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WWL>Topics>>12-11 1:10pm Angela, Hunger in New Orleans

12-11 1:10pm Angela, Hunger in New Orleans

Dec 11, 2013|

Before our special “Hearts for Holidays” broadcasts begin, we focus on hunger in South Louisiana. 1 in 6 people in Louisiana are at risk of hunger—but who are they? What are the mis-perceptions? What action’s being taken so no child, no senior goes hungry? And, what can we…do about it?

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Hello everyone. Looking like it's going to be a beautiful thing the -- back out of school it's crisp it's the holidays. But someone you know is hungry. And not Anita snack to carry me over lunch Hungary. -- some and you know doesn't get enough food more days than not. They may well be working but there just isn't enough after taxes rent utilities transportation. To make it to the month. How can this would be in the land of plenty that any senior citizen has to choose between enough food and enough medicine. Or that child could get lunch at school but go to bed hungry. It happens and it happens to someone you know or past walking down the street and it is wrong. This Christmas WWL radio will do three special broadcast. Called hearts for holidays. -- way we all can help. At each broadcast we will collect nonperishable food for second harvest food bank a great organization that's been feeding hope. For 28 years. Tomorrow come out to clear view mollen joined Bobby Hebert and Deke Bellavia while they broadcast from 48 PM. Thursday bring your canned goods to the Pontchartrain center where Garland will be on the -- from ten to one. And united rental will -- six million dollar used equipment sale. And on Friday -- guy John encryption from Garrick. We'll look for your canned goods while they broadcast from the five minute oil changed at 240 one's -- Carol that. The street car ends in New Orleans begins. Your gifts of nonperishable food will make a difference in the lives of people you may know or may never now. In the spirit of the season join our hearts for holidays broadcast. No one should go Hungary. Well we're gonna talk about hunger today and joining us from second harvest -- talk about this is Mike Kantor. Communication director for second harvest food bank of greater New Orleans and Katie on NJ -- the communication specialist. With second harvest. And will shortly be joined by Howard Rogers -- project director of the New Orleans council on aging. Welcome so wonderful to have you both back thank you have to be we are gonna talk about hunger let's talk first of all numbers. One in six. People at risk. For being hungry. That's right and a lot it is alive it's alive much greater numbers than most people realize here in Louisiana. One in three children live in households and poverty. So we're dealing with that tremendous need throughout south Louisiana. As second harvest we serve over twenty million meals annually. To over 263000. Of our friends and neighbors throughout south Louisiana says there's a tremendous need at there. And frankly we're not doing enough to meet the existing need. It's every week 42000 people. That's every week 42000 people in many communities to don't have 42000 people I'm just trying to get a visual. On that. Well it's -- eating -- also Louisiana we primarily served 23 parishes financial more than 300. Local member agencies parishes diocese local churches and food pantries that we help supply. And they help millions of Louisiana residents and something -- learn joined in second harvest less than two months ago. You you quickly find out it's what you think is the stereotype. Of somebody who is in need of -- food whose own food stamps or something like that. That's pretty quickly blown away and folks who are in need of hunger families that are risk of hunger. Are working full time many of whom many of more or working more than one job. There are members of our military and their families and people who were deployed overseas that we fans to go in harm's way. Who were still having toward the end of the month to seek out help just to get through the month so. Hunger affects many many more families than people commonly understand and it really cuts across all social -- You know I think you bring up an important point that is I think there has been that. I'm sort of broad brush image and well in the discounting the system they're getting a free box of food in what -- -- saying is that. Your experience is not that. That he has not been my experience and we've seen actually you know him as. Arguably the the economy's coming back post recession but a lot of them -- middle class higher paying jobs. That a sane or not so there's lot of folks at working the camp at the working have taken lower paying job since. Their families are needing to get the help toward the end of the end of the month and we've seen time and game -- folks who come in and saying. It's just for a month this just -- like give Akamai fetus just until we can find a way to them to help ourselves more and now we're seeing more and more. You know I was talking to a group of people. -- might exercise class we talk about the cost of living. And collectively. When I said what it would when you -- cost of living raise is what he's thinking about. That it's got gotten higher was the cost of food. To a person. And it kind of shocked me. And the -- moment said you know what he paid 93 cents now for a lemon I'm just not gonna got. Pay them anymore so yes not only are we hopefully trickling back to work after being -- to our knees with. One of the worst recessions in our lifetime. But we have other aspects such as the rising cost offend. Well that's a really important point and at the same time that the cost of living is increasing. We're not seeing an increase in wages and wages has stagnated and in some cases they've actually decreased over time. A lot of the jobs that have come back since the recession our service sector jobs that while important. Don't pay a living wage -- minimum wage is 725 an hour. And that's simply not enough to make ends meet to support your children and a lot of their families that we serve have. Two parents that are working full time making the minimum wage. That poverty level in the unit United States is 23000. Dollars for a family of four so imagine. So supporting your two children. 