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Ida-impacted Louisiana residents receive help from United Way

Residents lined up outside of the St. Bernard Parish Community Center to receive their free supplies and food.

ARABI, La. — Thursday marked day two of the Hurricane Ida Relief Fund and United Way of Southeast Louisiana partnered with FOX61's sister station, WWL-TV, to help pass out necessities to residents hit hard by the storm. 

The event began at 10 a.m. and cars were lined up outside of the St. Bernard Parish Community Center hours in advance. 

"So we have a lot of water out here. We're continuing to get supplies in from a lot of our partner agencies," said Michelle Payne with the United Way of Southeast Louisiana. "Walmart has been wonderful. Target has been great, so we've been trying to get supplies as much as we can into the community."

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Box after box, volunteers worked off a sweat to get supplies ready. 

"211 is a fantastic resource. Highly encourage anyone to use it for anything, not just for supplies but even things like mental health," added Payne. 

Bags of food were also handed out since access to food has become scarce within communities and many eateries still remain closed. 

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"Maybe tarp for the house for the top of the house. I need some of that and some supplies and food and stuff, whatever they have to offer me," said Maylene Arbuthnot of the 9th Ward. 

"We did have lighting out for a long time. My lights were out for nine days. I had to buy more stuff, throw away stuff, things like that. I was told about this giveaway, so I came early so I won't be in a long line," said Shirley Hopkins of Chalmette. 

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For anyone who wants to be a part of the help, the United Way suggested donating, volunteering and gifting to the Relief Fund

One hundred percent of the gifts will stay local and go directly to those impacted. People are encouraged to donate water and sports drinks, baby formula, toiletries and mitigation supplies like garbage bags and cleaning products. 

United Way is holding their last giveaway on Friday in Orleans and Washington Parishes from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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