City officials recently announced a 30-day extension of the COVID-19 Meal Assistance Program, a cost-shared initiative with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that delivers restaurant-made meals to thousands of residents in need. Twice daily meals will now be available to eligible recipients at least through Sep. 4.
Approximately 9,000 residents are currently receiving meals through the program, which began in early July and was initially approved for a 30-day period. The City recently requested and received an extension from FEMA. Already enrolled residents will continue to receive meals and new residents in need of meal assistance are encouraged to apply, as there is still significant capacity in this program. Individuals can apply online or call 3-1-1 (504-658-2299) to see if they qualify.
“We know August will be a tough month financially for many of our residents,” said Collin Arnold, director of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. “Whether you have COVID or are at risk, this high-capacity meal program is designed to help tens of thousands of our residents stay healthy with food on their tables during these difficult times.”
Eligible residents include:
- 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
Applicants must not be receiving other federally-supported food assistance.
To date, 70 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. This program has re-employed hundreds of New Orleanians who have been out of work due to the pandemic.