Book Review: Hagridden

hagridden

The Civil War era is not a subject that interests me much so it was with a little skepticism that I began this book. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I was almost immediately pulled into the story.

Hagridden by Samuel Snoek-Brown, and published by Columbus Press, is set at the straggling end of the war in the swamps of south Louisiana. The story is about two nameless women who are left to fend for themselves when the men of this remote area are conscripted into the war, including the son and husband of the women. The setting is apocalyptic in this war torn scenario and life is hard in the small thrown-together shack where the women live. The women work together to eek out a basic existence through means that would have been unthinkable in better times but the women do what is necessary to keep from starving. The author’s description of the abject poverty in which the women live and the acts they commit to survive is unflinchingly detailed which makes for a slightly revolting (at times) but compelling read.

The introduction of a local man who has deserted the war brings another level to the women’s lives. Buford was the best friend of the son/husband, who was killed in the war, of these women and harbors feelings for the younger woman since before her marriage. The ensuing struggle between Buford and the older woman over possession of the younger woman weaves a dramatic tale that teases out issues of religion, myth, superstition, loyalty, and lust. The legend of the rougarou is woven throughout the book and is brought to chilling prominence with the addition of the crazed lieutenant of Buford’s regiment who is out to hunt him down and exact a premeditated revenge that will keep you glued to the pages.

The pacing of the book is perfect and keeps you invested in the story without any lag in interest. Snoek-Brown’s dialog and colloquial language is skillful and convincing with a solid knowledge of southern Louisiana mythology. I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes historical fiction, southern literature, or just an old-fashioned horror story. Hagridden encompasses all three with aplomb.

Hot Reads 10/19/14

photo via hitfix.com

photo via hitfix.com

I’ve been reading quite a bit about feminism and what it means to be a Feminist in today’s world. I think Beyonce’s spectacular performance at the VMA’s a while back helped bring feminism back into the spotlight and sparked some thought and conversation on the subject. The first article on my list is by – who else? – Roxane Gay. And, as is normally the way, I completely agree with her pov. The following two articles from HuffPo are pretty good lists of helpful ideas on how to raise a feminist child.

We’ve also got a New Englander espousing on what makes a true New Englander (sound familiar, New Orleanians?), the reminiscing of a former beauty pageant contestant, and a few other sundry pieces that I enjoyed in the past two weeks along with the featured book list and poem. So without further ado…..

From The Guardian: Emma Watson? Jennifer Lawrence? These aren’t the feminists you’re looking for.
Favorite quote: “This is the real problem feminism faces. Too many people are willfully ignorant about what the word means and what the movement aims to achieve. But when a pretty young woman has something to say about feminism, all of a sudden, that broad ignorance disappears or is set aside because, at last, we have a more tolerable voice proclaiming the very messages feminism has been trying to impart for so damn long.”

From HuffPo: 25 Feminist Lessons for My Sons and 32 Feminist Lessons for my Daughter
Favorite quotes:  (From “Sons”) “It is up to us to ensure that the lessons of feminism and gender equality (and all kinds of equality, for that matter) are so deeply rooted in our family’s core that they leak out slowly and constantly — during playdates and in sports and, yes, in the kitchen while we put away the dinner dishes.”
(From “Daughter”) “You may have the right to vote, access to birth control and the ability to date who you want, but it wasn’t always this way. Women fought and died for these rights you currently enjoy. And your generation has its own struggles carved out to fight.”

photo via luna luna

photo via luna luna

 

From Luna Luna Magazine: I’m a Recovering Teenage Beauty Queen
Favorite quote: “To think that in this day and age, beauty contests still haven’t been laughed out of existence worries me. What could a contestant possibly learn from her experience? Whether she wins or loses, the lesson is clear: either you are superior or inferior to another female. She is your enemy. And value, recognition and, of course, beauty, are the prizes for beating her. There is no shared crown. No camaraderie. No sisterhood.”