123000. Dollars you're gonna need some assistance even if your working full time. You know and let's break that down twenty that's before taxes into and out of India. And then you have -- and then you have utilities. And you have transportation review on a car or not you gotta get from point 82 point three immense public transportation. Some form of health care. At some form of clothes I mean it gets down to the basics. -- the stories of sane have to spend. It's sometimes are anecdotal but across the border heartbreaking when you see. When you hair stand like one and six families is at risk of hunger that's a pretty impressive stand but when you start finding out what they're really means what it means that. The parents they have enough to feed their children. But the parents decide to go hungry the parents will go hungry at a time when their. Trying to make decisions and trying to find more work and need to be. -- full mental faculties but they're going hungry so that their children can -- the -- and those type of decisions actively as any parent would do. But it puts so much more for Burton. The same thing happens and that's where we see a lot of pomp rather a lot of hunger with the elderly. Where they're living in a household -- the elderly you know at our grandparents or great grandparents. We just rather go hungry conceive a child go hungry. Now. This is America -- her. And this is Louisiana and this is are these are neighbors India and we have to think of it in those terms organization that has not fought fight for a very long time. As successfully as they can is second harvest. That second harvest food bank and with this is Mike Kantor in. We were talking about the numbers richer. Still sort of take your breath away the numbers of people who. Or at risk of hunger and number children number of elderly and people who are working. Who just don't have enough so I was fascinated to read when I was going to on the homework year. About how this thing started I never knew it was archbishop Hannan back in the eighties. Twenty years ago. That's -- actually second harvest just recently celebrated its thirtieth anniversary. I was for founded by archbishop -- as part of the social costs that -- the Catholic Church. And has since been become that an independent organization. Although our corporate members still the archbishop. -- and now we are the largest anti hunger network in the state of Louisiana. So but it was people like Roger Warren and I'm dropping names because they were so beloved yeah. And Ben Johnson and even reading about and milling talk about. It takes friends takes people who believe in what -- doing and her efforts to get someone to cut the price of your -- down by half. And little things like that pulled it all together. Indeed it's it's been a work in progress for three decades -- like Mike Hsu persist there's so much more to do. If for the thousands of volunteers who help us outer years dozens every day that helped work in the kitchen in a big community kitchen to help with our public benefits help line. Are -- work helping just restart donations that we tips and send up to 300 member agencies. That's that's kind of the message that so we're helping to get operators that want to get in their -- want a big operation it is it's big but it's very efficient. And it's very efficient helping twenty million million folks a year. So you have this gigantic warehouse and hair hampering. 200000 square feet. And that's were all the food goes so if somebody is donating food and then fund raiser or hopefully there gonna go to the broadcast we just talked about earlier. And we'll bring canned goods. Then they it all ends up -- that warehouse. Entity -- most people think of a food bank may think of the picture in their minds of food pantry where food is distributed to. Compton community members in need. And the actuality is that we have that as you mentioned 200000 square foot warehouse we also have a smaller facility at Lafayette and -- actors sort of central distribution points for us so we collect food we connect collect funds. And we distribute food be just to be prepared foods after our community kitchen at these two sites to a network. Of more than 300 partner agencies and those -- that the food pantries and soup kitchens. The churches the community show centers and shelters. Throughout southern Louisiana and those are sort of the first line of defense the president agencies that individuals go to receive their box of food. But that box of food has come through the second harvest facility in New Orleans Lafayette. Angela south I would mention about that as well like the amount of donations were hoping to get today with them Bobby NT get a clear -- all. And any donation if any can cure a non perishable good or even fresh -- we can we can turn around and get that to folks in need in and is absolutely appreciated. But the message we also wanna send news that we're very efficient working with a partners with all the major local grocers with the USDA. With some help from the state of Louisiana or other corporate partners are buying power and the efficiencies of scale. We can make the same dollar go much further if folks wanted to go spend 220 dollars on canned goods. And Rouse is Winn-Dixie bring it to a status fantastic but. That same 220 dollars if you wanted to combine or donate online we can make you go five or six times further we can really really stretched -- dollar. Despite what we've been doing the last thirty years it's you know maximizing the efficiency of how he can help the most people in this system to keep in mind. The ten dollar donation can help us provide 28 meals to a family in need. Ten dollars. 