Geothermal, Natural Gas Keeps Donations Fresh

Seasonal food drives keep the shelves stocked at the Houston Food Bank. But keeping the lights on and the freezers running requires money, or at least a hearty donation of electricity from the local utility. Calpine Corporation has donated electricity to the Houston Food Bank and its member agencies from December 1, 2004 to December 31, 2006.

This donation is Calpine’s first step toward making in-kind donations of its electricity to help serve the hungry and homeless. They plan to pursue similar programs with the Emergency Housing Consortium and Second Harvest Food Bank in San Jose, California, where the company is headquartered and operates 19 geothermal power plants at The Geysers in the Mayacamas Mountains. “We are in awe of this tremendous gift from Calpine Corporation, and its value goes way beyond its monetary one,” said Houston Food Bank President and CEO Brenda Kirk. “This donation allows us to take funding earmarked for utilities and redirect it to feeding the hungry in Houston and 17 additional counties across Texas. We estimate that Calpine’s donation will allow us to provide more than 2 million additional meals to those in need.” The Houston Food Bank is in its 22nd year of operation as a private, nonprofit organization that feeds the hungry by providing food and other essentials to more than 400 member programs in 18 southeast Texas counties. Since its inception, the Houston Food Bank has distributed more than 343 million pounds of food to pantries, shelters for the homeless, nutrition programs for children and the elderly, and disaster relief efforts. In addition to its food distribution activities, the Houston Food Bank provides nutrition education directly to those in need through programs including Kids Cafe and Operation Frontline. Demand for electricity is around-the-clock at the Houston Food Bank headquarters, a 73,000-square-foot warehouse facility that also houses the organization’s businesses offices and features 151,000 cubic feet of refrigeration and freezer space for storage of nonperishable items previous to distribution. Calpine’s support of the Houston Food Bank also included the donation of hundreds of pounds of food by company volunteers during Share Your Holidays Food Drives; the creation of a “Go Nuts” Food Drive at the new Calpine Center in downtown Houston to gather and donate hundreds of jars of peanut butter to help children who wouldn’t have access to school meals during the summer; and on-going volunteer hours by generous employees at the Houston Food Bank warehouse to assist the Food Bank in sorting food for distribution to the hungry. Calpine Corporation is a North American power-company that provides electricity through natural gas-fired and geothermal power plants. The company generates power at plants it owns or leases in 21 states in the United States, three provinces in Canada and in the United Kingdom.
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