Suburban Propane donates gas to heat EWSD free meal tents

Suburban Propane tanks sit outside the free meal tent at Essex Elementary School--one of three sites being used by the school district to hand out food to local children.

ST. ALBANS — When staff at the Suburban Propane office in St. Albans learned that Essex schools were preparing food for distribution to local children from cold outdoor tents, they stepped up to help.

Last week, Suburban Propane generously donated 300 gallons of propane to the Essex Westford School District (EWSD) to be used at its three sites where the Child Nutrition Program is handing out free meals to kids 18 years old and younger during the morning hours.

“The propane donation is a huge help as it’s fueling heaters that are warming our food service tents,” said Scot Fay, senior child nutrition manager for EWSD’s Child Nutrition Program. “The staff and volunteers inside the tents are building and distributing meals to children while schools are closed, and we greatly appreciate the warmth on these cold mornings.”

The donation came from the Suburban Cares platform through which the company helps its neighbors when needed.

“We understand the importance of doing our part to help support our local communities, and even more importantly during these times of uncertainty,” said Nandini Sankara, spokesperson for Suburban Propane. “We’re more than just your local propane professionals, we’re also members of these local communities as neighborhood parents, friends, and volunteers you know and trust.”

Suburban, which has operations in St. Albans, Bennington, Morrisville, and Rutland, received a call for help on March 24 and acted immediately--being able to deliver the donation the same day.

“When the need in Essex was brought to our attention, our team on the ground in St. Albans quickly mobilized to provide the necessary tanks and propane to heat the tents for the folks who are tirelessly working to provide grab-and-go meals to local children,” said Sankara.

“Our employees cherish the opportunity to give back to their local communities and are active participants in numerous philanthropic endeavors,” she added. “We’re very proud to support all of those who are working on the front lines and to provide assistance in our local communities in these uncertain times.”

According to Sankara, Suburban has a national partnership with the American Red Cross--as well as seeing employees across its 41-state footprint partner and volunteer with Toys for Tots, Caring Capital, Touch-a-Truck events, and countless grass-root activities at the local level.

She added that, recently, Suburban has been partnering with several medical facilities to provide temporary heat for thousands of propane-powered medical tents that are being used to test and treat patients with COVID-19--especially in New York and New Jersey. More closely, Suburban Propane has assisted the State of Vermont in moving people from overcrowded shelters into 27 propane-powered campers--filling 27 tanks in less than 48 hours to help Burlington maintain social distancing mandates.

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