SECO Energy recently pledged $25,500 to local food banks based on the increased number of Central Florida residents who have been affected by the COVID-19 national emergency. The $25,500 donation was collected through SECO’s Pennies from Heaven program which is funded through members who round up their electric bills and by SECO Energy employees who donate to the program.
As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, SECO’s business model aligns with the seven cooperative principles and during this time of economic hardship Concern for Community is essential. The funds will be distributed to 12 area food banks in Citrus, Lake, Marion and Sumter counties* to help the organizations replenish their shelves. With national unemployment numbers skyrocketing due to the stay-at-home order to fight the spread of COVID-19, more and more Central Florida residents need assistance through local food banks.
|Citrus County $3,000 divided among:
Salvation Army of Citrus County
Daystar Life Center
Community Food Bank
|Lake County $7,500 divided among:
Salvation Army of Lake County
Leesburg Food Bank
Faith Neighborhood Center, Inc.
|Marion County $7,500 divided among:
Salvation Army of Marion County
Interfaith Emergency Services
St. Theresa’s Catholic Church Social Services
|Sumter County $7,500 divided among:
Salvation Army of Sumter County
Hope Ministries Center, Inc.
Wildwood Food Pantry
*Funding amounts based on number of members served in each county
Members enrolled in Pennies from Heaven have agreed to round up their monthly bills to the next dollar and donate those pennies to the program. The donated pennies can be used to fund local, worthy causes and offer bill payment assistance to their fellow members. The funds stay within SECO’s service area. SECO employees also support the Pennies from Heaven program through internal fundraising efforts.
CEO Jim Duncan stated, “To help members during the COVID-19 pandemic, SECO Energy has waived late payment fees, offered flexible payment arrangement timeframes and allocated bill payment assistance dollars to local United Ways and social service agencies through Florida 211. We also wanted to do more to aid the communities in our service area. Local food banks are struggling to meet the increased demand. The Pennies from Heaven donation will help restock empty shelves and feed those who are waiting to go back to work or haven’t received their stimulus or unemployment check yet.”
Duncan urged members to consider a Pennies from Heaven donation. He continued, “I support Pennies from Heaven myself as a member as do many of our employees who are not SECO members. The funds donated through the Pennies from Heaven program are dollars that stay local and help your fellow cooperative neighbors.”
To learn more about Pennies from Heaven, to enroll or to make a one-time donation added to your electric bill, visit SECOEnergy.com>Your Co-op>Pennies from Heaven. If you’d prefer to write a check, please send it to SECO Energy at 330 S US Highway 301, Sumterville, FL 33585.
The Pennies from Heaven program also provides dollars every quarter to local United Ways chapters and social service agencies for bill payment assistance for members. Requests for assistance are initiated by calling 2-1-1 or visiting 211.org. Second quarter funds were just recently allocated so dollars are available for member bill payment assistance.
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