9th annual Feed & Warm the Homeless project is underway

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 1, 2021

LAPLACE — Before they were old enough to walk or talk, 9-year-old Bella Angotti, 7-year-old Berkley Angotti and 4-year-old Bevin Angotti were introduced to a family Christmas Eve tradition that values service above self.

The ninth annual Angotti Feed & Warm the Homeless project is fully underway, albeit with a late start due to Hurricane Ida recovery. No matter the challenges, the large-scale community undertaking will once again bless hundreds of homeless individuals in New Orleans with a hot meal, non-perishable goods, hygiene items, blankets and other winter essentials.

Hurricane Ida significantly damaged the Angotti family’s home, taking out two-thirds of the roof and destroying carpet throughout. Walls have only recently come back up, and most rooms have yet to be completed. It touched Jamie Angotti’s heart when her daughters approached her with innocence only a child could have and asked, “Are we still going to be able to help the homeless this year since our home is destroyed?”

Recognizing there are still so many people out there who are less fortunate, John and Jamie Angotti were quick to answer, “Yes!”

“Our family understands that many cannot help this year. COVID recovery has been a financial hardship for many still and Hurricane Ida has by far exasperated the financial hit for most, our family included, but if you can donate, we greatly appreciate it,” Jamie Angotti said. “Despite our struggles, we still believe that spreading cheer and helping those who are still less fortunate than ourselves is important to continue and something my children are asking if we will still be able to do.”

Bella shared that she enjoys feeding the homeless because “it’s the right thing to do.” Bella has shared the family tradition with children at her school. She helps with preparing hot meals, and her friends have assisted by stuffing backpacks with supplies for the homeless. Adults assist at each station to help children place the right amount of supplies in each bag.

“We have a big assembly line,” Bella explained. “You grab the bag, walk around, grab a tooth brush, grab a comb, grab everything. Then you make the bag, close the bag and throw it by the door.”

Each backpack contains winter hats, gloves, socks, ponchos, non-perishable meals and snacks, a warm blanket and basic toiletries such as soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb, first aid essentials and more. Backpacks also include a resource pamphlet with information on where to obtain GED services, medical care, clothing, job training, veteran services, drug/alcohol rehabilitation services with meeting locations and times, and faith-based services including nearby church locations.

Filled backpacks cost approximately $15 each, in addition to the price of a hot, hearty meal. It typically costs around $4,000 to feed and warm at least 200 homeless people each year.

The Angotti family has already purchased 200 backpacks, hats, gloves and socks. The following items are still needed, and the community is invited to take part in this large-scale service project:

 

For the meal (red beans and rice)

– 200 oz dry light red kidney beans
– 20 large cans of Blue Runner red beans
– 25 medium onions
– 2 lbs bacon
– 4 lbs of ham
– 20 packs of sausage for beans
– 352 oz of white rice (huge bags or 11 of the 32 oz bags)
– 1 large dry basil spice
– 1 large Tony Chachere’s spice
– 300 bread rolls
– 300 combined / assorted little debbie cakes
– 20 gallon jugs of Hawaiian Punch
– cases of water
– 200 forks & spoons
– 400 napkins
– 300 styrofoam divider plates with attached lid
-300 (12 oz.) drinking cups

 

For the Backpacks

– 400 tuna meals to go
– 400 Vienna Sausage
– 400 Peanut butter or cheese crackers
– 200 quart ziplock bags (for first aid items)
– 200 rain ponchos (we typically order these bulk, saves money and ensure we have enough ponchos)
– 800 total bandaids
– 200 small bottles of hand sanitizer (travel size is great!)
-200 bottles of shampoo (full size but not extra large please)

– 200 bars of soap
– 200 toothbrushes
– 200 toothpastes
1- 500 sheet packet of paper to print resources pamphlet

 

To Stay Warm

-200 blankets (new or gently used). Blanket drop-off locations are being set up this week at PJ’s Coffee in LaPlace and NDurance Fitness at Hill Heights Country Club in Destrehan.

 

Monetary donations can be sent via Venmo @Jamie-Angotti or via PayPal to johncvp@hotmail.com. Receipts for purchases made with monetary donations will be posted for full transparency. Donations may also be dropped off at 2112 Augusta Drive in LaPlace. Please call 985-212-4717 to coordinate donation drop-offs.

Those interested in volunteering on December 24 should contact Jamie Angotti directly. Due to COVID-19 concerns, children will not be able to participate in the distribution in New Orleans,