TLF began in January 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Mobile Loaves and Fishes of Austin, Texas (Austin MLF) was serving food on the streets of a desolate New Orleans when then-bishop Charles Jenkins met the volunteers. The bishop wanted to start a similar program in New Orleans, and Trinity’s rector agreed to begin the ministry. Trinity parishioner Alice Wright traveled to Austin to learn how the program operated then implemented Austin program in New Orleans. The menu that TLF serves (sandwiches, fruit, chips and cookies) originated with Austin MLF. Trinity’s ministry officially was part of Austin MLF, and Trinity reported its delivery routes, finances, and food service statistics to headquarters in Austin. Austin MLF leased the truck to Trinity for $1 per year.
TLF began serving New Orleans residents who were returning to their homes to salvage their belongings and begin rebuilding at a time when grocery stores and restaurants were in short supply. Eventually, Trinity MLF transitioned to serving those helping to rebuild homes, particularly volunteer groups that included but were not limited to Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Together. When the city’s rebuilding wave began to subside, Trinity MLF transitioned to serving the homeless and other local impoverished New Orleans residents. We currently serve the homeless population, students, HV programs, and several women shelters.
TLF serves around 50,000 lunches a year. Our program is funded through private donations and grants. TLF has 40-60 weekly volunteers. Our volunteers are parish members, school groups from the greater New Orleans area, citizens from the local neighborhoods, drug rehab/halfway programs and even international tourists. Our program runs 6 days a week from 8:30-10:30 AM, with some afternoon shifts scattered throughout the week.
Will Smith, Board Chair
John Pitzer, Associate Rector for Administration and Outreach
Melissa Fanning, Vestry Liaison