28 meals. That's incredible yeah so you're saying please bring your canned goods but also he'll take a check definitely if you're on the ballot -- C deacon Bobby today that you don't have time to them swing by either. You know a grocery store or anything like tattered bits and than -- year and your cupboard full absolutely. You know ticket cash donation. Any any change in your pocket you're right it's -- be fine -- to will be on a clear view mall with Bobby -- today from 46. I think garlands can be out -- trade center tomorrow from eleven ten point 12 into one. And then there's another. -- going to be it's believe that take five folks -- are all getting together right now if you drop off we can't do -- and several canned goods. -- any of their locations. They'll give you eight dollars and seventy cents off your next oil change of that oil change. But it's going to be go to guy -- on and crushing -- will be doing. There Friday show from the location and Carrollton and Carrollton who plays Tony 400 block Carrollton -- from four up until the Friday night prep -- And you can make fun of them for Internet and have fun with -- No but the talking about I'm just try again trying to envisioning that massive amounts of food. That given everything you're telling me you still need more. Absolutely. We never have enough food to serve all of the folks in need throughout south Louisiana -- we distribute over twenty million meals that's more than. 24 million pounds of food each year through our -- a member agency network but there are still people think -- without. When you talk about the kitchen what are you cooking. Well from the start so we're cocaine you know they're they're healthy meals there in. That we we will have some videos on the website this is well you can check out. It is so until -- pre formed. Paper. Plates but it's more than a plate itself little meal distribution system that we used both for our summer feeding programs afterschool programs for the children. In our daily programs for the elderly and it's it's a balanced healthy meal we have nutritionist on staff who were doing. Constantly kind of balance -- and buying the right produce and the right things to go into it. And taste testing as well then they have to you know the needs and dietary needs. Of seniors is different from what you know sexual needs you know summer feeding program for children so. It's a pretty complicated process but that's those are some of them hardest working members of her staff it's constantly tweaking that in helping -- these meals together. So we actually partner with a number of school districts in Orleans and Jefferson Parish as well as -- senior centers the -- on aging. To prepare and distribute meals every day for children and after school programs after because it of course you've heard of that. Free and reduced price school breakfast and lunch but children are not getting -- supper meal and a lot of especially in Orleans parish where we have a lot of charter schools. That run extended day programs a lot of kids are in school during. The dinner time hour but are not receiving food and -- were helping to provide. A little bit of additional. Nutrition for those children before they go home and in some cases that's the only -- that they get. During the day. Now what point on to win wean you off -- of folks about that of -- gone to work for second harvest. It's got great instant name recognition but then you know we talk about helping kids after school. You'll get the questions is will aren't -- on a government program aren't they getting food stamp -- stamp benefits. Quite often they aren't but a lot of the folks if not most of the folks that we see those benefits to make it through the third week of the month. They're getting what equates to a dollar dollar forty dollar million dollar forty per meal per person. And when -- running through that and running now and just squeaking by in the third week of the month. Then look at are looking to get help from -- local food bank think about it in in November and December the major coming up into the final week of the month and Thanksgiving the final final week of the month. Christmas just not having enough food around. You you just told me before we started that you have a huge process thanks what do you do. So every year the last couple years we've partnered with people's health -- they've sponsored a meal distribution so we. Last. Read -- the week before Thanksgiving this year. We prepared. Seventeen over 17100 meals that were distributed to. Seniors at a couple different okay Christopher Holmes locations in Orleans parish. And we prepared those me Ellis packaged them in -- house and then distributed them with the help of people's health volunteers are on site. No I saw that should have known that that's a wonderful thing they do people silt and you stay with -- we're gonna continue our discussion about hunger in our area. We're also now joined by Howard Rogers who's executive director of the New Orleans council on aging and I appreciate you joining us as well Howard. Good afternoon the field you're. I'm doing just fine and and we've had a very interesting discussion about hunger in our area and sort of breaking down some of the -- because we have an awful lot of working people who. Just can't make it till the end of the month. But in your particular instance you still have meals on week. