The Greater New Orleans Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $1.3 million to six nonprofit organizations working to assist area residents still recovering from last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Awarded through the Coastal Communities Fund, a program of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the grants include $250,000 to St. Anna's Episcopal Church to provide medical services to uninsured families in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines parishes; $234,807 to Options for Independence to provide mental health care to at least one thousand adults and children and workforce training to at least five hundred people in Assumption, Lafourche, Terrebonne, St. John, St. James, St Charles, and Jefferson parishes; and $172,000 to Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing to provide housing, employment, and financial literacy to families and individuals in Terrebonne, Lafourche, Assumption, and Southern Jefferson parishes.
Other recipients include the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadian, which will split nearly $250,000 to provide twenty million meals to an estimated 262,800 individuals in Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. John the Baptist, and Terrebonne parishes; Seedco Financial, which was awarded $208,622 to continue providing affordable loans to commercial fishers, local businesses, and residents of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaqumines parishes and to expand its services to five new parishes; and the United Houma Nation, which will receive $196,247 to provide social services, including mental health care, budgeting help, and nutrition for the elderly, to seventeen hundred members of the nation.
According to the Times-Picayune, the foundation has distributed about half of the $5 million it is required to disburse by year's end as part of a $20 million fund launched by RPA to assist oil spill victims in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. "We have to remember that the oil spill affected an entire region," said GNOF director of regional initiatives Marco Cocito-Monoc. "Through this fund, we've been able to make grants to no less than ten parishes. We've identified stellar nonprofit organizations working across parish lines to provide much-needed services to people still recovering from the devastating effects of last year's disaster."