The 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, according to a news release.
The funds will be distributed to 12 area food banks in Lake, Sumter, Marion and Citrus counties to help the organizations replenish their shelves. In Lake County, $7,500 will be divided among Salvation Army of Lake County, Leesburg Food Bank and Faith Neighborhood Center Inc. In Sumter County, $7,500 will be divided among Salvation Army of Sumter County, Hope Ministries Center Inc. and Wildwood Food Pantry.
“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,” SECO Energy CEO Jim Duncan says in the release. “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.”
The Pennies from Heaven program also provides dollars every quarter to United Way 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 recently allocated, so dollars are available for member bill payment assistance.
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. Send donation checks to SECO Energy, 330 S. U.S. Highway 301, Sumterville, FL 33585.