Catholic Charities of Acadiana announced the planned expansion of its food and nutrition programs, including the expansion of St. Joseph’s Diner services and the construction of a new FoodNet food bank.
“The COVID pandemic has not only highlighted the existing needs of those who suffer from hunger, but also presented challenges in providing nutritious meals and additional food in a safe environment,” said Kim Boudreaux, CEO of Catholic Charities of Acadiana. “While it’s time to come back to in-person dining at St. Joseph Diner, we want to do so safely while being able to never have to close the doors again. This planned expansion will help us better serve hungry people across Acadiana.
A fundraising campaign to finance the expansion and construction of the St. Joseph restaurant and the FoodNet food bank will begin in early 2022. The law firm Broussard et David has already pledged a donation of $ 300,000.
“We are all called to serve and care for those who need it most,” said Blake David, senior partner at Broussard & David. “Our company, alongside our families, has served at St. Joseph Diner for years. We are excited to invest more in expanding food and nutrition programs at Catholic Charities of Acadiana, helping them to reach out more into the community and better serve our neighbors with compassion and dignity.
The pandemic has forced the St. Joseph Diner to stop eating in person. The expansion will include a new, larger dining room with increased access for customers, as well as expanded meal service hours to reduce the number of people that are served at any given time.
“As an organization, we have always strived to honor the inherent dignity of each of our clients,” said Boudreaux. “We want to provide the dignity of eating when you are hungry, instead of being told when you can or cannot eat, while providing a customer-choice pantry option through the FoodNet Food Bank. This expansion will help strengthen the capabilities of our food. and nutrition programs and help us meet regional needs of sufferers on a larger scale. “
Starting today, Catholic Charities of Acadiana will begin serving a daily meal outside of St. Joseph Diner, seven days a week. Meal service will begin at 11:00 a.m. Those wishing to volunteer at St. Joseph Diner or the FoodNet Food Bank can register at catholiccharitiesacadiana.org. Those wishing to support this project are encouraged to contact Ben Broussard, Head of External Affairs, at [email protected]