Now months into the pandemic, a number of locals have lost their jobs and been struggling to feed their families. To meet this growing need, the Meraux Foundation stepped in to provide additional funding to the Community Center of St. Bernard, a charity that provides emergency food assistance. This latest donation adds to a significant grant the Meraux Foundation made in March that more than doubled its annual commitment to the food bank.
“We’ve seen the number of people that the Community Center serves triple since the pandemic began,” said Rita Gue, the president of the Meraux Foundation. “My Aunt Arlene created this Foundation to improve the quality of life for the people of St. Bernard, and she always emphasized helping the most vulnerable. We are proud of the work of the Community Center and honored to support them in their efforts.”
The Meraux Foundation’s new grant is funding a part-time employee, Risa Williams, who is assisting with operations and coordinating volunteers.
“She’s helping bring our operation to another level,” said Jamie Hornberger, the Community Center’s executive director. “We are so grateful to the Meraux Foundation for making it possible to hire a part-time food pantry coordinator. The Foundation’s first grant allowed us to keep our shelves stocked, and this new grant is expanding our capacity to serve more people.”
Anyone interested in helping can volunteer by contacting (504) 518-5968 and deliver nonperishable goods to the center at 6800 Patricia St. in Arabi.
To apply for assistance from the Community Center, people must provide a valid ID or driver’s license, proof of residency, and proof of income. Individuals without income can apply.
About the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation
The Meraux Foundation is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established by Arlene Meraux to benefit the community of St. BernardParish by leveraging its landholdings. Today, the Foundation’s board ofdirectors is presided over by Arlene’s niece, Rita Gue, and consists of members Floyd Gue, Bill Haines, Chris Haines, and Sidney Torres, III. Guided by Arlene’s vision, the Board is implementing an innovative strategy to create lasting change and build a better St. Bernard. In response to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Meraux Foundation created the COVID-19 Response Program to provide grants to nonprofits serving St. Bernard Parish.