Since March, the lives of millions in Louisiana have been turned upside down. Countless neighbors are suddenly out of work, thousands of families are at home with their children and without a paycheck, and senior citizens need meals and groceries at a time when they must stay isolated.
The Second Harvest response is on a scale as that following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, according to CEO and President Natalie Jayroe.
“After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita fifteen years ago, our staff and volunteers distributed millions of meals to people in the Greater New Orleans and Lake Charles areas,” she said. “For the COVID-19 crisis, we have been providing meals and support to residents of every community in our 23-parish area.”
The food bank has seen unprecedented expenses during this crisis not seen in previous disaster responses.
“We have had to purchase more food than ever, because of the impact this shutdown has had on our normal donation supply chains. Transportation costs have risen dramatically at the same time. We have tripled our kitchen staff to operate 24 hours a day, and we have purchased new equipment and even new trucks to help fill the need.”
Every $1 donated helps provide four meals to someone in need, both during an emergency response, and year-round.
“A monetary donation is by far the most effective way to support our mission,” Jayroe said. “Our deepest gratitude goes out to everyone who makes this response possible, and who also helps us fight the everyday disaster of hunger in our communities.”