Piedmont Natural Gas will donate up to $25,000 to The Nashville Food Project's Community Cupboard initiative to help area hospitality workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Piedmont will match contributions five to one, meaning the company will give $5 for every $1 donated.

The Community Cupboard is a program to provide 100 "shares" of groceries – such as eggs, milk and produce – each week at no cost to those who have experienced job and wage loss as a result of COVID-19 business closures.

Some of the produce comes from supplies that local farmers normally would have sold to restaurants. With fewer restaurant orders due to the pandemic, the program also helps farmers by providing a market for their excess produce.

Piedmont distributes natural gas to more than 1 million commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 

"We are extremely proud to support the Community Cupboard program in addressing food needs for our local hospitality employees, some of whom were the first to lose their employment due to coronavirus closings," said Stephen Francescon, community relations manager for Piedmont. "And by purchasing excess produce from our local farmers, this program ends up helping so many in need in our community."

As part of an additional partnership between The Nashville Food Project and Fat Bottom Brewing, at least 50 of the weekly grocery shares will be distributed to out-of-work hospitality workers from the Nashville area.

"Fat Bottom Brewing and The Nashville Food Project are proud to partner with community leaders such as Piedmont Natural Gas to help support Middle Tennessee's hospitality industry during this difficult time," said Fat Bottom Brewery business development director Quinn O'Sullivan. "With Piedmont's support, we can offer groceries to even more folks each week."

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