Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Free Grass Roots Feeding Facility in New Orleans to be Shut Down

The only kitchen serving fresh, nutritious meals to the people of New Orleans east of Canal St. is being threatened with closure by city officials.

The loose-knit coalition of groups known as 'the Rainbow Family of Living Light', best known for their yearly 4th of July Rainbow Gatherings at rotating locations throughout the country, have been instrumental in the relief effort following Hurricane Katrina. The mobile kitchen they founded in Waveland, Mississippi, the area hardest hit by the storm, has been consistently serving 2,000 people a day since its inception in early September.

In New Orleans, the Rainbow Family established a kitchen over a month ago serving three meals a day to the homeless, nearly homeless, and underserved people of New Orleans. A half mile away is a facility with huge tents and serving areas set up by FEMA, but it is for FEMA contractors only, and large signs posted outside say "No public services available". In fact, FEMA has been very visibly absent in the city of New Orleans, from their initial arrival five days late to their inexplicable lack of public centers in the city itself.

The "Welcome Home Kitchen", as the Rainbow Family's Kitchen is known, has been serving well over 700 people each day for three meals a day, as well as providing free medical care, a distribution center of clothing and supplies, a community bulletin board and information table, and a sense of camaraderie that has brought smiles and hugs from people in the most desperate of circumstances.

But now the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of the New Orleans Emergency Operations Center, Ms. Cynthia Lear, has declared that the city will unilaterally shut the kitchen down on Wednesday, providing no alternative and no resources for the underserved in New Orleans. Ms. Lear has stated that there is no appeals process for this decision, even though community members at the Fauberg-Marigny neighborhood council meeting on Monday gave virtually unanimous support to the ongoing work of the kitchen.

Please call ms. cynthia sylvan lear, the deputy chief administrative officer of the new orleans emergency operations center at 504-658-2180

and Mayor Nagin at (504) 658-4924, Fax: (504) 658-4938
to express your dismay that such a resource would be unilaterally dismantled by the government while it is providing such an important resource for the community.

I'm in New Orleans, now.
I recieved the above post yesterday morning.
They Still Need People To Call.

They didn't shut it down today but there is always tommorrow. No official will say they won't. There was a communty meeting today (i filmed it) Nagin say'd they would work with us but then offered 3 liasons one after another each one was rebuked by the founder of the encampment one for for bringing in the cops to harass, one for bringing in the ICE (homeland security?) to harass, and the last for showing up this morning with health inspectors looking to shut it down.

They have served 16,000 free meals and no ones got sick.
This started as a free medic place and the communty started pitching in ... and needing food... there are a little over 30 full time volunteers working to feed this communty.

I got some great footage of houses in the middle of the street, a boat in a tree and interviews with people surveying their damage.

The Barge... on a school bus
The Barge sitting on the front of a school bus
photo by On The Ground
I haven't yet made it to the really bad part. I need to print myself a press pass 1st cause it's "the forbiddn zone".

I'm still with out a video editing machine so it'll be awhile before I can release the footage.

There are wireless cafes & bar's available to work from. :)

Related Links ::: Rainbow Family, REMA, Fluxvew Katrina Video anArchive
... I could find no press coverage of today's meeting... Many citizens BLASTED the Mayor, FEMA and the electric utility for.. their neglect... for out sourcing clean up jobs and filling the available housing with cheap immigrent labor and contractors.

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Blogger Aaron the Truck Driver said...

That is the first picture ive seen of the barges.


found you via a next-vlog button

5:08 PM  

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