[Courtesy of Toups Meatery, Facebook]

Toups Meatery Combats Food Insecurity with “Toups Family Meal” Nonprofit

07:00 June 18, 2024
By: Lillian Foster

Toups Family Meal

Chef Isaac and Amanda Toups have stepped up to address food insecurity in New Orleans, providing over 3,000 meals to food insecure families in New Orleans this June. As they work to bridge the gap in summer lunch funding, they are faced with raising at least $120K to keep their meal program running through August.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, husband and wife team Isaac and Amanda Toups converted their restaurant, Toups Meatery, into a to-go-only kitchen. In an effort to relieve stress for employees and their families, the couple began providing free daily to-go meals.

"During COVID there was more than enough stress to go around and with many suddenly jobless, one of the biggest stresses for people was how they were going to pay for necessities, like food. So, we started giving away boxed 'family meals' and before we knew it, we had 500 people a day with a line around the block," Amanda said in a press release.

Throughout the 18 months that the couple ran Toups Family Meal, the duo distributed nearly 100,000 free family meals to food-insecure New Orleans residents. As Toups Meatery moved back to regular operations, Toups Family Meal was put on pause.

[Courtesy of Toups Meatery, Facebook]

After Louisiana governor Jeff Landry declined federal funds designated for kids' meals throughout the summer in 2024, the two decided to re-launch Toups Family Meal.

"COVID might 'be over' but the underlying problems in our community and our country aren't going anywhere. So we're doing what we can to help," Amanda said in a press release.

Located in Mid-City and relying on donations and volunteers, Toups Family Meals' first delivery in early June supplied 3,186 meals for 531 households throughout New Orleans.

"The amount of people who have come out and lent their time, money, support and energy has been eye-opening for us," multiple-time James Beard: Best Chef South award nominee Isaac Toup said in a press release. "It's easy to become cynical and feel beaten by the darkness in the world, but there are good people out there who care and want to do good."

With food and labor amounting to between $12K and $14K per week, Toups Family Meal is set to run out of funding by the end of June 2024. To ensure the program is able to continue through August 2024, the couple must raise at least $120K.

Donations to Toups Family Meal can be made via Cash App, Venmo, or check. For more information on how to donate, visit toupsfamilymeal.com.

Toups Family Meal Fundraiser

[Courtesy of Toups Meatery/Broadside NOLA's Facebook]

A fundraiser for Toups Family Meal will be taking place on June 30 starting at 5 p.m. at the Broadside NOLA. Entry is donation based and the suggested donation for the event is $40.

In addition to benefiting Toups Family Meal, the event will offer food by Southern's Fried Chicken, Cochon King BBQ, and Joel's Lobster Roll. There will also be live music by the Lost Bayou Ramblers and the Creole String Beans.

The event is sponsored by Hard Hide Ponchatoula Strawberry Whiskey, which utilizes fresh Louisiana strawberries from Johndales Farm in Pontchatoula.

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