SMECO recently received a $10,000 contribution from CoBank to award to local organizations that SMECO has supported with matching funds. Each of the following will receive $2,500: the Southern Maryland Food Bank, the Calvert County Department of Public Safety, the Charles County Government Department of Emergency Services, and the St. Mary’s County Department of Emergency Services.
According to the Calvert County Department of Public Safety, the funds will be used to procure personal protective equipment for fire, rescue, and EMS first responders to assist with maintaining the established safeguards for all essential personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Charles County Emergency Services plans to use the funding to set up a decontamination station at the hospital for first responders to clean their apparatus after transporting COVID-19 patients. The funds will also be used for decontamination kits for each ambulance to use when transporting patients to hospitals where decontamination stations are not available.
The St. Mary’s County Department of Emergency Services will directly support first responders by using the funds to purchase the solution used to decontaminate emergency vehicles.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Southern Maryland Food Bank has been providing more than 500 prepacked pantry bags a week to local schools, and they pack and deliver more than 400 bags a week to senior citizens. The Food Bank also provides drive-through hot meals and assists with pop-up resource sites.
“SMECO has provided funding to these local organizations because they support Southern Maryland residents with essential services,” said Natalie Cotton, SMECO government affairs and community relations director. “Our cooperative is committed to our community. And we support these organizations, because, in addition to the critical services they provide, they also create a spirit of unity and brotherhood that helps to sustain us through these difficult times.”
CoBank’s Sharing Success program is a $5 million fund to benefit cooperatives and the charitable groups they support. As a CoBank customer, SMECO was eligible to receive matching funds to be awarded to organizations it supports. CoBank and its customers have partnered to contribute $44 million in combined donations since 2012.