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CAFE Meeting 07/19/23

Coalition Meeting Notes

Virtual Meeting

Discussion: Partnering with EBRPSS Men's Health Fair and Disaster Preparedness Plans

Helena Williams: So first and foremost, I always like to start these meetings with returning ourselves to CAFE's coalition's aspirational statement and also making sure that we all understand the goals that we're all reaching and one of them being in particular, the promoting of collaboration which we'll get further into today.

So the shared aspirational statement for CAFE is "Decrease the number of individuals in the capital region experiencing food insecurity", which is a very large statement, but we want to do that in different ways and and piece by piece, and we can only do that together with our collective impact. And so one of the goals that we're going to be focusing on today is around collaboration.

And so if you see in the agenda, the first thing that we're going to be discussing is the upcoming and I'll put it in the chat, the title, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Systems Men's Health and Wellness event that they are hosting on the 31st this month on Monday. This is an event that I believe it's all day and if you are not able to go there, CAFE will be tabling on behalf of the coalition.

So you can connect with me and I'll put my email in the chat just in case if anybody needs it you can connect with me and I can provide any materials that I am given on your behalf of CAFE. In addition to having a table there, CAFE also would like to do a testimonial gathering, question gathering activity.

And that is going to be our second part of this conversation. So first with the upcoming event, I want to make sure that everybody has the registration link if they are interested in participating on their own organization's behalf. I worked with the folks at the school system to get this all streamlined.

So all you have to do is apply and you'll get that, receive that information about tabling. You can say if you need any type of special table set up, anything like that so that you can provide resources. And even though it's men's health, I wouldn't limit it to just directly servicing in regards to men's health.

I would, any type of food access, health access. that would lead to healthier lives for everybody involved. Let me pause there, and if anyone wants to add or ask questions, I'm happy to do my best to answer.

Alright. With that, I want to take a little bit of time and talk about what kind of questions or conversations that we can have at an event like this so that we can start testimonial gathering. And if Pepper, if you want to help with what we did for the last time we did a collaborative event, and I think what, honestly, November, December of last year. Do you want to talk about the process that we went through to prepare for that? And if you remember the questions that we asked and I'll help add to it.

Pepper Roussel: I don't remember the questions we asked, but the process was pretty straightforward. It was really a matter of identifying Yeah.

Who could make it and who could not. The the folks who could make it were down in their One Rouge t shirts and asking folks how they might have gotten to the event what did they hope to get out of it. What sorts of things are important to them? This is not just for, our own identification.

We're not just being nosy. We are really trying to ensure that we've got this cross collaborative thing going on where Whether it be the other coalitions like education to career for instance, if you were there because you have a kid in school or you're because you've got a you're doing some sort of training for professional training in order to expand your own professional, your own growth, or if you were maybe somebody who caught the bus and it was difficult for you, then those are the sorts of things that are super useful to be able to share, not only amongst ourselves, right?

So where is it that we're actually having events, but also what does it look like for the other members of coalitions to ensure that we've got folks who can show up for events. So yeah it was by all accounts a success. Just hoping that we'll have more folks who dive in and engage.

Helena Williams: Yeah, and just to build a little bit more on the types of, and the reason why we did this on the ground research is we really wanted to get an idea from the, from everyone, from the partners, from the people requesting services. To the people putting the event on what were the barriers? What were the things happening before and after that impacted your access to this event? And the way that and the reason why wanting to spend a moment to think about questions is because we don't want to ask any leading questions and we don't want to ask any to invasive questions because you can definitely word questions in a way that.

Can sound at the detriment of the person who's answering them, and so they're less likely to respond honestly. So one of the questions that we asked instead of, do you have transportation? We asked, How did you find this place? How did you get here? And and let them just respond naturally.

And for example, when we were talking to the host of the event that we had last time, we asked them about their marketing is how did they get the word out there? And that was a huge pain point in that marketing is probably I think all of us know is one of the biggest hurdles that we have is getting what's happening out there.

And also finding out, of course, there's other similar events happening very close or nearby that is competing for an audience when could they have collaborated in time and grown a bigger event? So I want everyone to think about. Is there anything happening around this 31st date that could be combined into with EBR school systems event?