 

From shebooks: Lee Montgomery: New Englanders Don’t Write Blogs (and 20 other things you never knew about the Northeast)
Favorite quote: “New Englanders do not wear those fat rimmed cordoroys, khakis, or Izod shirts. A true New Englander would not be caught dead in penny loafers.”
Note: When I ran across this article I just had to read it because what makes a true New Orleanian comes up locally all the time. I see it on social media and hear it in conversation so often it’s getting to be an eye roll moment for me. But, apparently, it goes on in other parts of the country too and that’s what made this read so fascinating for me. Plus, I know absolutely nothing about the Northeast. I thought they all wore penny loafers up there.

From The Daily Beast: Diane von Furstenberg: Becoming the Woman She Wanted To Be  (hat tip to Grace Athas via FaceBook)
Favorite quote: “I didn’t used to talk nearly as much about my mother. I took her for granted, as children do their mothers. It was not until she died in 2000 that I fully realized what an incredibly huge influence she had been on me and how much I owe her.”

From Longreads: Interview: Vela Magazine Founder Sarah Menkedick on Women Writers and Sustainable Publishing
Favorite quote: “I am of the persuasion that the great democratizing force of the internet is a fantastic thing for young writers, women writers, writers who’ve historically been excluded from the conversation.”
Note: Yes! Yes! Yes!

From On Books and Writing: 2 Things I Learned Reading Only Books by Women for a Month

image via englishpen.org

image via englishpen.org

Favorite quote: “I didn’t realize it at the time, but there seems to be a default switch in my head that goes to white male authors, and I think/fear that it may also be this way for others (How else do you explain the permanent space Patterson/King/Grisham/Child/Brown seem to have at the top of bestseller lists?).”

From The Rumpus: The Rumpus Interview With “Women in Clothes”
Favorite quote: “I think my sense of my family was that we had no culture, that we were culture-less. I was always seeking other people and other families that seemed to have much more defined, inherited, passed-down culture than mine did. Of course, looking back, that’s completely incorrect. And doing this book—in a way it makes me able to see my own family with a bit more clarity, because it seems to be maybe invisible to you at first.”
Note: Since I recently read this book (my review here) I really enjoyed reading this and gaining a little more insight into their thinking and the logistics of gathering information from the participants.

photo via bonjourparis.com

Featured Booklist from Finding Time to Write: Books Set in Paris.
Because who wouldn’t want to read a book set in Paris selected by a French blogger who’s a damn fine writer herself? Thanks, Marina Sofia!

 

 

Photo credit: Charlotte Hamrick

Photo credit: Charlotte Hamrick

Poem of the week is “Nine Ways of Shaping the Moon” by Robert Okaji, a romantic, sweet poem that I just love.

 

Nine Ways of Shaping the Moon
– for Lissa

1
Tilt your head and laugh
until the night bends
and I see only you.

2
Weave the wind into song.
Rub its fabric over your skin.
For whom does it speak?

3
Remove all stars and streetlights.
Remove thought, remove voice.
Remove me. But do not remove yourself.

4
Tear the clouds into threads
and place them in layered circles.
Then breathe slowly into my ear.

5
Drink deeply. Raise your eyes to the brightness
above the cedars. Observe their motion
through the empty glass. Repeat.

6
Talk music to me. Talk conspiracies
and food and dogs and rain. Do this
under the wild night sky.

7
Harvest red pollen from the trees.
Cast it about the room
and look through the haze.

8
From the bed, gaze into the mirror.
The reflection you see is the darkness
absorbing your glow.

9
Fold the light around me, and listen.
You are the moon in whose waters
I would gladly drown.

________________________________________________

And, speaking of poems, I’m very excited to have four of mine up at The Poetry Storehouse, an outstanding website featuring new and established poets and beautiful video poems by talented remixers. Check it out!

Have a great reading week and don’t forget to follow our Hot Reads board on Pinterest.

