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New Orleans airport team lends a helping hand

Delaware North’s executive chef-led culinary team at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport certainly knows a thing or two about creating comfort through food.

Last week, the team – led by General Manager Sayed Mekhemar and Executive Chef Nick Catlett – decided to pay it forward in the community by rolling up its sleeves and volunteering to cook meals at the neworleans-2491285Ozanam Inn, a homeless shelter in downtown New Orleans. The shelter, which is a branch of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, has been an integral part of the community since 1955.

Seven associates spent an evening preparing and serving meals to more than 126 men and women at the shelter. The team also supplied all the food used in the dinners, which included turkey with rice and gravy, green beans, Caesar salad and ciabatta bread.

“We are very proud to be a part of New Orleans, so this is a chance for us to give something back,” Mekhemar said. “It’s really important to stay invested in the community and helping out where there’s a need.”

Mekhemar and his team aren’t strangers when it comes to charitable work throughout New Orleans. Previous service projects have included sponsoring a fundraiser for the Kenner Council on Aging; helping students maintain a garden at a local school; raising $8,000 for local education resources; and donating leftover or unused food to the Second Harvest Food Bank.