Port provides pandemic assistance to local charities

Psl Covid 19 Relief Donation To St John United Way
Artis Williams, Director of United Way of St. John, accepts a $1,500 donation for COVID Relief to be contributed to food banks. Pictured with Artis are: PSL Commissioner Pat Sellars; Linda Prudhomme, Director of Business Development; Paul Aucoin, Executive Director of PSL.

There’s an age-old proverb stating, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” With this in mind, the Port of South Louisiana recently offered COVID-19 assistance to all three River Parishes to respond to the direct need for food in our communities.

“We have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in various ways,” says Paul Aucoin, Executive Director of the Port of South Louisiana. “The Port of South Louisiana services the three River Region parishes, so we thought it appropriate to assist groups from each parish. When we contacted these local organizations, we wanted to know what help they needed most. Each organization is running food pantries within their respective parishes, and donations were needed most of all to help meet the demands from the pandemic.”

Each of the three charities received a $1,500 donation from the Port of South Louisiana to assist with the continuation of the food pantry distribution programs for public assistance. Rather than donate prepared meals for a single day to each group, it was decided long-term assistance via grocery and ingredient purchases to be distributed to families would be more beneficial.

St. John United Way is based in Reserve and is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. Their mission statement is, “Uniting people and resources to create lasting changes in St. John the Baptist Parish by focusing on the building blocks for a better life — health, education and financial stability.”

Matthew 25:35 Ministries is a sister agency to The United Way of St. Charles. Their name corresponds with a Bible verse which states: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” The program offers food distribution to locals on Wednesdays and Sundays on a weekly basis.

St. James Parish President Peter Dufresne received the donation on behalf of St. James Parish and distributed food to pantry assistance.

The donations were presented to each organization during the summer and fall months. Various Port of South Louisiana Commissioners, Port Staff and PSL Executive Director Paul Aucoin were on-hand for the various presentations.

“The Port of South Louisiana is more than a tonnage port,” Aucoin says. “We care about our local communities and want them to know we’re here for them. The Port is proud to support our parishes, not only during this difficult time with the COVID19 pandemic, but year-round.”