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Catholic Charities to reshape how it serves hungry in diocese; details to come | News – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-11-28 05:00:00 –

Acadiana’s Catholic Charities’ long-term plan to serve the hungry includes the development of St. Joseph Diner and the Foodnet Food Bank — somewhere and somehow.

Bishop Douglas Deshotel joined Catholic Charities CEO Kim Boudreaux last week as a lead donor from Lafayette’s Broussard & David LLP.

As the Catholic Charities continue to expand their service to hungry parishes, their intentions revealed Thursday are the new look and system of St. Joseph Diner, and perhaps a permanent for food banks. Warehouse space is included. According to Boudreaux, change needs to respond to new efforts to serve people in a way that recognizes the inherent dignity of people with “food insecurity.” It is mandatory.

“For now, we’ll serve the same meals as before, along with takeaway meals,” says Boudreaux. “We serve people to eat outside.”

The Thanksgiving meal at St. Joseph Diner was the first since it was out of service early in the pandemic. Long-term plans there need to increase social distance, make indoor dining safer, and at the same time design new facilities for indoor dining. According to Boudreaux, food service at St. Joseph Diner resembles a restaurant service rather than a soup kitchen, giving more dining options, longer service hours, and more food for the poor when they want. The goal is to do so.

“People are seated and volunteers wait for the table,” she said. “In the soup kitchen, you are only given a plate. Sometimes you don’t want what we offer. This enhances the dignity of your dining experience.”

According to Boudreaux, the most efficient and cost-effective way to serve most diners for a limited amount of money is to sit side by side at a cafeteria-style table and dine from noon to 1:00 pm Was to give out. Avoid crowds.

Also, expanding service time means fewer clients are in the diner anytime after opening indoors, keeping people socially away to protect them from the COVID-19 epidemic. Make it easy.

The plan also calls for expanding the FoodNet Food Bank to a supermarket experience for Acadiana clients’ Catholic charities. The goal is to have some choices about what the client will receive, rather than handing the inventory to the family box.

Lafayette’s lawyer, Blake David, who chairs funding in 2022 to expand the Catholic Charities’ food service facility, is a new facility to provide the best service to Lafayette and the hungry people around the parish. He said it could cost about $ 1.5 million to build or modify an existing facility. Boudreaux agreed that $ 1.5 million is a stadium speculation, but quite accurate. No more accurate quote will be available until the architect creates a particular facility plan. Currently, Acadiana’s Catholic Charities rents warehouse space to the Brusard food bank. As a permanent solution, you may need to build warehouse space elsewhere. Probably a new space with a walk-in cooler and a freezer.

Six years after Deshotel first became Bishop of Lafayette, the demand for new spaces and expanded services has increased. Boudreaux said he called the bishop’s secretary at the time and asked for an eight-hour appointment with him. The secretary said no one else got an eight-hour block of his time.

However, Budlow, who was hoping to be two by asking the Death Hotel for eight hours, was surprised when the bishop’s office called back next week for eight hours. Deshotel toured the Catholic Charities at the Acadiana facility and, along with Boudreaux, confirmed their practices and goals. She said she was happy with what the agency was doing at the time, but he said they needed more.

That’s because there were poor and hungry people across the eight civic parishes of Lafayette, and Catholic charities need to extend services beyond downtown Lafayette to serve poor people elsewhere. had. At that time, she realized the bishop’s deep commitment to the mission of the Catholic Charities.

Since then, Boudreaux has said: What are your needs and how does it make sense for us to do? It makes sense for us to establish a relationship with a (suburban) church that is already serving the poor. How can I help them? After all, she said that people in remote areas like Mamou know how to serve hungry people in their communities.

The COVID-19 and the pandemic, which began in March 2020, have exacerbated the Catholic Charities’ ability to serve the poor and the hungry. But with a partnership with a local food bank and a new partnership with New Orleans’ Second Harvest Food Bank, Acadiana’s Catholic Charities will pivot from offering hundreds of sitting indoor meals a day in St. Joseph. Is done. During the pandemic, food delivery to more people around the parish is feasible longer. To explain its success, Acadiana’s Catholic Charities provided 400,000 meals last year and 150,000 meals the previous year.

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The 2020 and 2021 hurricanes also called on Acadiana’s Catholic charities to extend their services across parish boundaries to meet the urgent food needs of people elsewhere.

However, the closure of St. Joseph Diner for over a year has disrupted service from many of the Catholic Charities’ dedicated volunteer base. Many of these volunteers, including the elderly and retired, were at increased risk of COVID-19 as they continued to serve clients who were hungry and unprotected, especially those who had difficulty accessing vaccines. ..

“COVID was a very difficult time for all of us. In many ways it affected every aspect of our society,” said Boudreaux. “As a non-profit organization, we offer many services through mass protection and mass feeding. We have been working on this for nearly 50 years.”

The challenge of serving those who are hungry and unprotected “turned our world upside down,” she said. “The people we serve have suffered far more.”

Ben Broussard, Foreign Secretary of the Catholic Charities of Boudreaux and Acadiana, said he lost not only older volunteers at high risk for COVID-19, but also students working in the cafeteria. When the school was closed, students could no longer serve.

“Working children with us was an important part of St. Joseph Diner,” Boudreaux said. For many young people, growing up as a volunteer was part of their formation as a service-oriented adult.

“The dining room is more than just a kitchen, it’s a place where communities and mercy happen,” she said.

Boudreaux said Catholic charities are considering options for expanding the facility and are considering possible locations, including where they are. No decision has been made. The first decision is to show “honor and respect for the neighborhood we are in.”

“We want to add value to the community, not to cause problems in the neighborhood,” she said.

The decision also focuses on protecting the dignity of those who have been served.

“The experience of being in jeopardy and poverty alone can often help deprive humans of their dignity, feed their families and make them unable to live in their homes. We want to run our program by reminding those who serve with the dignity that their God has given them, “she said. “The longer people experience crisis and poverty, the more they forget that they were born in the image of God. I want to remind them.”

At a press conference on Thursday, Death Hotel said that feeding hungry people “God gives us by feeding hungry people and drinking drinks to thirsty and welcoming strangers. It helps to “answer the call.”

Boudreaux said it is important to remember the good Samaritan parable told in the Gospel of Luke when weighing the need for hunger for others.

“Who are we in that parable?” She asked. “That’s what we have to ask ourselves. What role do we play with those who don’t want to touch on the roadside? They are like we take care of as an organization. People who are called. Ask yourself if you intend to pass that person along the roadside. “

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