Houston restaurateurs are preparing to help the victims of Hurricane Ida by raising funds, supplies and food. Search and rescue efforts began following the storm surge and winds of up to 170 miles per hour that hit several parishes as the storm halted for six hours over New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Electricity is cut to more than a million homes and businesses and, by some estimates, it will not be restored for a month in rural areas.
In situations like this, relief agencies, business owners and individuals across the Gulf Coast are known to form an ad hoc helpline for anyone who needs it. The Cajun Navy, for example, coordinates with local sheriffs to locate hardest hit areas. As this happens, shelters start to fill with people stranded in attics and on rooftops. According to the volunteer Jordy bloodsworth of the Cajun Navy, there are probably thousands of people still in need of rescue.
Under these circumstances, some Houston-based groups that have fed evacuees in the past are once again stepping into action to help, while others are joining these initiatives for the first time. Here’s how you can support their efforts.
World Central Kitchen
Volunteers of World Central Kitchen (WCK) set up their mobile kitchens on Monday, August 30 in the New Orleans area, preparing thousands of meals for evacuees and first responders, as well as people who have chosen to stay in their homes without electricity or water . If you want to go to New Orleans to cook or take on one of the many other supporting roles needed in a great feeding effort, go online and complete the volunteer interest form.
No group can handle the enormous feeding effort on their own, so once again taking action is Houston Chuckwagon, a local and informal network of chefs and bar owners, led by Steve sharma of The big bad, Ben Mcpherson of BOH Pasta & Pizza. Last year, after Hurricane Laura, volunteers provided 6,000 meals across the gulf coast.
In previous disasters, chefs in the Houston area have gathered in a central kitchen and used the donations to purchase ingredients that could be turned into hot meals and lunch bags. This time, the funds paid will go to El Cucuy Nola, an Uptown New Orleans restaurant that has no electricity. The kitchen is equipped with gas burners and will be hooked up to donated generators so meals can be prepared. Sharma and McPherson coordinate with restaurant owner Austin lane. The funds will cover food, food supplies and fuel as well as the salaries of El Cucuy employees who will prepare the meals.
Last year, Houston Chuckwagon managed to raise over $ 30,000 between efforts. They also delivered water, dry goods and non-perishable food.
Houstonians are being asked for donations and transportation assistance. Coordinators are especially looking for restaurants to organize profits and raise funds. Sharma asks people to keep awareness in mind by sharing donation sites with their friends and family. It also encourages professional involvement by asking local businesses if they can monetary donations or organize fundraisers and promotions that contribute to Houston Chuckwagon or other efforts.
Front Garden is hosting a donation drive for Houston Chuckwagon this Thursday, September 2, from 7 p.m. to midnight. it’s collecting donations, food and supplies to help people in affected areas. Half of the proceeds will go to Houston Chuckwagon and the other will be in partnership with Catholic associations of the diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Every time you donate this week you will get a free ticket to tonight’s event which includes Burlesque… The short and sweet Speakeasy night.
If you would like to donate items, please contact Bri Morgan Where Hailee trombley to request a pickup. If you are unable to donate, please share this event on your calendar to spread the word. Cash donations can be made via PayPal Where on the Houston Chuckwagon website.
Heights House Hotel / Night Moves Hospitality
Space cowboy to Hotel of the House of Heights is also organizing a hurricane Ida relief campaign on Thursday, September 2. Participants are encouraged to drop off relief supplies including non-perishable food, bottled water, toiletries, feminine hygiene products, cleaning supplies, socks and underwear. Chef Lyle Bento – whose mother is from Louisiana – serves free kidney beans and rice to anyone who donates supplies.
Space Cowboy is also looking for volunteer drivers to help deliver supplies to Baton Rouge on Friday, September 3. To register, send an email.
The Heights House Hotel currently has several guests who have evacuated Louisiana and cannot return yet. Part of the relief collected on Wednesday will be given directly to them. Space Cowboy also provides a free meal for every hurricane refugee who stays at the hotel.
In addition, Space Cowboy and Trash Panda Drinks Club, both held by Hospitality moves at night, offers a special charity cocktail throughout September. One dollar from each sale is used to purchase additional supplies.If your Houston-based organization is also fundraising or providing other necessary assistance to the victims of Hurricane Ida, please email us so that we can consider your efforts and update our coverage.