HOUSTON, June 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to assist vulnerable communities cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Simón Bolívar Foundation, the non-profit, private foundation of CITGO Petroleum Corporation, is launching today a food drive program called "Hoy Invita Simón," an initiative that will provide grants of up to $50,000 on a rolling basis to qualified nonprofits to develop food assistance projects. The objective of "Hoy Invita Simón" is to offer nutritional food access to communities in need without discrimination, while aiming to reach members of the Venezuelan diaspora and other vulnerable populations.

Online applications for the "Hoy Invita Simón" program will be opened on Friday, June 19 on the Foundation's website. The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, July 3. Qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organizations are invited to present proposals that can range from a one-day food drive to a multi-week food supply program to families in need. Grantees will be selected through a review process based on their potential community impact, cost-effectiveness, and implementation plan among other criteria. 

A pilot run for "Hoy Invita Simón" was conducted during the last week of May in two cities in the United States with a significant presence of the Venezuelan diaspora: Doral, Florida and Houston, Texas. "The Foundation partnered with local nonprofits and Venezuelan restaurants to provide hot meals to families impacted by the pandemic," said Mariela Poleo, president of the Simón Bolívar Foundation. The success of the pilot program confirmed the need for this type of initiative to help the Venezuelan diaspora in the United States. "Because the response was strong and immediate," she continued, "we quickly worked to create the framework to accommodate an open call to more organizations interested in developing similar efforts in more cities."

Carmen Chumaceiro, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of I Love Venezuela Foundation, which partnered with the Simón Bolívar Foundation in Florida said, "This is a wonderful, twofold initiative for the Venezuelan community that provides a helping hand to people in need as well as to the small business owners, their employees, and restaurant suppliers suffering from the sudden loss of income after the total or partial shutdown of their operations."

"Hoy Invita Simón" is part of the Foundation's Small Grants Program, an initiative that has already donated almost $600,000 this year to empower local organizations developing projects and activities for populations at risk, including individuals in and from Venezuela. 

About CITGO Petroleum Corporation
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation owns and operates three large-scale, highly complex refineries, with a combined crude capacity of approximately 769,000 barrels-per-day, located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, Louisiana; and Lemont, Illinois, has ownership/equity interest in 41 active refined product storage and transfer terminals, and has access to over 120 third-party and related party terminals through exchange, terminaling and similar arrangements.


SOURCE CITGO Corporation