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Housing complexes debacles -- the countless charities operate such as Chris proposals. In terms of the -- we will squeeze herbal well. 450 bugle wheels on -- daily bases and as I was listening to show. Put some of those being is that solely meal that they do it during the day. Do you have a waiting list -- Do we have -- waiting is right now. Apple Apple's board of people's view shall we those unfortunately. Built. Because of recent federal budget so beat. I'll look government budget which is the -- wanted to scale while meals program. Is based on the senses because loans loans population after Hurricane Katrina. The 2010 sentences out funding was cut in distributed to other -- -- We're tried some sort of different fund raising activities effect we -- would be different now for sometimes and marched. The difference that the meals on wheels program to at least get them additional funds that we can try to take some of these people off for the meals on wheels list. But -- -- the bank's second while it's because. Second all of this -- step up and would be doing -- delivering on the handle both 500 meals. Of frozen meals tunes from our clients in this thing -- symptoms next week -- like to thank them for doing they gonna give them to frozen meals. And they can bring them home -- you know do the victory. Just the principles. Well quite welcome where were happy to do that and that's been. Part of my experience and learning what's going on its second harvest -- for instance one of the first events we went to was. Now with the pace setter and in the body of water and this is some kind of a daily thing. Where. Dozens of senior citizens it looked like about a -- your country can come to 1 central location where they can get. Counseling on a wide array of issues mental health counseling. Medical and that sort of thing. But it's also an opportunity and force them to have a hot meal and for many of them it's the only Hotmail have that day and for some of them it is the only complete you know they will have to today. Yet that -- you know it's unfortunate. You know. At this point. 2013. That program among elderly is a major concern in this city it's actually in this country but in this city is still a major concern. Four with some clients the meal that the C at this senior center so that meal that they -- during the day. And -- jobs over the years tried to figure out ways we could continued as well we do and because you know people who meet Monday. -- Monday that -- Monday through Friday. So but it's you know it's that this that the challenge in the age you are being knows the challenge and experience. Try to give people that they gave -- -- try to help. -- -- You know I've always been curious because I can see bill Kaplan who annually does a wonderful story and meals on wheels and the need you have. And it always wondering if these people have children. Who who couldn't be helping them in some ways well. Well they'd be benched from would be our children them step book and help people out in terms of well provide -- from. But do you remember BO ROC news and came back after Katrina. Because the acute decided the 21 come -- to war so we have a large population of seniors and those -- is so -- Taking care they cute because we want to go bad decisions school. But the parents I'll -- opportunities where -- -- so we haven't -- news. Raising Greinke is it's still an open to completing an activities. Trying to figure out ways how to Natalie the bill but -- well they'd be too. Indeed and the budget cuts that we lost -- -- budget cuts we were there were forced opponents because of the population lost. Is a double whammy right folks who do you do you know have the wherewithal to get back here and just you know barely make it back to the world -- Some of the folks who can least afford to take the hit and take the impact as we try to raise your family serve you know multi generational -- -- Correct. You must be very difficult I'm thinking about what you're saying of the meals on wheels Monday through Friday and for them to not have anything on Saturday or Sunday. I can't imagine the look on somebody's face I'm sure you've been masters or anything you can do to provide something on Saturday and Sunday. Yet we we've we've been you know what I voted national conferences and that's it and full of talk about the deals program and how would -- areas the countries they are able to. To what to do it you know unfortunately one of the problems and in -- we he has its funding. Andy this is something brought up in front of the City Council a couple -- weeks ago we went for the City Council talked about budget. The -- -- is the only parents are roundly. That doesn't have a dedicated Milledge was seeing deserves. Jefferson doesn't say to him. But we don't fail one here on these cards so you know we've been trying to put some kinda ideas that we can do some permanent funding. So that we could address especially this part of the problem in in the city in the world. Do you have any figures it all on numbers of people. In need. In in the senior category. Well. Outside of the individuals who we have on now awaiting its services. And in bad right now averages roughly. Close to about 2000 individuals not that's not just meals were talking about people who need to answer it poll. We are also talked about individuals who belong to on national fittingly -- it was programs. Who at one point currently providing adult diapers and also in chula and other adult I've and so -- it would be able. To take care they cared take care of the client at home instead of trying to put the minute into nursing