Inside Aera
Community Jul 16, 2018

Aera employees in San Ardo, Coalinga battle for a good cause

It’s game on!

Aera’s employees in San Ardo and Coalinga are competing against each other to help the food banks in their respective communities.

The two operating areas have been supportive of their communities previously, but this is the first time they have competed against each other to see which team can provide the most food. In reality, there are no losers in this friendly competition.

The competition began July 9 and runs through Aug. 3.

“We did an internal team competition last year at San Ardo and had a record amount of giving,” said Kathy Miller, Aera’s public affairs specialist in San Ardo. “This year we thought it would be fun to take on our Coalinga colleagues in a friendly way that would likely boost contributions for both our communities. I know the people at both fields are competitive so this will be interesting, fun and most importantly a benefit to those in need.”

In San Ardo, food and other donations will be given to the Food Bank for Monterey County to support residents in San Ardo and King City. In Coalinga, donations will assist the Westside Family Services Preservation Network.

Aera’s Feleena Sutton, public affairs specialist in Coalinga, predicted a big win for the team there.

“We have each other’s backs in Coalinga,” Sutton said.

The need in Fresno County is of particular importance for young families, said Jeannemarie Caris-McManus, executive director and CEO of the Westside Family Preservation Services Network.

“Infant formula, baby food, and diapers are major expenses for most young families but for those of the working poor they can be overwhelming,” Caris-McManus said. “Too many of the children we serve in the rural areas of West Fresno County wear an old T-shirt instead of a diaper. The wonderful Fresno Community Food Bank does not include infant formula or baby food in the boxes we distribute to the families. So it is truly a miracle that the people of Aera Energy are making this issue their own and coming to the aid of the most vulnerable citizens among us. Thank you.”

In 2017, San Ardo raised the equivalent of 15,505 pounds of food. Donations were measured by $1 equaling 5 pounds of food, and in 2018 San Ardo has set their bar high with a goal of donating the equivalent of 16,000 pounds, according to Miller.

“San Ardo people are awesome,” Miller said. “We have big hearts and a passion for helping others.”

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