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World Central Kitchen, Mutual Aid Groups Mobilize to Feed Arabi Residents Following Destructive Tornado

Here’s how to help the residents of St. Bernard Parish and beyond

A man works over a large, hot industrial stove, stirring the contents that will become hot meals for tornado-affected residents in Arabi.
World Central Kitchen is partnering with NOCHI to provide hot meals to residents.
World Central Kitchen

On the night of Tuesday, March 22, a rare tornado hit the Greater New Orleans area, traversing an 11-mile path from Gretna to New Orleans East and causing the most destruction in Arabi in St. Bernard Parish. Around 150 homes were damaged as a result, with some destroyed entirely and at least one person was killed, according to NOLA.com.

By Wednesday, local mutual aid groups and community organizations like Imagine Water Works and Together New Orleans were mobilizing relief efforts, beginning with canvassing the Arabi neighborhood to assess the most urgent and immediate needs of residents — the most common among them hot food, water, and ice, in part due to the resulting power outage. One older couple whose home is on Esteban Street in Arabi explained they lost all of the contents in their fridge and freezer; the food was meant to feed them for months.

By Thursday, March 24, distribution and fundraising efforts began in earnest. Starting at 11 a.m. Thursday, Arabi bar and restaurant Pirogue’s Whiskey Bayou, located at 6904 St. Claude Avenue, is hosting a neighborhood benefit put on by Imagine Water Works, providing Arabi residents food from New Orleans butcher Piece of Meat, longtime New Orleans steakhouse La Boca, and food trucks La Cocinita and Southerns. Importantly, the organization, which has been integral to local on-the-ground recovery efforts in the wake of hurricanes and other disasters, will be “talking with neighbors about what they need right now, brainstorming ways to support each other tomorrow and in the days to come.”

Live music, a pillar of Louisiana’s post-disaster communing, will begin at 3 p.m. The organization will be accepting donations and is seeking shoppers for supplies as it gathers requests onsite.

World Central Kitchen has also arrived to the area, working with New Orleans culinary school and partner NOCHI to make and distribute hot meals, with plans to partner with local restaurants as the week goes on, according to a WCK spokesperson.

To be sure, St. Bernard Parish residents are in need of hot meals, prepared non-perishable food items, water, diapers, and more. Here, Eater New Orleans is tracking ways to contribute to relief efforts as they become available, including benefits, supply drives and drop-offs, and general fundraising.

If you know of a mutual aid fund, charitable organization, or other grassroots group that’s helping people on the ground right now, email the details to nola@eater.com. This guide will continue to be updated as further efforts get underway.


Imagine Water Works

What: Supplies and shoppers for mutual aid event in Arabi

When: Thursday, March 24, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: 6940 St Claude Ave, Arabi, LA 70032

Second Harvest Food Bank

What: Cleaning supplies, non-perishable food, water

Where: 700 Edwards Ave., New Orleans 70123

When: Today through the weekend, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily

What: Donations can be dropped in the marked bins outside of operating hours.

Feed the Second Line

What: Bottled water, non-perishable food, storage containers

Where: 3300 Royal St., New Orleans, 70117

When: 10 a.m. to just before sunset Today through Sunday

Good Trouble Network

What: Donation drive

Where: Urban South Brewery, 1645 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

When: Sunday, March 27

PJ’s Coffee

What: Recommended donations include new clothes with tags, toiletries, cleaning supplies and gift cards.

When: Now through March 31

Where: PJ’s Coffee at 7624 Maple St. in New Orleans; PJ’s Coffee at 70325 Hwy. 1077 in Covington; PJ’s Coffee at 73015 Hwy. 25 in Covington; PJ’s Coffee at 70456 Hwy. 21 in Covington; PJ’s Coffee at STPH, 1202 S. Tyler St. in Covington; PJ’s Coffee at 1665 Dove Park Road in Mandeville; PJ’s Coffee at 925 Hwy. 59 in Mandeville


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