(Poughkeepsie, NY) Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. will provide regional organizations financial contributions to support their COVID-19 campaigns and missions, and will offer $1 million in economic development grants to assist local small businesses, many of which are impacted by the pandemic. In addition, the utility is expanding its Good Neighbor Fund, a program that provides last resort grants toward utility bills for qualified households, funded by customers and matched by Central Hudson, by doubling its matching funds this year.
“We are in an unprecedented environment, and many community organizations are struggling to provide needed services for impacted residents in our region,” said Charles A. Freni, President and CEO of Central Hudson. “By contributing to the region’s major human services organizations, we hope to support their efforts to assist those in need.
“In addition, our local businesses and low-income households are especially impacted. Working with our community partners, this support will provide needed assistance during this emergency.”
Central Hudson will provide funding to the following organizations and initiatives:
- $25,000 to Ulster County Project Resiliency – a countywide partnership to organize fundraising, meal delivery, and other support to those in need throughout the county following the outbreak of COVID-19. Funds raised will be used to purchase meals from local businesses and not-for-profit organizations, helping to keep dollars circulating in the local food economy. This fund is being administered by the United Way of Ulster County.
- $25,000 to Dutchess Responds - A coordinated effort with local agencies to respond to the needs of communities. Established through Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, the fund provides critical needs including food, medications and household essentials to individuals experiencing hardships or quarantine restrictions as a result ofCOVID-19.
- $25,000 to Orange & Sullivan COVID-19 Response Fund -The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan coordinates this fund, used to address immediate and longer-term needs of residents in Orange and Sullivan counties. This fund will distribute grants to established nonprofit organizations that provide front-line services to the counties’ most vulnerable populations – food and essentials for vulnerable families, such as prescription drug deliveries to homebound senior citizens and people with compromised immune systems.
- $20,000 to Hudson Valley Food Bank – This organization distributes food to the charitable agency network serving disadvantaged residents. Central Hudson will also donate reusable grocery bags.
- $5,000 to the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center at SUNY New Paltz for medical masks for COVID-19 mobile testing sites and the local medical community - The SUNY New Paltz Additive Manufacturing Center is using its 3-D printing capabilities to produce face shields for regional health care organizations, including Ulster County for the drive-through mobile testing station at Tech City and local hospitals and medical centers. Central Hudson was an initial funder of the 3-D Center through its economic development programs.
- Good Neighbor Fund - Double Central Hudson’s corporate match of the Good Neighbor Fund for the next six months, for up to an additional $50,000.
- $1 million in economic development for small business in 2020, working with county and state economic development partners.
“In addition to assisting communities, we are committed to supporting our customers during this challenging time,” said. Freni.
He explained that Central Hudson has temporarily suspended field collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Central Hudson’s customer service representatives will continue to work with customers who need more time to pay their bill in this challenging time. Customers who have concerns about bill payment or other Central Hudson services are encouraged to reach out using Central Hudson’s online “web chat” feature, via email through the “Contact Us” page on the website, or by phone at 845-452-2700. For payment assistance options, visit www.CentralHudson.com/account-resources/assistance-programs/.
The utility is also supporting local restaurants affected by current restrictions on dining out by offering customers a $30 gift card to the eatery of their choice to the first 200 who enroll in paperless billing. More information is available on Central Hudson’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CentralHudson.
For more information how Central Hudson is addressing the Coronavirus pandemic, visit w.ww.CentralHudson.com
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