And What does that look like? And how can cafe help facilitate that combination? And this is just another effort for that. But there will be events in the future and talking with Nicola Hall and the people from the EBR school system. This is one of many events coming up. They're really wanting to invest in the people in the school system.

This is for current and past, like retired individuals, teachers, educators, anyone. So that I have to look up the exact date for when school starts. It's definitely August. Usually the teens, right? Does anybody know when the official school start date? But yeah. Does anyone want to uplift any type of questions they would like on CAFE to ask on behalf so that they could learn more about the people attending these events and if they have, if there's food insecurity questions, if there's health related questions that we can ask and we'll massage what those questions are worded like so that we can do this in collaboration with everyone.

Everyone. Thank you for August 9th.

Pepper Roussel: So the reason I ask is obvious, right? If we're doing something that's right before the beginning of school, then perhaps there's some sort of a hook to back to school. I was just looking for when we've got men's health month and that was in June. So we've missed that, but I've still got my thinking cap on.

So I'll be back.

Helena Williams: Yeah. And if anybody knows of any upcoming events or if you're hosting an event, That you would like to see more CAFE partners at the intention of all of this is to put more players at the stage to benefit the people being served so that they are more aware of what opportunities are available for them, what resources are available for them and the pathway to those resources.

Casey Phillips: Carl, it looks like you're off mute and wanted to talk. No, I'm just sitting here. It's been a while. Yeah. Hello. Welcome back stateside. Is there anything coming up with LSU Ag Extension or Mr. Johnson that said anything at BRCC with the choice pantry. I mean with the store.

Sorry, I got yep with the store. Anything that we can that we can rally behind and support.

Donavan Johnson: Thank you for that. Not at this time. Not that I'm aware of. I'll definitely keep you posted. Okay.

As to the LSU, you were asking about the

Carl Motsenbocker: LSU food pantry, my class is going to be growing food for them this fall. We were just meeting today, laying out plans for community plots that we're going to call it at our teaching facility. Trying to make it easier on the students and for us.

Casey Phillips: Yeah, there you go. Smart. Erica, I see Sir George is in the house, has said royalties here. As anything from the United Way, any events coming up in that August time period that would make sense for cafe to make it, like a group outing and come in support.

George Bell: First of all, greetings everybody. It's been a while since I've more than a minute since I've been on one of these calls, but with some of the transitions we've undertaken, I wanted to make sure I didn't lose any contact with this group. As far as August is concerned, I'm not aware of any specific events that we have other than some campaign related activities.

This is the beginning of our campaign kickoff season. We do have our annual meeting next week next Thursday, the 27th of July. But I did attend an event that was hosted by the Urban League and Ochsner Health, and it's called they're they were kicking off or announcing an event that's coming up here in October, and it's called the Big Health Event.

It's going to be at the River Center here in Baton Rouge, and they are really planning to pull all the stops out with this one. It sounds like a great collaboration between the urban league and auctioner health. And they're committing to having a number of free screenings and activities for the entire family.

It'll be a full day of activities in October. So that may be something we want to put on the list. There's going to be additional information forthcoming on it, but they did host a press conference slash meal luncheon for key stakeholders so that we could hear firsthand what the vision was for this event.

And it's all around helping them to provide more equitable access to many of the the types of health screenings and things that would be helpful to promoting a healthier community. So I would just like to maybe put that on our radar and I told them that we would use our United Way would be willing to use our network and our ability to reach out and make sure the the partners that we work with and the. clients that we serve all aware of this event. Thank you.

Casey Phillips: Awesome. Thanks, George.

Yeah, I just wanted to tell us to say, Hey, Erica, what's up? Welcome to space. Thanks for being here. Hey, Casey. Yeah, that's right. Good. Good. Yeah. Good to see you. Chef Tracy. I see you on camera now. Did you? Do you have Ochsner.

Traci Vincent: I'm supposed to have a conversation with Urban League staff about the capacity in which we'll participate, but we're definitely planning on doing some hands only CPR demonstrations in terms of food. Who knows? There'll be thousands of people there. I'm not sure that's the best idea. Maybe I'll just toss oranges at people or something.

I don't know.

Casey Phillips: We'll see. To be determined. I just pictured you in the NFL. Remember back in the eighties and nineties with American Gladiator with the tennis ball shooter. I just imagined Tracy like line people up with the oranges as they were walking into the river. So they're eat healthy.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

CAUW: Eat more fiber. Yes.