This Autumn Refresh Your Wild Spirit

It’s finally autumn in New Orleans, I think, since we’ve had a couple of cool-ish days and it’s mid-October. The sky today is a blue so blue it’s like looking into infinity and the air is thin and breathable. Ahhhhh…. On days like this all I want to do is sit lie in the backyard and stare up through the trees and daydream. But the crisp, cool days are also great for revving your spirit up, for tackling projects that were too hot to handle in the summer, and (best of all) for spending some time paying attention to YOU and to what nourishes you.

I read an article on Rebelle Society, a cool website I recently discovered, that I just had to share with you. They’ve graciously given me permission to share their list of 8 Wondrous Ways to Restore Your Wild Spirit, part of a longer piece by Victoria Erickson. Sometimes we need to be reminded that the simple things are still the  best things for restoring a weary spirit. The entire article is here and I highly recommend it!

1. Garden

Gardeners are cultivators and regenerators, harvesting new life and replacing the old, stagnant energy with new seeds. Dig into the dirt with bare hands and breathe the essence of herbs and flowers into your wise body, for it will recognize them as home. Get earthy and gorgeously dirty.

***

2. Feed on raw food.

Energize, alkalize, and heal your body on a deep, cellular level. Nourish yourself with vibrant greens and fresh juices with nutrients you know the story behind; nutrients that heal illnesses instead of creating them with chemicals born in a lab.

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. ” ~ Ann Wigmore

Start buzzing with aliveness from food that is also alive, and feel your body’s wisdom beat with every breath.

***

 3. Find live music.

Find the kind of music that makes your soul soar from the sound. From drum circles under ancient trees, to jazz on city streets, to underground clubs that keep people dancing through the night, music’s rhythmic beats exist to tell universal truths that awaken us from everyday hibernation. 

Have you ever seen crowds of 60,000 people at music festivals?  They sing with the bands under enormous summer skies, erupting into applause, dance, and smiles so large they ache. If that isn’t the wild, primal roar of the human spirit, than I don’t know what is. Find it, because music, my friends, is life. 

***

4. Play. 

Find the most hilarious person you know, whether it’s over social media, lunch, or the work water cooler and laugh. Even if you only have 20 minutes, take a random car ride to somewhere even more random. Dance to eighties music while you clean the house, paint the inside of your garage neon, or watch a Pixar movie with your favorite kiddo.

Personally, I love swing sets. I don’t care what your age is or how busy you are, play is essential to promote a youthful mind which is dynamic, curious, and enthusiastic, and that will open you to new possibilities which will feed your wild spirit even more.  A playful mind is fluid, creative, and of course, wild.

***

 5. Make love.

“Despite what you’ve been conditioned to believe, sexual desire is sacred and virtuous. When you and your beloved merge physically and emotionally, you go beyond the boundaries of the ego and experience timelessness, naturalness, playfulness and defenselessness.” ~ Deepak Chopra

Make love like it’s your last night on earth, gasping for air and sanity, frantic under clouds and stars and sheets. The kind of animalistic lovemaking that’s written in books that hypnotizes and captivates. The kind that’s made of heartbeats, intertwined flesh, and fiery, blazing, all consuming passion.

***

6. Get wet.

These are cures that open you in places you forgot could even open, for salt and water are a miraculous mix. Release disappointment through tears, sweat from awesome, bodily pumping movement, and swim in the soft caress of water.

These wild activities often launch you into the feeling of vulnerability and renewed power at the same time, while carrying you to a a clearer place inside your mind. Yes, there you are again, wild one.

 ***

7. Tell your stories. 

Tell stories of your childhood, of deep rooted pain, of intense loss, of blood and of your greatest loves. Tell them by firelight under violet, star-filled skies, or by sending words into cyberspace. Tell them over cups of strong espresso or glasses of sweet red wine. Tell them with tears and laughter and faith in the human race. Tell them to friends, to lovers, and to strangers.

