City announces program providing twice-daily, restaurant-made meals extended through January

Coronavirus

Kid’s Cafe meals prepared in the High Plains Food Bank’s on-side Kid’s Cafe kitchen in Amarillo (KAMR Photo)

NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans announced today that the COVID-19 Meal Assistance Program will continue to run through January 2021. Funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been approved through at least January 30th, bringing the program into its seventh month. 

“We know that January is shaping up to be a tough month for many of our residents, with COVID-19 cases on the rise and many New Orleanians also struggling with food insecurity,” said NOHSEP Director Collin Arnold. “This unique program has supported 16,500 of our most vulnerable residents throughout the pandemic and has provided over 2 million meals to date. I’m grateful that our partnership with FEMA will allow this program to continue and to keep our residents healthy and fed through this winter surge.”  

This first-of-its-kind program serves New Orleans residents impacted by COVID-19, including seniors, high-risk health individuals, residents who are COVID positive or are quarantining due to potential exposure, homeless residents, and children under 18. The meal program delivers twice-daily, restaurant-made meals to New Orleanians in need. Currently, there are over 11,100 residents enrolled in the program receiving free daily meals and there is plenty of capacity for new participants.

The city says that you may be eligible for meals if you are in any of the following categories and you are not receiving any other federal food support (including SNAP): 

  • Seniors age 65 and above  
  • Adults with high-risk health conditions and special medical needs (Examples include pregnancy, smoking, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart or lung disease, obesity, cancer, compromised immune system, kidney disease, liver disease, HIV, AIDS, Sickle cell disease, and more.)  
  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed and require isolation or quarantine  
  • Homeless residents  
  • Children under 18  

To apply, go to ready.nola.gov/meals or call 3-1-1. 

To date, 85 local restaurants through the Chef’s Brigade coalition have been producing meals, which are organized and stored by the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute (NOCHI), packaged by Revolution Foods, and delivered by d’livery NOLA. Low-sodium and diabetic-friendly meals are also available and are being produced by Revolution Foods.

“Permanent closure has been a constant threat since April. Partnering with the Meal Assistance Program has saved us many times, mostly recently with the program’s extension through January,” states Clare Leavy, the owner and chef at Live Oak Cafe. “This program has given us more than a means to survive, it has given us a mission and we are proud and grateful to have work worth doing.”

“The meal program has been an emergency financial lifeline to many in our beloved and culturally important restaurant industry, whether that’s restaurants and their kitchen staff, purveyors or independent chefs,” said Chef’s Brigade founder and Executive Director Troy Gilbert.  

According to a survey done by The Chefs Brigade of the participating restaurants, the meal program has re-employed at least 500 New Orleanians who may have otherwise been out of work due to the pandemic in food production alone. Additional jobs have been created in the delivery and administration components of the program. For a report on the financial impacts of the program on the restaurant industry produced by Chef’s Brigade, visit chefsbrigadenola.org

Some of the participating restaurants include: 

  • 2Brothers 1Love
  • Afrodesiac
  • Avila Grill
  • Bacchanal
  • Boucherie
  • Brechtel Hospitality
  • Brennans Commissary
  • Briquette Warehouse
  • Brown Butter
  • Café Dauphine
  • Café Degas
  • Café Minh
  • Café Navarre
  • Café Porche
  • Central City BBQ
  • Chase Catering and Concession
  • City Greens
  • Clesi’s Restaurant and Catering
  • Cochon
  • Costera
  • Court of Two Sisters
  • Dat Dog
  • Deanie’s
  • Diva Dawg
  • Domenica
  • Dona’s Pizza
  • Dong Phuong
  • Dunbar’s Creole Cuisine
  • Eat Well
  • Elysian Events
  • Frankie and Johnny’s
  • Grilling Shilling
  • Howling Wolf
  • Iacovone Kitchen
  • Johnny Sanchez
  • Juniors on Harrison
  • Katie’s
  • Killer Poboys
  • Live Oak Café
  • Luke
  • Mahony’s
  • Marie’s Fleur De Lis Catering
  • Martin Wine Cellar
  • Mayas
  • Meribo Pizza
  • Messina’s
  • Mint Modern Vietnamese
  • Mirepoix Event Catering
  • Mopho
  • My House Events
  • New Orleans Creole Cookery
  • Next to Eat
  • Nirvana Indian Cuisine
  • NOCHI
  • Nolavore
  • Nole’ Restaurant
  • Panola Street Cafe
  • Patois
  • Poke Loa
  • Red Fish Grill
  • Rockrose
  • Saffron NOLA
  • Sala
  • Silk Road
  • Soule Café
  • Streetcar Restaurant
  • Taceaux Loceaux
  • Tangarine Kitchen
  • TAVA
  • The Backyard
  • Toulouse Catering
  • Two Tony’s
  • Welty’s Deli
  • Zea

Restaurants that would like to join in this effort should use the form found on the Chef’s Brigade website: chefsbrigadenola.org/become-a-restaurant-partner

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