News &

September 2017 Newsletter

The Houston Food Bank has already allocated its first truck of product to its Backpack Buddy program which provides students in need of food support during the school year. The Houston Food Bank uses this program during disaster relief to quickly and effectively get food in the hands of families who need it most as students head back to school following the storm.


Last August, when flood waters ravaged parts of South Louisiana, Blue Runner Foods, known for their famous canned red beans, was not spared. Their processing facility in Ascension Parish took on water. But, regardless of their own flood, they knew they had to help others more impacted and more in need, like local food banks and local families. So, CEO and owner, Richard Thomas mobilized his friends and donations poured in to quickly send beans to restock food banks and feed hungry people.

So, as Harvey’s unrelenting rain flooded our Texas neighbors, Blue Runner Foods mobilized again, in a much bigger way, and One Million Meals was born. The effort will donate one million meals of red beans and rice to Texas food banks to distribute to flood victims as they try to rebuild their lives. Asking friends and colleagues to underwrite the cost of goods only (no profit will be made) allows an entire pallet of beans to be cooked, canned and delivered for a $750 donation. Using the Northshore Community Foundation’s Harvey Relief Fund to facilitate their philanthropy, Blue Runner, joined by friends, colleagues and now total strangers will accomplish the goal of donating One Million Meals.

Specifically, the One Million Meals program will generate 184 pallets of product which is roughly TEN 18-wheeler trucks of canned beans and several trucks of rice in partnership with Acadian Rice Mills. The food will be delivered to both the Houston Food Bank and the Southeast Texas (Beaumont) Food Bank, both of which deal directly with hundreds of church groups, Kiwanis clubs, community organizations, etc. throughout the year providing food to people in need. Southeast received their first truck on Tuesday of last week and Houston received a truck this week. Two more trucks will roll in the next two weeks. Blue Runner is making beans as fast as they can!

The Northshore Community Foundation is so proud to partner with Blue Runner and the hundreds of generous donors who immediately responded to the call for help. Living in a region that has experienced firsthand the devastation of mother nature, our citizens have been incredibly responsive to our neighbors in need and we are very grateful.


The Northshore Community Foundation is proud to announce the Dick Knight Award, in honor of the late Richard F. “Dick” Knight, a founding and beloved board member. The annual $5,000 Award will recognize an individual for his or her commitment and service to the charitable, nonprofit sector in the four parish Northshore region. The spirit of the award is to recognize nonprofit staff who have significant tenure in service-based work and have a body of accomplishments that reflect success through diligence, commitment, resiliency, vision, and excellence. The Foundation is grateful to Dick’s family for increasing the significance of this award by allowing us to issue it in his name.

The award must be used for personal enrichment and cannot be donated back to any nonprofit. The Foundation would like to thank Resource Bank, the Prima Foundation and the Fund for Bogalusa for the contributions to making this years award possible. For eligibilty information, a formal description and nominating forms, please click HERE.


The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Northshore is a groundbreaking, innovative program that transforms local middle and high school students into powerful entrepreneurs. Through the year-long program, students in grades 6-12 generate business ideas, conduct market research, write business plans, pitch to a panel of investors, and launch their very own companies. The deadline to sign up for this program has been extended until September 22, 2017 due to the wacky weather cycles we have all been enduring. To learn more about the YEA Northshore program and for sign-up forms, click HERE.


Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC recently advanced their philanthropic giving through the Northshore Community Foundation by awarding nearly $25,000 to two deserving Northshore nonprofits that are doing critical work in the region. The Regina Coeli Child Development Center and Truth in Nature organizations are the beneficiaries of this first round of Cleco grants.

Receiving an award of $18,500, the Regina Coeli Child Development Center, whose mission is to ready children for success in school while addressing early childhood education, health, well-being, nutrition and social service needs, plans to use the grant to fund the outdoor play/learning equipment for the Head Start program in Slidell. The Center integrates a developmentally appropriate curriculum reflecting the diverse ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds of children from at-risk families or with an identified disability.

Receiving a grant of $5,000, the Truth in Nature organization is an outdoor ministry whose mission is to reach, inspire, support, and engage young men from fatherless and single-parent homes in an effort to help them understand their purpose and break the fatherless cycle in society today. They will use the grant to fund the storage unit needed for the equipment to support their program.

Cleco is a regional energy company that conducts substantially all of its business operation through its primary subsidiary, Cleco Power. Cleco Power is a regulated electric utility company that owns nine generating units with a total nameplate capacity of 3,310 MWs and serves approximately 288,000 customers in Louisiana through its retail business and supplies wholesale power in Louisiana and Mississippi. For more info and to apply for a Cleco grant click HERE.


The Northshore Community Foundation launched a state-wide Autism and Developmental Disabilities interactive website—– to help parents and caregivers find resources and get the services they need to help their children with autism and other developmental disabilities. The site’s “How-To” Guides walk parents through complicated and often overwhelming processes that affect all aspects of the child’s life while the Resource Directory provides information on more than 1,000 resources.

Exceptional Lives uses innovative web-based software to create personalized guides for parents and caregivers of children or young adults with disabilities. Each Guide asks parents simple questions about their family’s situation, then uses their answers to display relevant, actionable information. The website has an interactive Resource Directory that lets users filter results by zip code, age of their child, disability type, services they need, and whether providers accept Medicaid or Medicaid waivers. Parents can access the free Guides and Directory at any time through any device connected to the Internet. Free phone or online support is also available. The site will be continually updated in perpetuity thanks to a partnership between the Northshore Community Foundation and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Visit to try it out. For a more in-depth explanation or to donate to this effort through the Foundation, click HERE.