NEW ORLEANS — Every year 1,500 families in need on the Northshore are delivered meals on Christmas day.
COVID-19 has made things different this year, but the tradition continued.
“It just makes you feel good. This is the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life,” said John Baldwin who co-founded the ‘Feeding the Needy’ program in 2002.“Life is all about making a difference and giving more than you take.”
Every Christmas morning, volunteers hand deliver cooked turkeys with boxes full of sides to families in St. Tammany, Washington, and Tangipahoa parishes.
“It was different this year thanks to COVID," Baldwin said.
For the first time this year, recipients picked up their Christmas dinner on a first come first serve basis days before.
St. Paul’s students volunteered to hand out meals on the last giveaway day, Tuesday morning in Covington.
“It could not have been better,” Baldwin said.
For a few families though, Baldwin stopped by to deliver the meals himself.
David Morse is a former employee of Baldwin’s from Baldwin Subaru, but he retired early in 2005, to fight a tough cancer battle.
“Worked for him for 19 years,” Morse’s wife said.
Even now, 15 years later, Baldwin provides Morse and his family a Christmas dinner to make their holidays a little easier.
“It would be hard,” the Morses said, thankful for the Christmas dinner every year.
It’s a Christmas tradition Baldwin hopes will continue for years to come.
“When I die, I just hope somebody takes this over,” he said.