Duke Energy and its Foundation announced plans Monday to invest more than $9.6 million in nonprofit organizations and other programs to help those in need in Florida.
Funding will focus on current and new Foundation grants and bill-pay assistance programs for low-income clients. The company said the move comes as communities continue to feel the financial strain caused by the rising cost of basic necessities like food and transportation.
The Duke Energy Foundation funding includes $100,000 for new Foundation grants, as well as flexibility for nonprofits that received grants of $20,000 or less from 2021 to 2022. Recipients will have the ability to use the funds to cover increased general operating expenses.
NU-HOPE Elder Care Services, an organization providing support and assistance to seniors, was one of 12 nonprofits to receive a new $8,300 grant.
“When you’re already on a very tight budget, even small changes in the cost of items can be unmanageable,” said Debbie Slade, executive director of NU-HOPE Elder Care Services. “We tend to think that the high cost of living mainly affects people with very low incomes. Last year, however, the price increases affected everyone, including those who thought they had planned their retirement well.
Additionally, the company will provide support to customers directly through its Share the Light fund and energy efficiency programs. The Share the Light Fund helps Florida residents in need pay for utility expenses using money donated by Duke Energy employees, customers and shareholders.
The company said it will continue to engage with communities to determine how it can positively impact those it serves.