As soon as Catina Raymond realized she could, she did.
Adrian and Catina Raymond of Boutte own DaRaymondsWay, a food service and catering company. Catina said earlier this year they purchased a food trailer for their business, and for the last couple of weeks they have cooked thousands of meals from it for people needing meals in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
“We evacuated to Houston for the storm,” Catina said. “My neighbor went live on Facebook and she showed our house and the trailer to me after the storm and when I didn’t see any physical outside damage I knew I needed to do something … I was blessed. I had nightmares that the storm would flip the trailer or that it would be in one of my neighbor’s yards. We had some damage but not a whole lot … I knew instantly that I had to do something.”
The Raymonds came back to St. Charles Parish on Aug. 31 and the very next day they started to cook hundreds of meals a day for neighbors, parish residents and linemen working in the parish.
“I started off with donations from people who came back early like me … people who had food in the freezer that was still frozen and I could work with it,” Cantina said. “It started off those people just dropping off stuff, then people who couldn’t get their food to me started sending money.”
Cantina said the information about the free meals spread fast on Facebook – meals that have included BBQ chicken and ribs, crawfish rice, red beans and white beans.
“I plan to stop when I think everybody in St. Charles has lights,” she said. “It makes my heart smile … I promise you that.”