The Delta Grassroots Caucus (DGC) is a broad coalition of grassroots leaders in the eight-state Delta region. DGC is also a founding partner of the Economic Equality Caucus,
which advocates for economic equality across the USA.

Update from Louisiana's massive increase in coronavirus infections--from Feeding Louisiana

Posted on March 26, 2020 at 09:47 AM

This is an update from the Louisiana food bank network, Feeding Louisiana, about the dire coronavirus situation in that state. As of March 21, Louisiana had the fastest 13-day growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world.

Feeding America officials in Louisiana and elsewhere tell us that financial donations are the best way to help. If you can contribute any amount, please go to one of the Louisiana food bank sites below and go to the link that says “Donate.” You can donate in about one minute.


Food Bank of Central Louisiana Alexandria, Louisiana (318) 445-2773

Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank Baton Rouge, Louisiana (225) 359-9940

Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana Monroe, Louisiana (318) 322-3567

Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadia New Orleans, Louisiana (504) 734-1322

The spread of the recent novel coronavirus and its associated disease, COVID-19, have created significant disruptions in the global economy. This holds true in Louisiana, as well. As of March 25, 2020, 1,795 total COVID-19 cases have been confirmed across 46 Louisiana parishes, with 65 deaths related to the disease.

Locally, the spread of COVID-19 is among the highest in the nation and world.

As of March 21st, Louisiana had the fastest 13-day growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world; Orleans Parish has the sixth-highest rate of known coronavirus cases of any county in the U.S.; “New Orleans has some of the highest coronavirus infection rates in the U.S. – yet it’s overlooked,” March 23,2020;

Significant case counts are found across the state. As of March 25, 2020:

–Orleans Parish, 827 cases, 37 deaths

–Jefferson Parish, 359 cases, 7 deaths

–Caddo Parish, 93 cases, 0 deaths

–East Baton Rouge Parish, 75 cases, 3 deaths

–St. Tammany Parish, 67 cases, 1 death

–Ascension Parish, 65 cases, 1 death

As of March 25th, these six parishes reported more confirmed cases of COVID-19 than 10 U.S. states and territories.

The critical actions undertaken to alleviate the rapid spread of the virus across the state and nation have presented significant challenges to local economies.

–March 13th, the closure of all K-12 schools.

–March 16th, the closure of bars, gyms, casinos, movie theaters, and the restriction of restaurants to takeout and delivery service only. This significantly impacts minimum- and low-wage employees across all parishes of the state. Individuals who did not need food assistance previously are surging demand across the network.

–March 22nd, a statewide Stay at Home order directing the closure of all non-essential businesses and all Louisianans to shelter in place until April 13th.

–March 24th, President Donald Trump approved a Major Disaster Declaration for the state of Louisiana.

The effects of COVID-19 have introduced significant pressures on our social safety net.


The Louisiana Workforce Commission reported on Sunday, March 22 that its unemployment applications count for the week had reached 71,000, compared to 1,698 for the previous week, representing a nearly 4200% increase.

LWC reported on Monday, March 23rd that its projected unemployment benefits payout for the week would fall between $11 million and $17 million, compared to a regular week’s payout of around $2 million.

Reflected in these numbers is the statewide increase in need, including many individuals who are now seeking assistance through the food bank network for the first time.


The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services has seen an overwhelming increase in SNAP applications.

Between March 9th and March 15th, Louisiana DCFS received 5,743 SNAP applications.

Between March 16th and March 24th, DCFS has received 30,181 applications.

DCFS has transitioned the majority of its statewide staff to remote work. While its 900 eligibility workers are focused on processing new applications, DCFS reports a decline in efficiency related to remote work challenges. Additionally, SNAP program rules requiring DCFS staff to conduct phone interviews with each applicant to determine program eligibility represent another barrier to rapid distribution of food assistance benefits to Louisianans in need.

Louisiana’s food banks are responding to an unprecedented level of demand, while mitigating declines in volunteer availability, partner agency operations, and retail food donations. We need all the support we can get- monetary donations are better than food, and volunteers are still needed to assist. Precautions are being taken to maximize safety and social distancing.