Casey Phillips: There you go. There you go. Thank you. Tracy. So LBH land so what do you think? What do you think?

Tewabetch Negatu: Hey, everyone. So I'm new to the space. I'm still kind of level setting. But I'm not aware of any huge L. D. H. Events. We were supposed to have our ship our state health improvement plan revealed today, actually super disappointed about that.

But it has been postponed and I do not know when that date will be. But when it is, I will definitely get it to you. I want to offer that we do a news letter quarterly. And so anytime we have any events like this as it relates to food insecurity food insecurity, or if you see anything around our four priority areas, which I'll drop in the chat, I'm happy to share in our newsletter.

Casey Phillips: Cool. I said, welcome to the group and it was great to share it space with you yesterday, but I'm going to circle back to you if there's time in this meeting, cause I would like people to know what it is that you're working on because it is very relevant to this group. So I'm going to leave the cliffhanger suspense and then give you a moment to gather yourself and to step into the microphone.

Helene, I didn't want to knock you off your agenda.

Helena Williams: No. I appreciate all the support. And while everyone was talking, I was just thinking about, timelines and where we are at in the calendar and also acknowledging that August is quickly approaching and with August comes hurricane season and planning for potential storms and recovery.

And so in that vein, is there any organization here that is currently planning while there's blue skies? for creating networks for food distribution if a storm happens in August, or maybe a when a storm happens August, September.

Tewabetch Negatu: So I'm sure LDH does, that is not my section, but I can find that information out and share it out with the group because we have an emergency response team. And I may be interrupted by a little one, just FYI.

Helena Williams: Yeah, no problem. And the reason why I bring that up is because what usually happens is we're so great at disaster responding.

And so what can we do in ahead of time to prepare locations? Where is it going? A distribution going to happen? And then while we have partners here, like BRCC with the store, like how can we connect with you Donovan? Carl, the LSU Ag Center or the LSU's food pantry to help with that distribution and where these hubs can be so that we can prepare ahead of time those types of pipeline or distribution dominoes so that we can ensure that people are getting access to foods as refrigerators go out of service and grocery stores closed down.

And that requires months of planning and we always tried to squeeze it into hours. So while we have an opportunity, that's something we can start to think about. So We will be reconvening in August in one month in person at the downtown library, which we talked about at our education meeting. And I can put it into the chat, the invitation as well.

But I think when we do combine, we haven't set the agenda for sure. But I do think that is something of a topic at the agenda. As we will be right in the midst of hurricane season to start looking at those distribution pipelines so that we can start planning. Yes, Erica.

Erica Smith: I just wanted to speak on so when disasters hit. We work with MOSEF and we're actually having a meeting coming up soon to get ready for our hurricane, hurricanes, disaster preparedness, and as when disasters like that hit we have a two on one representative that goes to MOSEF.

That way that we can keep everybody up to date with food distributions, where to go for a sandbag information, where that you can get disaster preparedness. And we keep that up to date. Like we are steady there. We have people who work in shifts that make sure that everybody has that up to date disaster information.

Helena Williams: Thank you. Yes. And two and one has been such a great resource for things like this, especially when when the electricity goes out, that usually means the internet goes out, and so connecting online is near impossible, and so having a phone service is so beneficial, even though it seems like old technology, it's reliable technology.

Casey, you're always very good at thinking about things like this, and you've also been attending some of the Safe, Hopeful, Healthy meetings, which I know doesn't technically correlate. With what we're talking about now, but when we're talking about creating conduits and collaboration, do you have any like conversation or input around preparing disaster preparedness during these blue sky times?

Casey Phillips: Sure. And I see George off of off mute. And I am suspecting that maybe we would say a few of the same things, but go ahead, George.

George Bell: I was just going to add into Erica's point as well. That up to date information is really even more frequent than that. It's almost up to the minute because during, as you all know, during and following disasters, that information changes.

So we really work diligently to try and make sure we have accurate and up to the minute information about when, where and what's available. But I was going to add this and I know one Rouge's focus is he's primarily East Baton Rouge parish. But when you look at our region our 10 parish region one of the things I've found to be the uncertainty of hurricanes gives you really a real test and challenging to how can we first quickly identify who and where those areas that are affected number one, and then number two of the areas that are affected, where are the areas that can serve as distribution points for supplies and things like that.

