NEW ORLEANS (press release) – When Ronald McDonald House New Orleans temporarily closed its doors in preparation for a termite fumigation in mid-March, the COVID-19 pandemic was just beginning its spread throughout the community. Now, six weeks later, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of South Louisiana (RMHC-SLA) is working on its plan for reopening, and will be seeking to restock the food pantry, which was emptied and delivered to Second Harvest Food Bank when the house closed. The local charity will be accepting food pantry donations at its house at 4403 Canal Street in New Orleans, on Tuesday, May 5, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of its Giving Tuesday Now plans. #GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of generosity and unity, a day for community members to come together and give back in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

“These last few weeks have been difficult as we’re used to helping families every day, by providing free accommodations, transportation if needed, and volunteer-provided meals,” said Marianne Addy, RMHC-SLA Executive Director. “Connecting via Zoom or Facebook is great, but it will be even nicer once we’re able to reopen.”

She’s uncertain of the actual reopen date, but anticipates the house census will be reduced since the present 15-guest room house on Canal offers only community bathrooms, and there will be a need to provide families with designated bathrooms to reduce threat of exposure to COVID-19.

To ensure the house is ready to support families the moment it reopens, RMHC-SLA is requesting items to replenish the food pantry such as individually wrapped items for breakfast or snacks, microwaveable meals, fresh fruit, cheese and yogurt, as well as additional cleaning supplies. A wish list is posted on the website at www.rmhc-sla.org/how-to-help/wish-list and the charity also has a wish list posted on Amazon. Items will need to be delivered to the House front porch on May 5 since the house is temporarily closed.

Monetary donations are also needed to help support the house operations, and a special request for financial support will be going out on May 5 on the charities’ Facebook, Instagram and Twitter social media channels @rmhcsla and the website at help.rmhc-sla.org. For more information, please visit the website at rmhc-sla.org or leave a message for Addy at 504-486-6668.