NationBuilder Everyday Leaders Erica Chomsky-Adelson

Erica Chomsky-Adelson

New Orleans, LA, USA

Erica is a Top #EverydayLeader of 2020 for her leadership of Culture Aid NOLA, a crisis response organization that’s provided 95K New Orleans residents with locally sourced food using a no-barrier model.

When this all started, we just knew we had to find a way to help people. A few of us who had worked in disaster response and service-oriented nonprofits came together and had a conference call, a Google form and a dream. A few days after that we served 500 meals. A few days after that, it was 750. And a few days after that, it was 5,000, and it just kind of kept growing from there.

Leadership, I think, in the time of COVID is about creating opportunities for connection. One of the things that Culture Aid does really well is that we've found a way to help people help others. We're not just going out there and giving away groceries and fresh vegetables without asking any questions. We're also facilitating the work of our volunteers to serve their communities, to check in with their communities, and to feel useful and needed during this time. It's the best way to build resilient communities.

— Erica Chomsky-Adelson

Nominated by Madison Albright:

When the Covid-19 shutdowns came to New Orleans in March, Erica Chomsky-Adelson stepped up. Drawing on her decade-plus experience in disaster response, she organized Culture Aid NOLA, which now in it’s 9th month, has served over 80,000 people in New Orleans. Culture Aid NOLA provides fresh, healthy, locally sourced food in a no-barrier, no-stigma model, working to ease access to resources for families in crisis… The organization has been able to hire out of work musicians and restaurant workers in this tourism-focused city.

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