And that to us has been one of the biggest challenges. And hurdles that we have to overcome early on following these disasters. So communication early on is real key. Any organization that has the capacity to and the interest to receive goods, supplies, and then serve as a distribution point please let us know who you are and where you're Are able to provide that function because and especially if you have the ability to go beyond your, beyond E B R, we have found that those areas that are prone to being hit or oftentimes outside of our immediate parish.

But we've also found that having distribution points or receiving points, warehouse. capacity is real important because immediately following disasters, we get, we start receiving requests from organizations that want to send food that want to send supplies and one of our biggest challenges is just identifying when and where we can start receiving and storing that, that those goods and services.

So that's something I wanted to put out there. We've had these discussions in other circles. One of the areas, one of the groups that we've leaned on regionally has been the Cajun Navy and they've added capacity to both receive and distribute large quantities of supplies and things like that.

So that, that is one that I'll put out there. But it's, it is hit or miss and if there's one area of need, it would be in creating a more coordinated schedule and location map of where those locations are so that when the time comes, we can quickly act.

Casey Phillips: George, do you see the coordination of that and when we're just thinking about one bridge and cafe and the message that I sent to you a little while ago do you see this as something the coordination is going to be required to be not excluding them, but does it need to go through MoSAP or is this more effective in the NGO space and in the coordination of the kind of outside and making it known to everybody in real time, the first one to seven days.

This is where it's at. This is the people who are going to flow, actually do the distribution and it's all outside the system or inside it.

George Bell: Casey, I think you answered your own question.

Casey Phillips: I was definitely leading the witness, but you and I also have a truthful enough report and you're like, Hey, yo, stay in your lane.

George Bell: Yeah. I think they have the best intentions to be able to deal with it, but the closer you are to the ground, And your ability to receive that information. And that's where a 2 1 1 comes in handy. We get real time information and feedback that has helped us pivot and make timely decisions about where and when items are needed and services are needed.

I think unless... Now we have a seat at MOSEP and we are able to keep that line open, but it just depends. It depends on the severity of the issue. It depends on how plugged in. They are to the information that's being shared and provided.

Casey Phillips: George, I just want to, because I'm writing this down in it, because I just want to be able not to quote it to you, but to make sure that I understand really the clarity. You said the biggest need, you recognized a couple of them, there's a pain point after the disaster for real time info immediately following to be able to distribute that's trusted.

The first one is on Fridays, regardless, we have, with offices in the multiple regions, we can ensure continuity of operations. The Friday call. We'll continue whether people are on zoom, Internet's out or just by phone Friday will be a response, response space and it could potentially be a daily call for the community if that's what it needs to evolve into.

But for now, we know for sure on Friday you also said that y'all get a big influx of not to mention just corporations, but people wanting to send food supplies and volunteers during those first 1-14 days in that time period. And, and as far as like where to send those supplies, where to send those volunteers, Cajun Navy has become a really rock solid partner, but they're just one entity and outside of that, it's very hit or miss.

So you're saying that the biggest need is to create a more coordinated map to do exactly what?

George Bell: And again, I'm thinking beyond EBR, so I need to make sure that when I talk about this. Distribution network. It's going into some of those rural outlying parishes or communities that may not have the infrastructure that we have here.

But yes, it is desperately needed that we have those distribution sites across our footprint, our 10 parish area. Within Baton Rouge, I think we have a better handle on what's available. And especially depending on which areas are still functioning that, that's always the big question, who has power, who has who's not affected by flooding or water or what have you access.

So if we can identify of the organizations and the sites that are interested in doing this, the ones that are able to Step up and be on the receiving end of this and that helps considerably

Casey Phillips: Yeah, and look I like to build with people in public and not hold back ideas.

It's open source, right? And mr. Johnson part of this conversation is gonna be like curving around BRCC so I just wanted to make sure and give you a heads up about that, but first and what I'm hearing is George one of the biggest things that I'm hearing here Besides the emphasis on all 10 parishes.

So duly noted and received. Sometimes it takes three times, but I got it on the second. It feels if we were picking these distribution points, a very logical thing to say would be whether it's a warehouse or a gym, a community or whatever it is on the roof, which is going to be, if the water is over the roof of the Amazon warehouse that The city is we're in trouble, right?

