Despite historical low prices and hard times for oil and gas companies across the U.S., American companies are rallying to support their communities with donations of medical supplies, food, and computer equipment. Marathon Petroleum Company, for example, donated nearly 10,000 N95 masks to the University Medical Center of El Paso and the El Paso County Children’s Hospital. Overall, since late March, the company donated nearly 500,000 N95 respirator masks and gloves to dozens of hospitals and health care facilities across the United States. It also gave $1 million for the Red Cross disaster relief.
ExxonMobil gave $100,000 to the Carlsbad Municipal School District to provide internet access and laptops to low-income students. With school districts closed, ExxonMobil is helping with the transition to online learning and easing the burden on families and schools. ExxonMobil has also helped to provide personal protective equipment research and prototyping to support the need for face shields and reusable masks that are essential for critical care physicians, nurses, and support staff to remain healthy from the coronavirus.
Chevron donated $230,000 to several non-profits within the Permian Basin in New Mexico and Texas in late March. The funds will support the West Texas Food Bank and the Eddy and Lea County United Ways to provide food and housing security. The West Texas Food Bank distributes food to children, families and seniors through a network of over 80 partner agencies across 34,000 square miles of West Texas. The Eddy County United Way supports community needs through providing senior citizen meals, food for children and families, and housing security.
New Jersey Natural Gas made donations of $125,000 to community food banks in its service territory. The company provided $25,000 to the Interfaith Food Pantry and $100,000 in funding to the Fulfill Restaurant Partnership Program, which is delivering relief to distressed local businesses and food bank clients. Fulfill launched the Restaurant Partnership Program in mid-March in response to the coronavirus pandemic to help meet the demand for food. With thousands of meals no longer being prepared at soup kitchens and other programs that were forced to close, Fulfill partnered with local restaurants, which prepare single meals for people in need and, in return, receive a $5 per meal stipend from Fulfill. Through this partnership, Fulfill and local restaurants are feeding meals to children, seniors, veterans, and shut-ins. By teaming up with restaurants, Fulfill helps small businesses keep the lights on, pay their rent and employ workers longer.
Likewise, the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association donated a combined $50,000 to eight New Mexico non-profits to provide food, including grants to The Food Depot, Rio Grande Food Project, and Northwest New Mexico Seniors. With unemployment claims in the tens of millions in just under a month’s time, local food banks have been deluged with requests for emergency food boxes. For instance, the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico, which has provided and supported food programs for 37 years, has found that its supply chains have changed due to the coronavirus pandemic. With its building being closed due to social distancing rules, it set up a two-lane drive-through system for staff to deliver food while families remain inside their vehicles. The food bank had to institute its own delivery system since many of the food pantries it supplies are closed due to lack of staff and volunteers. Most of the food comes from the Department of Agriculture because grocery stores are being decimated of provisions and can provide few donations.
It is these donations as well as those from other energy industries that are helping the country to survive the worst pandemic in over 100 years. It will take everyone–Governments, industry, health providers and Americans alike–working together to get over the coronavirus outbreak and get back to normal lives and jobs. Americans are waiting for the chance to get back to making America great.