As many of you have seen, over the last five years, the Ohio Oil and Gas Association closes out the year during the holiday season by partnering with the Toys for Tots Foundation to bring some much-needed joy to families in need. When the Communications Committee got fired up again this year, one of the first items we discussed was what can we do during the first part of the year to build on that success and partner with the communities we all operate in. While we kicked around several really good, solid and fun ideas, we landed on a food pantry drive.

For those unfamiliar with this process, there are several food banks in Ohio that buy food at discounted prices from big box stores and then in turn pass it along to local community based food pantries. According to the Mid-Ohio Food bank, which serves southeast Ohio, they provide enough food to serve 140,000 meals a day! While that sounds like a lot…and it is, there are still families that are classified as "food insecure" meaning, they may not know where their next meal is coming from.

Our members Amanda Finn with Ascent Resources, Tracy Stevens with Dominion Energy, Katharine Denby with Hilcorp Energy, and Sheri Cramblit with Williams all jumped in to help sponsor a local food pantry in their operating areas, respectively including locations in Jefferson, Belmont, Columbiana and Harrison counties.

Through directly shopping at a local grocery store to collecting items with fellow employees, we teamed up to gather more than $2,000 worth of nonperishable goods to donate to the Smithfield Friends Church, Epworth Center in Bethesda, second Baptist Church in East Liverpool, Cadiz Food Pantry.

When the call came to help our local food pantry, Dominion Energy went all in. We know there still are some folks in our territory who struggle to keep food in their cupboards. With the help of Aldi and the other members of the team, we were able to make a donation to the Belmont County Epworth Center.

Williams has a long history of giving back to the communities where we live and operate. When we come together as an industry, we are able to provide additional resources and opportunities to local children and families through various initiatives that have a broader impact across several counties. I am proud of our ongoing efforts to deliver on our commitment for valuable community impact.

Ascent Resources values our community involvement with the local counties we operate in. When we were brainstorming on ways to give back to our counties, we thought this was a great way to assist in an area we are so engaged in.

"Hilcorp is a committed partner with the communities we operate in. Our culture of giving is not only demonstrated through charitable donations, but through actions. The team recognized a serious need in Columbiana County and came together to host a food drive with their fellow employees. Hilcorp was thrilled to partner with OOGA and other operators in Ohio. When we all work together we can make a significant impact in our communities."