And I said, but at the end of the day, if there were solar panels on top of the roofs of these distribution points, just like what they have, these little like spots in New Orleans, right? That stay online, that that stay online and keep the refrigerated stuff going and can ensure continuity of operations as long as the roads are accessible around the facility.

That would be the, the first one in doing that geographically in all 10 parishes. In full transparency, Mr. Donavan with, I'm sorry, is it Dr. Johnson or is it Mr. Johnson? I apologize, man. It's formerly Dr. Johnson, but Donovan is totally fine. Please. Okay, cool. I always like to give the respect to the PHD because I know the time that goes into that.

Donavan the walls project was actually moving into onto the BRCC North Acadians campus with our headquarters on the abandoned warehouse. It's in the back quadrant that used to be used for electrical training, right? And the idea was not only were we going to move there. We were going to try to use EDA dollars, right?

And to be able to because it was all of our workforce development, the One Rouge Coalition was going to be based out of there. Metromorphosis would use it as a satellite office, I digress. The biggest thing is that's the Blue Skies activity. What we wanted to do was to actually, we were, we could partner with Verizon Wireless and a few other partners, and we actually wanted To bring in tax credits with solar on all the rooftops and actually utilize that campus with the massive amount of parking lot that's around it and actually have that as a disaster response center, not for people to come inside the building and, in, in sleep and all that stuff.

But to know that state farm and all the insurance providers that are still standing in the state are there. All the health care providers, anybody that's delivering any services and We would have cooling stations and cooling tents and charging stations and in a place also that everybody could come to charge their phone, get free wifi and it really become like a hub and Chancellor was down for it.

We were trying to, we just couldn't make it in full transparency, I said, and I love it. I'm smiling because I love, I love him, but it was we just couldn't get the CFOs to get the deal right, right? Like we just couldn't get there and it's just, that's all there was to it.

But I still think that opportunity exists and with the bakery project tower that's being erected there which, we got to put that behind the scenes. There is going to be a Wi Fi tower on BRCC Acadian's campus that is going to be emitting low cost Wi Fi to all of Howard Park, to Scotland.

right? And then those are going to be tied into other towers across northbound route. So if that's already in place, then we could really think about that is one of the hubs, right? And then you get out to Scotlandville, Jewel J. Newman. There's no question about it. That's the one right? That's the spot.

The community, is absolutely comfortable. They're used to going there to get services. And it's got a distribution infrastructure. So the idea of with this coalition, we can all work together and actually identify what those hubs are in Ascension Parish, in Livingston, in Baker, in Clinton, right?

In Point Capi, in Brusley, and I'm sure I'm missing some so nobody get mad if y'all down river a little bit. I'm just saying that we can put that together. And that would be a big checkbox, and I believe that it could be basically done with a simple document of cooperation. I don't even think it has to be anything with legal teeth like an MOU, where it could just be a document of cooperation with facility use agreements, right?

Outlining exactly what everybody's comfortable with, and then we could then begin assembling the community partners, the 400 non profits, aligning those with the philanthropic dollars that are going to be coming through the United Way and BRAF. And then, of course, Mosa. And it feels like we could get this right and the parish presidents of the other nine parishes could also obviously be involved in that process.

United Way already has a reach across the region, right? BRAC has a reach across the region. the Arts Council has a reach, in theory, across the region, right? It really is just about, it's actually a small number of entities. that you would actually have to get aligned to action, right? It's not like that hundreds or thousands.

It's more of 25 to 50, right? And really spending the time to put that together before the water hits the fan. Any thoughts to build on top of that? A couple of follow up questions. When was the last time you had that conversation? We were negotiating to do the renovation, begin the renovations at the space.

I think it's like it was 7800 square feet. We were going to work with Mapp Construction was our DGC and we were going to begin construction in January of 2020. And so by, we couldn't quite get to the finish line by the end of 2019 to move into that plan. So it was hovering. And again, it was awesome.

But then Phil Smith was no longer at the foundation. Dr. Melancon is no longer at North Acadian. And then COVID hit and the need for us to have an 8000 square foot space was slightly lessened from an urgency standpoint, and we just never ever been able to revisit it because at the day, it was if we could not be the applicant for the EBA dollars because we didn't own the building.

