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Big Easy Magazine: The Helis Foundation Contributes to Second Harvest COVID-19 Emergency Response

A Second Harvest volunteer passes out food

Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana is pleased to announce a lead gift for our COVID-19 emergency response from The Helis Foundation, a Louisiana private foundation established and funded by the William Helis Family and dedicated to supporting the greater New Orleans community.

Second Harvest President and CEO Natalie Jayroe says this major support is vital to continuing the food bank’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 emergency.

“We are so honored by this gift of love,” Jayroe said. “During any disaster or emergency response, monetary gifts are an incredibly efficient way to support us. But with our COVID-19 response, we’ve had to purchase more food than in our four-decade history. This is only possible thanks to amazing partners like The Helis Foundation.”

The funds will support Second Harvest’s distributions of emergency food and prepared meals to those most impacted by the pandemic, including unemployed gig and service industry workers, seniors isolated in their homes, and children who can’t access school meal programs. Since mid-March, Second Harvest staff and volunteers have nearly doubled their normal output, providing millions more meals in the same period compared to a year ago.

“Our New Orleans community has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused unprecedented levels of unemployment and food insecurity,” said David A. Kerstein, President of The Helis Foundation. “We are grateful to be able to partner with Second Harvest to help our neighbors in need, specifically the hospitality industry and gig economy workers who have been affected.”

Jayroe noted The Helis Foundation is also a major, long-term supporter of the Second Harvest mission to fight hunger in South Louisiana.

“This wonderful family and Foundation have been one of our most generous, long-standing donors, supporting Second Harvest for more than 30 years with donations totaling nearly $1.5 million.”

About Second Harvest Food Bank:

Second Harvest Food Bank is an affiliated ministry of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, a member of Feeding America, and a United Way Partner Agency. We lead the fight against hunger and building food security in South Louisiana by providing food access, advocacy, education and disaster response. Second Harvest provides food to more than 700 partners and programs across 23 South Louisiana parishes. Together, we make up the largest charitable anti-hunger network in the state. With our community’s help, we can make food security a reality for every household in South Louisiana.

To join us in the fight to end hunger, please visit Follow us on Twitter at; fan us on Facebook at or Instagram at @2ndHarvestGNOA.


Second Harvest Food Bank distributes commodities to eligible, needy families under the Food Bank Program in 23 south Louisiana parishes. Commodities will be given on a first come, first serve basis as a part of the normal food package provided by the site. Commodities can only be given to registered applicants.

About The Helis Foundation:

The Helis Foundation is a Louisiana private foundation, established and funded by the William Helis Family. The Helis Foundation’s resources and objectives are divided into two areas: the general fund, and the Diana Helis Henry and Adrienne Helis Malvin Art Funds. The general fund focuses on community needs primarily within the Metropolitan New Orleans area by granting funds to numerous local nonprofit organizations. The Art Funds were established exclusively by bequests from Diana Helis Henry and Adrienne Helis Malvin upon their deaths. The Art Funds make grants to sustain operations, to provide free admission to, and to acquire significant art works on behalf of major institutions and cultural organizations within the Metropolitan New Orleans area. Learn more at

Read the article on the Big Easy Magazine website.


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