Everyone has stories that need to be told, and there is always someone to listen. Make sure you tell your stories while you still have the chance.

***

8. Shine.

Show who you are, authentically, and completely unapologetically. Be fearless in your ambitions, goals and decisions. That energy will then spread itself into the universe and boost the human race, for one drop can indeed, raise the entire ocean.

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people the right to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others” ~ Marianne Williamson

And as you work on these wondrous things to restore your wild spirit, do remember that even when you’re still not quite there, you are a miraculous human warrior and that…

***All images via Rebelle Society

Book Review: “Women in Clothes”

image

“We are always asking for something when we get dressed. Asking to be loved, . . . to be admired, to be left alone, to make people laugh, to scare people, to look wealthy, to say I’m poor, I love myself.” — 28 year old participant

 

This book is not at all what you expect it will be. When my friend, Harriet, gave me this book I immediately thought “fashion book” which meant, to me, how to dress either for the (upwardly mobile) working world or the fashion world or, maybe, how to dress like one of those many Housewives of Whatever City from those (so-called) “reality” shows. But when I began thumbing through it I saw that the book didn’t appear to be any of those things. It looked quite interesting. And it is.

‘Women in Clothes,’ by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton and over 600 participating women of diverse nationalities and ages is a collaborative wonderland exploring every attitude, judgement, or question about clothes and our relationships to them that you can think of and some you can’t . The book is 514 pages that passed through my fingers rather quickly because almost everything written in it is fascinating. Some of the content is the result of surveys completed by all kinds of women: artists, writers, mothers, activists, students, garment-workers, soldiers, transgendered women, religious women, and many others. You’ll find essays, interviews, poetry, visual collections, snippets of street conversation, and all kinds of other media. I really feel inadequate trying to describe this book so I’ll share some of the chapters and some quotes I flagged while reading it. That should give you an idea of what’s inside this book.

Mothers As Others, Parts 1 & 2 – Participants share a photo of their mother before she had children and tell us what they see. I loved this chapter.

I Do Care About Your Party by Um Adam – Um talks about her clothing style which is wearing a jilbab (loose pants and a long,very loose shirt) and hijab. She talks about what dressing like this means to her in terms of respect for her body and her religion. She says, “God made no mistakes when He made me. He made me perfect. Sorry if I sound arrogant or overconfident, but I am confident about my appearance. Why wouldn’t I be? I was created by the most perfect – my Lord- in perfection, and I don’t need any man, clothing designer, or makeup artist to tell me what is perfect.”

If Nothing Else, I Have an Ethical Garter – Interview with Mac McCelland, Human Rights Journalist – She talks about the textile industry, warehouse and factory workers, and how her work influences her choice of clothing. She also talks about how she doesn’t like to own much stuff. She says, “Then I have some weird disaster issues, like I lived in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. To me, things that you have are just things you will lose or could lose, so don’t get attached to them.”

Handmade – Participants talk about making their own clothes or re-purposing clothes. Also about women in their families who sewed their own clothing and that of their families’. I liked this comment by Rachel Kushner (author of “The Flamethrowers”, a book I really liked) especially: “My  mother is a southern Protestant beatnik who wove see-through tank tops on her loom and wore homemade pleather hot pants. No bra, never shaved her legs. She has waist-length bright red hair. DIY was instilled in me, I guess.”

This Person Is a Robot – “A smell scientist sniffs coats in a busy New York City restaurant’s coat-check closet.”  Hilarious!

The Pant Suit Rotation – Interview with Alex Wagner, Journalist and TV Anchor – On the disparity between how men on TV dress and how women on TV are expected to dress.