It's a state building, right? So it requires like a certain level of partnership where BRCC and the walls would go in together where there's EDA dollars and but It's a 20 year marriage, right? And we just, it, there was just a lot of moving parts. And so we just never came back to it.

But I remember the first time that we asked Chancellor and he was just like, it was the fastest yes I've ever had. It was crazy. Like he didn't even ask questions. He was like, yes. And I was just like, I don't know you all that super well, but I like you.

So we're obviously building in transparency. Everybody on this call has a lot of a lot of water under the bridge. So I'm just being very open about it. In the spirit of, seeing if we could maybe run that play in a couple of different places and who knows, maybe Southern, maybe it would make sense for Southern and the Jewel J. Newman Center to actually be two distribution points, right?

The most immediate ask, if I'm interpreting correctly, is just to revisit the conversation. Have all the people at the table just to pitch this idea again, right? Is there anything I can go with? No, you definitely boiled all my words down to one simple sentence. You did. And then in the education to career coalition yesterday, which was all focused on how to utilize schools as community hubs, not community schools, but community hubs.

Although most of the conversation was around K through 12 buildings. Obviously BRCC is, it's in the name. It's a community hub, right? And Pepper, thanks for reminding me about that because that really does intersect A few different coalitions exactly in the same spot.

Helena Williams: All right, so we're about five minutes left in this conversation. Thank you, Doug. Yes, thank you. And so I wanted to just end with a new thing that we are working with. We started this actually with the Transportation and Mobility Coalition, but I wanted to CAFE. This asset mapping form. So originally the asset mapping was an activity that's best suited for in-person.

You can do it virtual, but I wanted to get more of a offline attempt at get gathering organizations who have assets that are either short term or long term. And I'm gonna drop the form in the chat and this can be done as homework, but what. The intention is that as we gather this information, not just CAFE, but the other coalitions, One Rouge is going to become a resource hub for these assets.

And I was putting together like a small demonstration of what that looks like, but in the time that I was putting it together, I didn't have too many examples. I can show what that looks like or wait for more input to build a better Show it. You want to show it? Okay, thanks Casey. Alright. This is just the form, but this is one example, but what will be done is that this is a filter.

You can filter by the coalition. or area. So based on what assets you're looking to learn more about, be it education assets, being transportation assets, be it food access assets. As we build coalitions and partnerships to give us this information, you'll see listings that fit that as well as the area of services that this offer is intended for and any other information.

So the more information that we're given. The more dynamic we can create this asset and it would just be it can be a link to your page for more information. It could be linked to a calendar invite. All that is up to the information that we received. And this was just a very recent example that I had gotten from Reverend Anderson on upcoming thing in regards to, I allocated to transportation and mobility, but it's more about to talk about traffic getting those traffic, education, empowerment court stuff, but it impacts traffic.

It impacts transportation because if you lose your license, then you're at a detriment of getting from where you need to go. So this is just a very small example of something that can happen, but. It is something that I can create for the coalition and work with my coders to create it more dynamic, more interesting, more supportive and helpful.

And then when we're talking about helping create asset maps, not just for things like this, but when we're looking for distribution centers, this is another way we can intake that information. And so one of the questions that I was going to ask George was. What is the conditions that someone must meet to be a distribution center?

And how do they apply for that? Did you just ask that or something?

Casey Phillips: I literally just typed that to George. I just typed it to George. I was trying not to disrupt the conversation. Oh, yeah.

Helena Williams: But no, just that. So how can we help take this A to B step so that when something happens is a participatory agent and ensuring that people know how to become a distribution center if they meet the qualifications and if they just want to be supportive as a volunteer, how do they go to a distribution center and say, I am here to help?

And so that it could be that they are they are their own distribution entity in terms of, driving, they have a vehicle that suited to bring foods from one distribution center to another. And you just need to let them know you need a truck with this amount of weight distribution, whatever, whatever.

George Bell: I'll give you the short answer, Alina. And but just know that it and the short answer is it depends if you're talking ideal scenario where we're looking at. Receiving goods from 18 wheelers, obviously having a deck, a dock having a a forklift or something to receive and move supplies on pallets, things like that.

That's like the best scenario ever. And then the smaller scenario, and this is what we found following the flood was we, pretty much were able to set up distribution sites at any place that was high and dry that had a way to get in and out safely and had volunteers or could pull together volunteers who were willing to unload and load cars, unload trucks and load cars.

So it really depends. And that was more of a flood type disaster. Hurricanes we were, especially when we were looking at St. James and outlying areas we had we had donations of generators. We had donations of supplies to help people clear out their The Cajun Navy had, water and just lots of stuff that, that people could use.

And fortunately for us, they were able to not only receive it, but deliver it. So that was like the best scenario for us, for the outlying areas, because it gave us both a destination to direct supplies to, and then we coordinated in the local communities where it needed to go. But I would, I'd have to give some thought to what, the different types of distribution and receiving sites. But I think we can work on that. We're going to go ahead.

Casey Phillips: No, no. Say it. It's a simple question.

George Bell: I was just going to add we're in the process of interviewing for Edy's replacement and one of the things we're looking at is trying to see if we can also gain some additional background in disaster and disaster work.

So there may be some options available to us there but regardless, this is an area that we know we need to beef up our chops in and make sure that we can function at a higher level, not only during a, a disaster or following a disaster, but in preparation for those disasters.

Casey Phillips: So just to build really quickly George, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most pressing need, how important in the big and the small sites, and we'll just keep it simple, big, small how important is refrigeration?

George Bell: Oh, it is huge. It's the one thing that we don't have right now.

Casey Phillips: And so we know that those coolers cost about $8, 000 to $10, 000 each to plug in, right?

And I'm thinking that we could also integrate the GeauxGetHealthy food hub food hubs. Right now it's a singular hub, but it could be food hubs. And those will all have that refrigeration and be set up for that. That's something to think about. And then my other question to you is, if these are strategically placed around the 10 parishes, How important?

Let's it's two different questions. There is one inside the EBR and then there's the rule. How important is transportation, transporting and distributing said supplies from these distributions? Is it like 50% of the stuff that gets dropped and loaded onto the pallets? Does 50% of it get picked up directly at the space and then 50 of it gets distributed?

Or do you have to have like intense buses, couriers, refrigerated trucks? to be able to then disperse everything? Or do you think that people find it bugs to life? They come there for it. It depends on transportation and stuff like that.

George Bell: Of course. Yeah. If you've seen one, you've seen one, the, so the challenge is always, how do you get the supplies from point A to where they need to be?

And sometimes we have had situations where the supplies were available, but there was no place to deliver, no place to deliver. No central place, no, immediately following Hurricane Ida, in St. James Parish, it was real rough. There were very few places that we could even direct support to because nobody really could receive it.

There was, it wasn't an electricity, there wasn't power so it, it really just depends The need and the severity of the disaster and how widespread it is to be able to answer that question. I'm, I know I'm not giving you much but...

Casey Phillips: Dude, what are you talking about? I got I have an endless page of notes right now between just with you and Donavan right now.

And Tracy and Erica, thank y'all both for building. It also just occurred to me that, it all depends on high and dry, but, one of the most logical places was grocery stores. Yeah. Yeah. Especially the chains, to be honest, because the chains would have, I have family in Henderson Henderson, Louisiana, right outside Lafayette, and everybody in my family all works at the family grocery store.

I have for generations and they all work there. And hell, it's just enough for them during Blue skies just to make sure that the red someone's standing at the register, right? Yeah. Yeah. But I, but these bigger chains, it feels like when I have the capacity to be able to, section off a certain part of the cool, the cooling area or the supplies, the those supplies, those could be distributed out the back of the store and then the more traditional distribution of commerce would come through the front door.

And, that seems like that could be an option.

George Bell: That could be, but we have not been involved with any of that kind of distribution, we have received truckloads of water from Walmart not local, but corporate, and they've been very supportive but that's been distributed in their parking lot and not necessarily, now we've had ice distributions and ice becomes a hot commodity when no pun intended, but it becomes a hot item when you're looking at temperatures like this.

Think about what we would do if we were to have a hurricane, in, in 90 plus degree temperatures.

Casey Phillips: Yeah. Like speaking of for real the reason I couldn't sleep last night, that was it. And then I watched Aaron Brockovich and then that got me even more fired up about environmental racism. I'm up in an hour and a half. This is going to be a fun day. George, thank you for all the back and forth. We don't get to spend a ton of time. And folks, I hope that it's okay that we just had all this, but this is this is something that I feel that cafe can really do and be in service of the community.

And it also requires being at the table again with most graph and with most graph United way. Okay. And and making and committing to that, with our team like we're, we're hopefully going to be bringing another person into one route. But the reality is that there'll need to be someone from one route at most hours of the day with everything going down.

And that's, we don't have 400 people that work for us. And you, y'all see the strain that puts on United Way staff. Oh, yeah. During the disasters and I hope I cannot wait to see who you all hire to replace Edie, but just let the record show, I'm going to throw some shade if anybody, if Judy retires, if you fill that position with anybody but me, dude, I've been training for 11 years for this, to be your executive assistant, so don't you dare hire that underneath me.

You owe me! Ha! Ha! Just kidding.

George Bell: Are you talking about some big shoes to fill, man?

Casey Phillips: Man, I don't even know if I dare. I don't even know if I dare. Anyway, thank you, George, for today and Donavan, thank you, and Donavan, you and I will go offline and I could have a five or ten minute conversation and pull you fully up to speed and everybody that was involved and I would love to revisit it, even if it's not just for us, even if it's more of a community space.

I think that it's an underutilized I think that it's an underutilized community asset in Howell Park that could be really transformational.

George Bell: And Donavan sorry I didn't get a chance to hear the introduction, but but I take it you're at BRCC? I am. Okay, alright, nice to meet you man. And what's your role there?

Donavan Johnson: Dean of Students..

George Bell: Okay, alright great. Nice to meet you, look forward to working with you over the upcoming months.

Donavan Johnson: Likewise, thank you so very much. Alright. See y'all. Thank


Helena Williams: Thank you everybody. Thank you for staying in overtime. We'll see you in August. See you in August everybody. Bye. Bye. Bye.



Casey Phillips

Helena Williams

Traci Vincent Druilhet

George Bell

Erica Smith

Donavan Johnson

Kelli Rogers (GGH)

Pepper Roussel - One Rouge

SK Groll


14:00:44 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

14:02:06 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

EBRPSS Men's Health & Wellness event on 7/31

14:02:27 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

14:03:04 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

14:03:07 From Kelli Rogers to Everyone:

I have to hop off about 3:20 today.

14:03:23 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

Reacted to "I have to hop off ab..." with 👍

14:04:03 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Replying to "I have to hop off ab..."

No worries, Kelli. We should be done 2:45p … unless you meant 2:30p, then we will miss you. 🙃

14:05:02 From Kelli Rogers to Everyone:

Replying to "I have to hop off ab..."

Yep...I did mean 2:20. I'm on ET and was looking at the clock on my computer.

14:06:35 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Reacted to "Yep...I did mean 2:2..." with 👌🏾

14:08:33 From One Rouge to Everyone:

When does school start?

14:09:22 From Donavan L. Johnson to Everyone:

August 9th for EBRPSS

14:09:24 From Erica Smith - CAUW (she/her) to Everyone:

August 9th

14:09:28 From One Rouge to Everyone:

We missed Men’s Health Month - it was June

14:12:59 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Here is the flyer for the 7/31 event

14:16:55 From SK Groll to Everyone:

Reacted to "EBR Schools Health Fair Postcard (print)_Page_1.jpg" with ❤️

14:21:39 From SK Groll to Everyone:

Reacted to "" with ❤️

14:31:22 From One Rouge to Everyone:

For more information on those buildings that stay online with the Community Lighthouse Project:

14:38:55 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

14:46:31 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

We’re in overtime, so if you need to jump off you are good with us!

14:47:26 From Tewabetch Negatu, PhD (she/her) to Everyone:

So sorry, I have to drop off, but I did reach out to a colleague in relation to food distributions in BR.

14:47:41 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Thank you so much Tewabetch!

14:47:58 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

Reacted to "So sorry, I have to ..." with 👍

14:48:09 From Tewabetch Negatu, PhD (she/her) to Everyone:

nP! Feel free to email me at if you ever would like for me to include community events in our newsletter

14:48:11 From Tewabetch Negatu, PhD (she/her) to Everyone:

Thank you

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