Everything that makes New Orleans unique depends on our people. The musicians who play, whether in second lines or clubs. The chefs, servers, and bartenders that have made our cuisine world famous. The elders, Mardi Gras Indian leaders, and krewe members that preserve our history. The hospitality workers that have laid out the welcome mat for the world.
But now, the very people who make up the fabric of New Orleans are at risk.
In a city with rampant poverty and low-wage jobs in tourism, the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly devastating. Working to put food on the table was already a struggle before the coronavirus hit but the crisis has grown exponentially in recent months as hotels have been shuttered, venues closed and the parade of tourists and locals alike at New Orleans establishments has slowed to a trickle.
That's why we launched Culture Aid NOLA. Together, with our partners, our mission is to protect the culture of New Orleans by serving the people who make up that very culture. Performers and artists. Restaurant workers and grocery store clerks. And the countless residents of New Orleans who are struggling right now to feed their families.
Culture Aid NOLA takes a different approach than many food pantries or other organizations: