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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Meraux Foundation Commits $250,000 to Community Center of St. Bernard


Cutline: In addition to the new location, the Meraux Foundation’s latest commitment increases its annual support for the Community Center.

Photo Courtesy of Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation

By Todd Ragusa

The Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation announced recently that it has committed $250,000 to the Community Center of St. Bernard, a charity that provides emergency food assistance to local families. Part of the donation establishes a new home for the food pantry at 7143 St. Claude Ave. in Arabi. The newly renovated building is more conveniently located, larger, and includes space for another nonprofit serving St. Bernard Parish as well.

“We are pleased to double down on our commitment to the Community Center, supporting the critical work it is doing to provide meals to local families in need,” said Rita Gue, the president of the Meraux Foundation.

In addition to the new location, the Meraux Foundation’s latest commitment increases its annual support for the Community Center.

“We are grateful for the Meraux Foundation’s continued support, which is having a direct, positive impact on people’s lives,” said Jamie Hornberger, the Community Center’s executive director. “Since the start of the pandemic and economic crisis, we’ve seen a spike in the number of families requiring food assistance. The Meraux Foundation immediately stepped up to help us meet this extraordinary need, and they continue to do so.”

A year ago in March, the Meraux Foundation launched a Covid-19 grant program to support established 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations serving St. Bernard Parish. The first grant under the program more than doubled its annual commitment to the Community Center. This most recent commitment adds to that.

The Community Center’s new location on St. Claude Ave. will be easy for its clients to access and, newly renovated, will provide an overall enhanced experience. The building includes additional space for another nonprofit, to be determined, as well. The location will serve as a hub for charitable work supported by the Meraux Foundation, and it complements the nearby St. Claude Arts, a two-block arts campus created by the Meraux Foundation.

“This stretch of St. Claude Avenue is a major gateway to St. Bernard Parish, and the Meraux Foundation is making strategic investments to help spur economic growth along the corridor, like elsewhere, that will ripple throughout the parish,” said Gue.

The Meraux Foundation is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established by Arlene Meraux to benefit the community of St. Bernard Parish by leveraging its landholdings. Today, the Foundation’s board of directors is presided over by Arlene’s niece, Rita Gue, and consists of members Floyd Gue, Bill Haines, Chris Haines, and Sidney Torres, III. Guided by Arlene’s vision, the Board is implementing an innovative strategy to create lasting change and build a better St. Bernard.

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