Dozens of people line up outside the Broadmoor Church in New Orleans for the Broadmoor Improvement Association’s monthly food pantry. Standing six feet apart, participants wait their turn to show their ID in exchange for a box of groceries.
As soon as the pandemic hit, the Broadmoor Improvement Association expanded its food assistance program to include hot meals and home delivery. They hired Spanish translators and organized a phone bank using voter rolls. But they’re still not able to meet the catastrophic level of need.
“There was someone who came into the pantry today, and we were like, ‘We’re so sorry, we can’t get you another box. Please come back next month.’ And the woman said to me in Spanish, ‘Well, we might not be here next month if we can’t get the box.,’” Mangigian said.
“The system is totally broken. It’s totally insufficient. And that is the ugly side of this.”