteers and the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) rolled up their sleeves to distribute groceries for local seniors this week. In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and our continued commitment to investing in our communities we donated $10,000 to the organization.
Volunteers and LTSC delivered boxes of food to more than 150 seniors as part of the LTSC’s Senior Service program. This program supports seniors at the Little Tokyo Towers, a subsidized senior housing community for qualifying seniors.
“We are so proud to be able to come together in support of seniors in our Asian and Pacific Islander community,” said SoCalGas managing attorney Avisha Patel. “As the President of CAPE (Community of Asians and Pacific Islanders), SoCalGas’ API-based employee resource group, I’m proud to see SoCalGas employees who want to volunteer and provide assistance to this vulnerable population.”
The food was provided by the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. Each box included canned fruit and vegetables, beans, rice, dry milk, cereal, cheese, juice, and yogurt.
“These groceries will go a long way for our low-income seniors. Some are still navigating through the pandemic and not only that, have to face recent inflation prices while living on a small, fixed income,” said Patel. “We will continue to provide our energy, time, financial support, and focus our efforts in areas where we can make a difference. “
LTSC’s Director of Service Programs Margaret Shimada said, “Most of them live on limited income, having food like this, sustains them. We’ve had residents here who really have nothing. The food bank and other delivery meal programs are really a lifeline.”
This year, our donation will help with ongoing mental health services provided by LTSC. Shimada said these resources will help many seniors who’ve experienced isolation during the pandemic. The organization has nearly a dozen multi-lingual therapists onsite.
“Mental health support is huge. A lot of our residents, if they go to therapy, it’s like $200 and they don’t have bilingual therapists. We have trained bilingual therapists who speak Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, so they are more comfortable.” She continued, “SoCalGas steps up every time, it’s partnerships like this, that sustains not only our program, but our staff, knowing there are people out there and we aren’t doing it alone.”
In the last five years, we’ve given more than $73,000 to LTSC and we’ll continue to support its mission to provide social welfare and community development services to assist low-income individuals and other persons in need.
Our partnership with LTSC is part of the company's ASPIRE 2045 sustainability strategy, which includes a commitment to invest $50 million over the next 5 years to drive positive change in diverse and underserved communities. Last year, SoCalGas contributed $9.6 million in total community investment, with $4.8 million supporting health & human services, and $2.3 million supporting education causes.