home. So. Then we also looking at individuals who were coming here. Asking assistance in terms of getting free and reduce medication that. Happens throughout adult disability resource assessment I like to that -- banks that I ophthalmologist policies in about. Two weeks ago they -- the donation. And in the outcome means twenty. Fourteen we're going to be doing and so -- screening. Which senior analyst in Orleans terrorist but I also Nancy Benoit in plaque and -- because they have a couple of areas they'll disability resource and so. State to put that was going to be -- information now that produced little. By now it's the kindness of strangers and friends. It is now I really appreciate you joining -- thank you continue done good work that you do. Are right they can -- so given the opportunity a couple of issues that the Yankees are. And what we're really learning today is there's still a lot of people in need and we're not totally recovered from this recession. Yes people are going back to work but not with the salaries that the perhaps might affect. Two parent families working and still not being able to make ends meet at the end of the month so. -- fulfilling a wonderful names and helping a lot of people and it goes beyond all the various. Food pantries and community centers that give -- this food if you have some great programs the backpack program has always fascinated me because I know that it. Literally came from somebody who was paying attention. That these kids for getting. Food at school. And then going home and having nothing. Indeed and Demi -- a lot of children every week of the year. That's right and as we've mentioned. Free and reduced price school breakfast and lunch well what happens when -- go home for break over the holidays for example or. On the weekends. Well the backpack per hour program is designed to prepare a backpack literally backpack full of fresh nutritious food for the case to take home. During those school breaks says that they don't have to go without when school is not -- session. And I just I wonder if that wasn't a teacher somebody who noticed. Down they -- they noticed that you know children enter their hungry either fallen asleep in class that can sometimes be lethargic coming. That's a basic though I'm not only just not getting enough calories -- not getting enough healthy food he could energy. Duke Energy I mean it's it's one thing to -- Rama noodles two or three times today. Yet they have the right nutrition in the right food to really really -- Branko and Africa. Let's also talk about the nine today. The head start what a that's that's another program that's held just a lot of kids -- room in the twenties repair should that we serve. So that's a great partnership that we have with the headstart programs. Out in Lafayette parish. Where we're providing nutrition education as well as an initiation -- for the kids that are participating in the head start preschool program. And you about fresh foods unity that's right yes yeah freshman it's definitely. The summer feeding program you know what happened just like council on aging. What's happening on the weekend to what's happening in the summer with these kids. Yeah that's that's worthy you know it's easier to keep tabs on kids when they're in school and they're getting a meal there and we can help out there and you know we've found that's what happens for the two or three months were there away from school. That we serve nearly 200000. Meals through our summer feeding program partnering with over sixty different. Sites that provide services whether their after school programs or or summer camp programs when school's not in session. For children to bridged big gap during the summer months when they're not receiving a school me Ellison will prepare meals in house in our community kitchen. And then distribute them every morning. To those sixty different sites and we can prepare roughly 6000 meals a day in our community kitchen. Financial -- India take an opportunity to get a shell out two -- volunteers to work in the community kitchen. And do the re packing for all these mills that we provide to the children whether it's in the summer. Or the regular programs in the backpack program in the seniors. We simply would not be able to do without helping thousands of volunteers and if somebody would -- -- volunteer their time with us. Either it in many of arm agents that are at the warehouse re panicky and work and our community kitchen. Our other events or to stay in a unique way that you can provide your skills and time. We've got to complete details their website it's no dash hunger dot ORG so snow dash hunger done Bork. If you go to Google are being interest Google search for second harvest New Orleans we will be the first to pop so. All the volunteer opportunities there how he can help out if you like to donate food that would be great if he'd like to donate cash or check that would be even he could better. We can make that go much much further there's information about how to get assistance from our folks with the public assistance help -- as well. And the truth is we could not function without the generous support of community and we really see that. We really see that that support. Come out during the holiday season and and we really do appreciate everything that the community guys to help. Folks who are struggling to make ends meet in our community -- I'm proud to say it's it's it's a great organization dislike of WL it's a big family it's very efficient. If you like to make a donation to somebody who does the maximum impact right here in Louisiana please consider second -- That hotline is 8553929338. If you ever need any help. Thank you guys for joining us.

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