The Mom Coat by Amy Fusselman – Well, I’m not a mom but I found this essay so interesting and insightful into a world I’ve never inhabited. She says, “The Mom Coat is a sleeping bag you walk around in. It turns you into a pod. I almost cease to be human when I wear it: I am just a shroud with pockets. And, of course, because I have kids, my pockets are always stuffed with Kleenex, hair clips, Goldfish, et cetera. The Mom Coat is like a minivan in that way. You are inside and piloting a receptacle for your kids’ stuff.”

In between essays, there will be chapters dedicated to answers from the survey questions such as “Women Looking at Women”, “Protection”, “Sisters”, and “Do You Consider Yourself Photogenic?” The myriad answers entertained, educated, and surprised me.

There are pages dedicated to a series of items (collections) belonging to individual women such as “Gwen Smith’s concert tee shirts”, “Tara Washington’s knitted hats”, and “Tift Merritt’s handmade guitar straps”. Some of the collections are kind of lame (“floss sticks used over the course of a week” – really?) but most are interesting.

I love that there is no striving for perfection in this book. Every woman is allowed to be herself, to express her own unique style and personality in her own way without apology in this eclectic and satisfyingly original book. It’s like having a conversationn with 639 different women and never getting bored.

“Rompers are not ever going to be on my body.” — Roxane Gay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Reads 10/5/14

Today’s Hot Reads is being brought to you without commentary because I haven’t had time this week to build the post as I usually do. My cat, Fluff, died Thursday after 3 weeks of a strange, debilitating neurological illness that caused paralysis of his back legs. We spent a lot of time at the vet office and a lot of time caring for him. He was the sweetest, most affectionate cat I ever had and he was only two years old. It’s very sad.

Anyway, I did do some late night reading the past week that I want to pass along. Here’s the list:

From NPR: First Listen: Lucinda Williams, Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone

From Rebecca F.: Why You Should Care That Lady Gaga’s Sueing Me For 1.4 Million

From Women’s Voices For Change: Jasmine Tridevil’s Tale

From Gambit: I’m a Seventh Generation New Orleanian

banksyFrom The Independent: Offensive Banksy immigration mural in Clacton scrubbed off wall by council

From The Atlantic: Confronting My Cyberbully 13 Years Later

From The Toast: “A Witch!”: On Women’s Intuition and Men Behaving Badly

And for a funny tongue-in-check (not really. yes, really. well, maybe) from Buzzfeed: 25 Things That Happen When You Talk About Feminism on the Internet

glinda

No book list this week and the poem of the week is actually five by the wonderful poet Luisa Igloria via The Poetry Storehouse. The link includes audio of the poems as well as text. A favorite snippet:

And in the dream

I am always though no longer
a girl before the world
had its way with me,

always the one listening
for the sounds of hidden things.

______________________________

Beginning with today’s post, Hot Reads will be published every other Sunday instead of every Sunday. Have a great reading week, y’all!

 

Hunger in New Orleans

Hunger in New Orleans

Questions and Answers for Second Harvest Food Bank New Orleans

by Laura Bergerol

October 1, 2014

Recently, I had the pleasure of talking with Terri Kaupp of Second Harvest New Orleans, about hunger in New Orleans. Full disclosure, because we live in a technology driven world, the discussion wasn’t verbal, but was instead done electronically by me asking questions about hunger, and by Terri, answering them. While not the same as a discussion in person, it was the easiest way to make this happen, since our lives tend to be hectic and over busy. Additionally, Second Harvest of New Orleans and Acadiana does not have the ability to break out the numbers for New Orleans vs South Louisiana. So not only do they cover the New Orleans metro area, but they also cover 23 parishes in South Louisiana up to the state lines of Texas and Mississippi.

In asking questions of Second Harvest, I wanted to

1) Understand if hunger in New Orleans is different than in other communities, 

2) Assess the impact that Second Harvest has on the problem of hunger in New Orleans. and

3) Find ways that individuals and businesses can help Second Harvest.

My questions for Second Harvest;

1) From what I have read, 1 in 6 people in America face hunger. How many in New Orleans?

