Culture AID NOLA’s mission is to serve the culture of New Orleans by directing no-barrier, stigma-free aid to underserved members of the hospitality and cultural community, and to do it with dignity, grace and compassion.
New Orleans is its people.
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:
- We meet people where they are. We directly distribute food at sites in hard-hit neighborhoods, ensuring those with limited transportation have easy access to our services.
- We serve everyone - no matter what. We don't ask for identification, proof of income, or keep track of who picks up their groceries. We're committed to ending the stigma of hunger with no-barrier aid.
- We support our local farmers and businesses. We are committed to helping keep those who feed New Orleans running, purchasing food from local farmers and supplies to make sure they can weather this crisis.
- We know it's not just about food. Our mission is also about protecting the culture of New Orleans. That's why we offer wrap-around services such as health information, aid navigation, and mental health access to provide for needs that go beyond just providing meals. And we hire out-of-work musicians, performers, and other members of the cultural community, both to aid them through this crisis and to provide a welcoming environment for those who need it.
- We believe in collaboration. Community led efforts are the key to sustainability. Culture Aid NOLA coordinates multiple organizations and groups to serve our friends and neighbors efficiently, while advancing our ethos of no-barrier aid.