Action Report: Second Harvest food bank gets emergency help


Posted on May 23, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 23 at 5:42 PM

Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
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It was the coolest place in town to volunteer, as a group of 40 worked in the cooler at the Second Harvest Warehouse. They filled 1,200 disaster relief packs, emergency supplies that will be ready for instant use if there is a hurricane this summer, a tornado, flood, or another disaster. They have supplies designed to last families for three days.

"There are two types of actual disaster packs they're packing,. one for the immediate family of two, and another for a family of four or more," said Jerod Matthews of Feeding America.

Second Harvest leaders say with hurricane season starting next week, families across the area should be preparing.

"Here at Second Harvest we would encourage families to do something similar to what we're doing with these boxes today, which is look at the supplies you have in your house, with things that are non-perishable that you don't need electricity to fix," urged Second Harvest Executive Director Natalie Jayroe.

This is the main Second Harvest warehouse. The last time I was here two weeks ago, it was shocking how little food they had, something over 400,000 pounds of food. Well it looks much better now, they have nearly 600,000 pounds of food, not enough yet, but they're very thankful that so much of it came from people across New Orleans who responded after that last Action Report to the Postal Food Drive.

"We are really confident that we're going to beat last year," said Jayroe. "We're already up to about 165,000 pounds, and I think its going to go up even further than that. I really think, I mean once again, I'm always just so stunned by the generosity of the community."

But they still urgently need donations, as their minimum in this warehouse should be two and a half million pounds of food for emergency supplies.

"We distribute two million pounds of food every single month, so to have less than, or have a little over 500,000, 590,000 right now, think about that," said Jayroe. "That's a week's supply of food, and then this warehouse would be empty."

For more information about donating to Second Harvest, call 734-1322, or visit their website at