Currently the statistics nationally matches the numbers in New Orleans; one in six households in Louisiana are at risk of hunger, and more worrisome is that 1 in 5 CHILDREN are at risk of hunger in Louisiana.

2) How many seniors are using food banks in New Orleans (and Lafayette) to subsidize their pantries? Where is Second Harvest most helpful for seniors? Adult day care facilities? Meals on Wheels for shut ins/disabled?

Approximately 42,000 seniors per year are served through food pantries and residential care centers. Most people don’t often realize just how vulnerable our seniors are. We also try to provide the types of foods they need due to diet/medical needs (low sodium, etc) We are not currently associated with the Meals on Wheels program – however that is something we would like to work with one day. Meals on Wheels currently has a yearly contract with a vendor – we at Second Harvest, hope that one day we can bid for this contract and provide meals to Seniors

3) Are there programs implemented in any of the New Orleans schools that send food home with children for the weekend? If not, are there plans to implement these programs?

Second Harvest Food Bank actually runs the Backpack Program – this is a program that sends backpacks with food/shelf stable milk/juice home with children identified by teachers/school administrators as “MOST AT-RISK” of not having enough food over the weekend. Currently 1700 children at 32 schools participate in this program that operates in 13 parishes.

SH_136 SH_115 SH_113 SH_105 SH_098 Head Start program, NOLA Head Start program, NOLA Head Start program, NOLA Head Start program, NOLA Head Start program, NOLA Head Start program, NOLA Head Start program, NOLA

Backpack kids; Second Harvest New Orleans

Backpack kids; Second Harvest New Orleans

4) Households with children reported a significantly higher food insecurity rate than households without children in 2011. 20.6 percent vs. 12.2 percent. How many families do you usually see monthly in New Orleans?

Approximately 22,400 households per month in our 23 parish service area.(we currently don’t have the ability to break out by parish.)

5) 50.1 million Americans struggle to put food on the table. In the US, hunger isn’t caused by a lack of food, but rather the continued prevalence of poverty. More than 1 in 5 children is at risk of hunger. Among African-Americans and Latinos, it’s 1 in 3.What are the statistics in New Orleans? Is it hunger higher in African Americans homes, or in the Latino population?

Currently we serve: 33% White, 59% African American and 4% Latino clients in our 23 parish service area (the remaining 4% are of other ethnic backgrounds)

6) What happens in the summer? How does Second Harvest make up for smaller monetary donations during the summer?

This summer, Second Harvest once again provided breakfast, lunch and for some participating sites snacks for 4,270 children at 66 locations across the greater New Orleans area. This Summer Feeding Program provided 210,266 meals (breakfast, lunch, snacks) over the course of 9 weeks. We couldn’t run this program without the commitment from such wonderful partners as the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, ConAgra Foundation, USDA and Louisiana Department of Education. Second Harvest Food Bank runs the LARGEST summer feeding program in the state.

7) Over 20 million children receive free or reduced-price lunch each school day. Less than half of them get breakfast and only 10 percent have access to summer feeding sites. For every 100 school lunch programs, there are only 87 breakfast sites and just 36 summer food programs. Does Second Harvest have a breakfast program for hungry children? How many can they help? What is your lunch program like in Orleans Parish? Explain more about your Backpack program?

Unfortunately, we don’t offer a breakfast program – that is already offered as part of the Federal free/reduced meal program. Second Harvest provides “supper” for children in after-school programs, after-care, etc – the program just launched on September 8 for the 2014-15 school year. Right now we have 33 afterschool sites enrolled (several more are pending approval from the state.) These children will receive a nutritious, hot meal prepared fresh every day. We do not FRY any of our items, all nutrition guidelines from the USDA are followed including using whole grain pasta, brown rice and wheat rolls. Every day the children get 2% milk and fresh fruit (apples/oranges) with their meals. We hope that we are able to introduce them to foods they may not be getting at home – baked Tilapia is one of their favorites.

