A 24/7 epicenter of homestyle New Orleans cuisine in the Eighth Ward, Melba’s PoBoy’s, has teamed up with a local law firm to provide free breakfast and lunch for Orleans Parish school children for the next two weeks.
After the closure of New Orleans schools due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent concern for students’ access to meals, Wendy Manard of Manard Law Firm sought to help fill the gap. According to Where Y’at, Manard chose to partner with Melba’s because of its central location (situated prominently at the intersection of Elysian Fields and Claiborne Avenue), around the clock hours, and because it’s “known for being a good corporate neighbor.”
Since opening in 2012, Melba’s has become a neighborhood hub of sorts; it’s added a laundromat, created an art gallery and sells work by local artists, and hosts New Orleans authors for book signings and parties that include giving away free copies to neighborhood residents. It’s also gained a reputation for providing employees higher-than-average pay and benefits.
The free meals are available for all Orleans Parish students, high school and down. Breakfast (eggs, grits, and sausage) is served from 7 to 9 a.m., and lunch (red beans and rice plate or chicken tenders with fries) from noon to 2 p.m.
Melbas is among the many New Orleans restaurants shifting to takeout and remains open 24/7. Owner Scott Wolfe tells Eater that Melba’s will be ready to pivot to drive-thru only should further restrictions be put in place.
Know of local funds or movements to support New Orleans’s service industry? Have you heard of a restaurant closing permanently due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic? Let us know.