Second Harvest: We Do All That!

A message from Second Harvest President & CEO Natalie Jayroe: 

When people think of Second Harvest, many people think of the countless boxes of donated food that we provide to soup kitchens, pantries, schools and shelters across the state.

Indeed, in the last year, our staff and volunteers provided 34 million meals to these vital community partners across 23 South Louisiana parishes.

But over the last few years, and especially following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, our mission has grown to serve those in need in many other ways. Here is a snapshot of the innovative programs you have helped support:

• Kids Cafe: This after-school feeding program provides meals and snacks to children at locations like libraries, churches, recreational centers, and anywhere kids have a structured, safe place to go after the bell rings. For kids who don’t always have a nutritious meal at home for dinner, Kids Cafe helps bridge that gap so they can study and become more productive young men and women.

• Summer Feeding: This program provides free breakfast, lunch, and snacks to thousands of South Louisiana children over the long summer break. For many of these children, the Summer Feeding meals might be the only nutritious meals of the day.

• Mobile pantries: For communities and neighborhoods that don’t have a traditional food pantry, we bring the pantry to them. Our Mobile Pantries are large trucks loaded with fresh produce and non-perishable food to help families in need, especially in food deserts and rural parts of South Louisiana.

• Disaster response: Responding to disasters large and small is a core part of our mission. Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Second Harvest for a time became the world’s largest food bank. In the years since 2005, our team has responded to more than 15 major disasters including hurricanes, floods and tornadoes.

• Rescue Runner: For the first time, Second Harvest now has an efficient way to collect prepared food donations from restaurants and catered events. Using an online app, volunteers pick up these meals and deliver them to locations like the New Orleans Mission. With a click of a button, we can ensure these nutritious meals make it to people in need, instead of the landfill.

We continue to look for new ways to fight hunger across South Louisiana, and welcome your ideas and suggestions. Please contact me at with questions about any of the above, or to discuss thoughts you may have about how we can serve our community.

Natalie Jayroe
President and CEO

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