New Orleans Jewish Community Healthcare Workers Take Home Meal Program launched

After spending a long shift treating patients with coronavirus, who wants to think about cooking?

On April 20, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans announced the launch of the Greater New Orleans Jewish Community Healthcare Workers Take Home Meal Program.

The program was developed in partnership with the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana, Humana, Metairie Bank, and the Consulate General of Israel to the Southwest, which is based in Houston.

This program will serve Tulane Medical Center, Touro Infirmary and Ochsner Health System. Over the next eight weeks, this program will serve 5,000 take home meals to frontline medical staff and healthcare workers. 

“There’s a Jewish value — tikkun olam — which means that we’re all asked to do our part to repair the world, Jewish and non-Jewish alike,” said Arnie D. Fielkow, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans. “From helping area small businesses to tending to healthcare workers too exhausted to cook, this program allows us to help so many people in a unique way, across three major healthcare systems in our community. Every meal is a step towards repairing the world.”

Joshua Force, chair of the Federation’s board, agreed, noting that, “The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that we truly live in one, interconnected world — and that the needs created by this difficult time create an opportunity for us to collaborate creatively with area partners and businesses to solve problems.”

Three local kosher restaurants and caterers — Kosher Cajun, Rimon at Tulane Hillel, and Dvash Catering — will be cooking 200 meals for the three hospital campuses each Tuesday evening, for a total of 600 meals per week – beginning April 21.

The program has been funded by JEF, Humana, Metairie Bank, the Consulate General of Israel to the Southwest and the Federation, with the Federation managing the logistics of implementation.

“Recognizing that we have all been impacted by this pandemic, the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana is pleased to support a program that shows our solidarity with the wider New Orleans community,” stated JEF Executive Director Bobby Garon. “Our board and staff are tremendously grateful for our frontline workers and first responders.”

“This meal program not only allows us to express our appreciation to healthcare workers, but also supports local restaurants and business owners, and hopefully inspires others to work together during this time,” added Larry Lehmann, JEF president.

The Jewish Federation is accepting donations here to keep the program running past the expected eight-week window.