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News :: Human Rights
Protect the right of the "Welcome Home" Kitchen in New Orleans to remain open
08 Nov 2005
The City wants to close down the Rainbow Family
meals when FEMA won't even feed people.
"sing and dance" <jenka (at) indymedia.org> wrote:

The only kitchen serving fresh, nutritious meals to
the people of New Orleans east of Canal St. is being
threatened with closure by city officials.

The loose-knit coalition of groups known as 'the
Rainbow Family of Living Light', best known for their
yearly 4th of July Rainbow Gatherings at rotating
locations throughout the country, have been
instrumental in the relief effort following Hurricane
Katrina. The mobile kitchen they founded in Waveland,
Mississippi, the area hardest hit by the storm, has
been consistently serving 2,000 people a day
since its inception in early September.

In New Orleans, the Rainbow Family established a
kitchen over a month ago serving three meals a day to
the homeless, nearly homeless, and
underserved people of New Orleans. A half mile away
is a facility with
huge tents and serving areas set up by FEMA, but it is
for FEMA
contractors only, and large signs posted outside say
"No public
services
available". In fact, FEMA has been very visibly
absent in the city of
New Orleans, from their initial arrival five days late
to their
inexplicable lack of public centers in the city
itself.

The "Welcome Home Kitchen", as the Rainbow Family's
Kitchen is known, has been serving well over 700
people each day for three meals a day, as well as
providing free medical care, a distribution center of
clothing
and supplies, a community bulletin board and
information table, and a sense of camaraderie that has
brought smiles and hugs from people in the most
desperate of circumstances.

But now the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of the
New Orleans Emergency Operations Center, Ms. Cynthia
Lear, has declared that the city will unilaterally
shut the kitchen down on Wednesday, providing no
alternative and no resources for the underserved in
New Orleans. Ms. Lear has stated that there is no
appeals process for this decision, even though
community members at the Fauberg-Marigny neighborhood
council
meeting on Monday gave virtually unanimous support to
the ongoing work of the kitchen.

Please call ms. cynthia sylvan lear, the deputy chief
administrative officer of the new orleans emergency
operations center at 504-658-2180
and Mayor Nagin at (504) 658-4924, Fax: (504) 658-4938
to express your dismay that such a resource would be
unilaterally dismantled by the government while it is
providing such an important resource for the
community.

This work is in the public domain
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