NEW ORLEANS (press release)—Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana is pleased to announce a lead gift for our COVID-19 emergency response from The Helis Foundation, a Louisiana private foundation established and funded by the William Helis Family and dedicated to supporting the greater New Orleans community.
Second Harvest President and CEO Natalie Jayroe says this major support is vital to continuing the food bank’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 emergency.
“We are so honored by this gift of love,” Jayroe said. “During any disaster or emergency response, monetary gifts are an incredibly efficient way to support us. But with our COVID-19 response, we’ve had to purchase more food than in our four-decade history. This is only possible thanks to amazing partners like The Helis Foundation.”
The funds will support Second Harvest’s distributions of emergency food and prepared meals to those most impacted by the pandemic, including unemployed gig and service industry workers, seniors isolated in their homes, and children who can’t access school meal programs. Since mid-March, Second Harvest staff and volunteers have nearly doubled their normal output, providing millions more meals in the same period compared to a year ago.
“Our New Orleans community has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused unprecedented levels of unemployment and food insecurity,” said David A. Kerstein, President of The Helis Foundation. “We are grateful to be able to partner with Second Harvest to help our neighbors in need, specifically the hospitality industry and gig economy workers who have been affected.”
Jayroe noted The Helis Foundation is also a major, long-term supporter of the Second Harvest mission to fight hunger in South Louisiana.
“This wonderful family and Foundation have been one of our most generous, long-standing donors, supporting Second Harvest for more than 30 years with donations totaling nearly $1.5 million.”