Duke Energy surprises Sumter United Ministries with $10K for food program


As thoughts turn to the holidays and gatherings with families around dinner tables, local Duke Energy staff know it's important to support the organizations that do great work to fight hunger in Sumter County.

The Duke Energy Foundation recently surprised Sumter United Ministries with $10,000 to support its feeding program.

The money was a surprise and not solicited. These "surcee" grants work to recognize the important gaps the agency fills in the community it serves.

"If you grew up in South Carolina, you likely know that a surcee is a small and unexpected gift," said Theo Lane, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy, one of the nation's largest energy holding companies, which employs more than 28,000 people and serves 8.2 million electric customers in the Carolinas, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky and 1.6 million natural gas customers in the Carolinas, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. "As we head into the holiday season, we hope this gift will help support the great people who work so hard year 'round to help keep our neighbors from going hungry."

"Sumter United Ministries is grateful to be a Giving Tuesday partner with Duke Energy to address food insecurity with their donation," said Mark Champagne, executive director of Sumter United Ministries. "Our main purpose is to assist people consistently week in and week out. This money will help us purchase food throughout the year, assuring that we have the right variety of food to best serve our neighbors."

In the Palmetto State, 1 in 10 people, including more than 150,000 children, face hunger. This disparity is pervasive, and food insecurity occurs in every county within the state.

This gift is a part of a larger monthlong initiative by Duke Energy, a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, that will provide more than $325,000 to more than 40 feeding programs leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday and culminating in additional surprise grant announcements on Giving Tuesday.