I am not sure you would know the answer to this, but as a kid I played NORD football and basketball for a park in the upper 9th ward called Bunny Friend. I always wanted to know where this name came from. Does it have anything to do with Bunny Bread?
Joseph E. Friend and Ida Weis Friend had a large home that covered half a block on what is now South Bunny Friend Street. In 1924, one of their four children, Bunny, died at age 18.
Ida donated $4,000 to a fund to create a playground in memory of her son, and the fund grew into more than $10,000. She also donated a block of land to the city between Gallier and Desire streets. The playground established there was named Bunny Friend Park, and two of the the streets bordering the playground were later officially designated North Bunny Friend and South Bunny Friend.
Ida was a civic and social leader during the first half of the 20th century. She was president of the New Orleans Consumers League, the Tulane Lyceum Association, the Voters Registration League, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Urban League, the Dilbert Memorial Hospital, the Home for the Incurables and other organizations. Ida received many local and national honors for her service including national awards from the American Red Cross (1946), the National Council of Jewish Women (1955) and the National Jewish Welfare Board (1959). Locally, she was chosen Woman of the Year by the Quota Club (1946), received the Times-Picayune Loving Cup (1946) and was honored by the New Orleans Urban League in 1960.
The Bunny of Bunny Friend Park has nothing to do with the bread. Bunny Bread, with its cute blue bunny mascot, is a franchised brand that got its start in the Midwest. The brand was so popular with children of all ages that it became available in many areas of the United States, including the Big Easy, where it has been baked for generations. Flowers Foods franchised the rights from the American Bakers Cooperative to sell Bunny Bread in select markets. Today, Flowers Foods is headquartered in Thomasville, Ga. and operates 40 bakeries that produce bread, buns, rolls, pastries and snack cakes.
If you grew up in New Orleans, Bunny Bread was synonymous with white bread, and kids went on tours of the bakery. Only months after Hurricane Katrina, folks were thrilled to find Bunny Bread back on the shelves in stores that were open.