NEW ORLEANS — During the height of the Covid pandemic last year, Second Harvest Food Bank gave away 70 million pounds of food— double the amount in a normal year.
But this year, even as vaccinations have eased the crisis, Second Harvest expects to give away just as much.
Second Harvest President and CEO, Natalie Jayroe, says that while Covid cases may be shrinking, hunger never goes away. And with many people still unemployed, broke, and unable to pay for essentials like rent and utilities, free food is critical.
Also, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has ended the temporary pandemic program that provided fresh produce, meat and dairy products. Second Harvest continues to depend on donations from large supermarket chains, like Rouse’s and Walmart– and individual donors.
A one dollar donation will pay for four meals.
Volunteers are needed as well. Second Harvest has just 115 full-time staff members, in New Orleans and in Lafayette, who collect, sort, package, box and distribute food to wherever it’s needed. Employees also work in the Second Harvest kitchen, making 10,000 meals– a day.
This week, WGNO staffers became part of the volunteer force, to commemorate the founding of WGNO’s parent company, Nexstar Media, 25 years ago this week. Nexstar Media and WGNO are committed to giving back to the community we serve.