(COVINGTON, La.) — With food banks overburdened around the country, this Holy Week St. Paul’s School has started an online social media campaign to bring in online donations of funds or food to support the local Northshore Food Bank in Covington.
In a press conference, the Mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, came out and stated that the Second Harvest Food bank in New Orleans was facing a food shortage crisis like all other food banks around the country. “The first day after school closings, we served 50% more households than we do on Mondays,” said Terri Turner-Marse, the CEO of the Northshore Food Bank. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 29.7 million students depend on free and reduced lunches from their school nationally. In Louisiana, the state department of education identify 28% of children, that is 310,000 students, as living below the poverty line and qualify for free or reduced lunches.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate jumped to 4.4.% in the month of March. This influx of families in need has overburdened the Northshore Food Bank who are, “in immediate need of funds and food to serve our population affected by COVID-19.” Normally, at this point in the year, St. Paul’s School, Our Lady of the Lake School, Mary Queen of Peace School, St. Peter’s School, Archbishop Hannan High School, and St. Scholastica Academy would all be preparing for the annual “Stuff the Bus” food drive, where thousands of pounds of food are donated to the Northshore Food Bank. However, with schools being officially closed until Apr. 30, and more than likely beyond that date, the food bank will be losing out on one of its biggest donation events right before summer, one of the most difficult times of the year for food banks.
To aid the community amidst this crisis, the St. Paul’s student council has started a social media initiative to help generate the funds and food that the NFB so desperately needs. You can donate to the Northshore Food Bank or find out more information through the following steps: