The group may have to find a new place to distribute food to Ida’s victims.
A nonprofit food bank operating out of the old Dularge Elementary School building to help residents recover from Hurricane Ida may soon have to find another place to do its work.
Rochelle Liner, founder and operator of Terrebonne Disaster and Recovery Relief, received a letter from the superintendent of parochial public schools, Bubba Orgeron, indicating that the group should move by the end of the month.
But Orgeron said in an interview that he extended the deadline while prosecutors for the Terrebonne Parish school district considered legal issues.
The problem, he said, is that it’s not immediately clear if the district owns the property, which was donated by a local family many years ago. In similar cases, families have stipulated that these assets be used for educational purposes.
“Once you stop using it as a school, it goes back to the family,” Orgeron said. “We try to get to the bottom of it, do we give it back or is it ours?”
He said he thought the month’s notice would be enough for the organization to move, but he would extend the deadline until he got word from the lawyers.
The district closed the old school building in 2013 to save costs and avoid repeated reconstruction after flooding. His students traveled up the bayou to the old Dularge College.
Liner said she would like to continue using the old school building but would find a new location in Dularge to distribute food if needed.
The nonprofit distributes food once a month, usually to about 300 families, Liner said.
“When people still don’t have homes to live in, how can you say the hurricane recovery is over?” she says. “There are so many people that they haven’t gotten much help, … and anything that can help them is a blessing to them.”
She said she is also in contact with FEMA and local businesses that sometimes provide items that people can use to rebuild their homes and their lives.
Terrebonne Disaster and Recovery Relief was formerly called Pastor’s Army. Liner changed the name and reorganized the group last month so food distributions could continue in the Dularge area.
The action follows the arrest of Army chief Pastor Misty Kaye Foley, 46, of Lake Charles on June 13 for theft after authorities said she defrauded several hurricane victims. Ida in the parish of Terrebonne.
Foley, 46, is charged with theft over $5,000said the Terrebonne sheriff’s office.
As site coordinator, Foley was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the hurricane recovery effort, the sheriff’s office said. Band members received calls from residents, leading to a records check at the distribution site that revealed financial discrepancies.
“Terrebonne detectives have uncovered information about several additional residents who paid Foley large sums of money for services to rebuild their homes, which were never completed,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. A press release.
Foley remains in Terrebonne jail on $500,000 bond.