Meals on Wheels West Honors Two SoCalGas Employees with 2019 Community Champion Award

Local chapter of Meals on Wheels recognizes two SoCalGas volunteers for nearly 15 years of service in Santa Monica

May 24, 2019

LOS ANGELES, May 24, 2019 – Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced that it has received the 2019 Community Champions by Meals on Wheels West (MOW West). Two employees, John Thompson, storage operations manager for SoCalGas, started delivering meals every Friday in 2004, and Sam Kunemoto, principal engineer for SoCalGas, joined the effort in 2005.

MOW West’s Annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast was hosted by The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica today. The organization recognized SoCalGas for its support through their corporate philanthropy program and Thompson and Kunemoto for their more than 14 years of service. A photo is available here.

“For more than a decade, Thompson and Kunemoto have steadfastly supported our mission each week by delivering meals to home-bound individuals living in Santa Monica,” Kevin McNulty, Chief Administrative Officer for Meals on Wheels West. “There is hidden hunger even in the most affluent communities. In 2018, MOW West served nearly 122,000 meals to more than 460 individuals and the need will continue to grow. Meals on Wheels West is grateful for the support and friendship of John, Sam and SoCalGas.”

“SoCalGas is proud of Thompson and Kunemoto for generously giving their time and energy volunteering in the community,” said Mike Harriel, regional public affairs manager for SoCalGas. “In addition, our company supports their volunteer efforts through the Volunteer Incentive Program, a corporate philanthropic program.”

“Sam and I appreciate the opportunity to be part of the great work at MOW West,” said John Thompson. “Volunteering is an enjoyable activity, we get to meet people, make new friends and deliver food that is essential to living. It doesn’t take too much time, plus it feels good to support such an important mission.”

In 2018, SoCalGas invested more than $7.5 million to nearly 1,000 organizations across its service territory, benefiting in part underserved community groups in African American, Hispanic American, Asian Pacific American, and Native American communities. For more information about SoCalGas' charitable giving, please visit the 2018 Community Giving Report.

Since 1974, MOW West has provided home-delivered meals to the veterans, disabled, ill, mobility impaired and seniors who are homebound and unable to provide for themselves. Home delivered meals reduces hunger and isolation for our homebound neighbors. MOW West serves residents living in Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Venice and Marina Del Rey. It is a 501 (c)(3) not for profit organization. Our Mission Statement: Meals on Wheels West provides community-based services that nourish and enrich the lives of our home-delivered neighbors, of all ages, by providing nutritious meals, emergency preparedness and referrals to other services that promote independent living and wellbeing.

About SoCalGas

Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable natural gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Natural gas delivered through the company's pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians— about 45 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.  

SoCalGas’ vision is to be the cleanest natural gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. In support of that vision, SoCalGas is committed to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its natural gas system infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2014 through 2018, the company invested nearly $6.5 billion to upgrade and modernize its natural gas system to enhance safety and reliability. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook. 

For further information: Vanessa Skillman, Office of Media and Public Information, SoCalGas, (213) 244-2442, vskillman@semprautilities.com; Nicole Shorthouse, Development and Community Outreach, Meals on Wheels West, (310) 394-5133 x6, Nicole@mealsonwheelswest.org