City Launches COVID-19 Meal Assistance Program in Partnership with FEMA and Local Restaurants

Residents Encouraged to Apply

The city of New Orleans recently announced the start of its COVID-19 meal assistance program, which will engage local restaurants to provide much needed food to eligible New Orleanians experiencing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know that because of COVID-19, many of our residents are unable to put food on their tables,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “Local non-profit organizations have stood up in unprecedented ways to provide our people with food these last few months, and I am so grateful to them. But the need continues. That’s why we’ve partnered with FEMA and Revolution Foods to build this first-of-its-kind emergency meal program, which will help fill that gap.”

The program is a cost-sharing collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The city will work with Revolution Foods and local restaurant partners to cook, package and deliver two meals per day to vulnerable residents for at least 30 days. The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP) will manage this meal-assistance program on behalf of the City.

Beginning in July, fresh, nutritious meals will be prepared by more than 100 local restaurants through the Chef’s Brigade coalition along with Revolution Foods, organized and stored by the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Center (NOCHI), packaged by Revolution Foods, and delivered by d’livery NOLA to several central feeding sites and, in some cases, to residents’ homes. This program is expected to re-employ several hundred New Orleanians who have been out of work due to the pandemic. Restaurants that would like to join in this effort should use the form found on the Chef’s Brigade website: chefsbrigadenola.org.

“Chef’s Brigade is a now proven concept and system that is a true disaster-response food machine,” said Chef’s Brigade founder and Executive Director Troy Gilbert. “We’ve built a nimble, scalable and powerful mechanism to produce enormous quantities of nutritious New Orleans comfort foods for those in need, while providing an emergency financial lifeline to many in our beloved and culturally important restaurant industry, whether that’s restaurants, purveyors or independent chefs.”

“We’re committed to providing greater access to healthy and delicious, chef-crafted meals and are honored to support this innovative model that is not only nourishing thousands of NOLA residents but also supporting hundreds of local jobs,” said Kristin Groos Richmond, founder and CEO of Revolution Foods.

How to Apply to Receive Meals

Residents in any of the following categories who are in need of food and are not receiving any other federal food support can call 3-1-1 (504-658-2299) or go to nola.gov/311 to apply for this program, which serves:

  • Seniors age 65 and above
  • Adults with high-risk health conditions and special medical needs
  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed and require isolation or quarantine
  • Homeless residents
  • Children under age 18

Per FEMA rules regarding duplication of benefits, residents already receiving food assistance through SNAP, Meals on Wheels, the NOLA Public Schools Meal Program, or the State-sponsored homeless hotel services will be ineligible for this program. Any one who does not meet the eligibility requirements of this program and is in need of food assistance can call 2-1-1 to be connected to other services.

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