8) 1 in 7 people are enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Nearly half of them are children. Has it gotten worse in New Orleans and South Louisiana since Governor Jindal refused extra money as part of Obamacare programs?

No, these two programs are not directly related. However, November 1st the expiration of the ARRA funding did directly affect SNAP. A family of four saw a reduction of approximately $36 in SNAP benefits. Most people don’t think that $36 is a lot, however when your SNAP benefit is just over $100 – that $36 means several meals were taken away from families. Since that cut, our partner agencies and Second Harvest has seen an increase in need for emergency food assistance.

9) 40% percent of food is thrown out in the US every year, or about $165 billion worth. All of this uneaten food could feed 25 million Americans. What are the rules for restaurants in New Orleans?? Is there a worry about liability if food not ok? How many restaurants in New Orleans actually help with leftover foods? Could this program be extended? Does Second Harvest have partnerships with restaurants in New Orleans?

This is a very tricky area – While there are many restaurants who would like to help and donate unused food to Second Harvest, this is something we have to be careful with due to food safety. Also, we need a higher volume in order to make this worthwhile. We do have a “Retail Pick up Program” that works with local grocery stores that picks up items that may not be bad but needs to be removed from the shelf such as milk close to the expiration date. Technically the milk is still good and we can pick up those items (milk, bakery items such as bread, cakes from grocery bakeries, yogurt, milk, cheese, juice and produce). We are able to put these items on our mobile pantry trucks (refrigerated) and distribute immediately. These monthly mobile pantries distribute about 3-5 days of food to 150-200 households – we do approximately 37 mobile pantries a month between the Greater New Orleans area and Lafayette. In FY 14 we picked up 9.9 MILLION pounds of food – this is approximately 1/3 of the food we distribute on an annual basis (25 million pounds in FY 14 equivalent to 22.5 million meals). Through Feeding America we also pick up the end of day bread/baked goods from Panera locations in our service area as well as Texas Toast ends from Raising Canes. These are given to agencies such as soup kitchens and homeless shelters who feed large amounts of people daily.

10) What new programs will Second Harvest implement this year? How can individuals help? How much do corporate sponsors contribute to the annual monies for Second Harvest?

We are about to launch a new School Pantry program in two schools in Orleans parish this fall – just finishing up the paper work to implement. This will put a pantry twice a month at two local schools in areas that have over 95% enrollment in the Federal Free/Reduced meal program. This program will have an actual pantry for parents to access on distribution day – they will be able to access it after-school when picking up their children and won’t have to worry about being off of work during distribution times that might be during the middle of the work day.

A way to help Second Harvest currently;

Currently Second Harvest is participating in a contest to win $60,000 for Second Harvest, as well as money for their partners; http://wm8.walmart.com/Hunger/# You can vote daily but the contest ends on October 5, 2014.

Volunteering with Second Harvest Food Bank; If you would like to volunteer with Second Harvest, call the main number 504-734-1322 and ask to speak to our volunteer services coordinators. We have opportunities during the week, some evening shifts, and shifts in the Community Kitchen plating and packing hot meals for the Kids Cafe program.

Facts about Second Harvest Food Bank:

Second Harvest Food Bank is leading the fight against hunger and building food security in South Louisiana by providing food access, advocacy, education and disaster response.  Second Harvest provides food to 300 partner agencies and direct food access to community members in need across 23 parishes, from the Mississippi border to the Texas state line. Together, we make up the largest anti-hunger network in the state. With our community’s help, we can make food security a reality for every household in South Louisiana.

Second Harvest Food Bank is an affiliated ministry of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, a member of Feeding America, and a United Way Partner Agency. To join us in the fight to end hunger, please visit www.no-hunger.org. Follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/2ndHarvestGNOA, fan us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/2ndHarvestGNOA or Instagram at @2ndHarvestGNOA.