As millions of gallons of oil from the offshore rig explosion foul hundreds of square miles in the Gulf of Mexico, at least there is some news to cheer. Catholic News Service reports that well owner BP donated $1 million in emergency relief funds to the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The grant will allow local church relief agencies to provide emergency food, financial and counseling assistance to needy fishing families.
BP earmarked $750,000 to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New Orleans for direct assistance such as gift cards to local grocery stores, case management and counseling, and $250,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana for emergency food boxes.
In response to the catastrophe, Catholic Charities has opened five emergency centers at local churches to distribute the financial aid and offer counseling to fishing families. The $1 million grant will help fund outreach services for three months, and the program is likely to be extended if the impact of the oil spill grows.