Relief efforts for families underway



As fishermen, oystermen and shrimpers bite the bullet, so do the restaurants depending on them — and so do their families who can't live without them. Organizations like Second Harvest Food Bank are there to help. Second Harvest estimates 47,656 households may need assistance as a result of the BP oil disaster, and last month the organizations distributed hundreds of emergency food boxes throughout St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes.

But family pets also need help. Today, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) delivered 12 tons of dog and cat food to Belle Chasse at the Plaquemines Parish Department of Health and Animal Control to be distributed to coastal residents. According to HSUS Louisiana director Julia Breaux, the Plaquemines Parish Animal Welfare Society has seen an increase in relinquishment of pets since the disaster began — some pet owners can longer afford to care for their pets. HSUS' delivery included 24 pallets of dog and cat food, or about 24,604 pounds of food.

A statement from HSUS included this quote from Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser: “As we work to protect our marsh and wildlife during the oil spill disaster, we can’t forget our pets. Plaquemines Parish residents are known for being pet lovers. We don’t want people who are directly affected by this tragedy to have to choose between feeding their pets or feeding themselves. We want to thank the Humane Society for their thoughtful donation during this difficult time.”

For those that are looking to help with relief efforts, Second Harvest needs donations of nonperishable food items (which can be dropped off at its warehouse at 700 Edwards Ave. in Elmwood). The group also seeks volunteers (call 729-2849 or email for more information) and donations — for $1, the group can feed a family of four (call 734-1322 or visit the website to donate).

Find more information about HSUS' Gulf efforts and how to help on its website.

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