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Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank severely low on supplies, asking public for help

3 months 12 hours 17 minutes ago Wednesday, March 13 2024 Mar 13, 2024 March 13, 2024 4:31 PM March 13, 2024 in News
Source: wbrz

BATON ROUGE - After months of increased demand for food assistance paired with higher costs for acquiring food product at the national level, the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank is issuing a call for support as they work to replenish shelves for the coming months, and in preparation for the summer which is a time when demand for food assistance traditionally spikes.

In the last few months of 2023 alone, the food bank saw a 40% increase in demand over what was originally planned for the year. With inflation continuing to impact struggling families, the increased need for support is likely here to stay for a while.

"For people that donate, it's gotten more challenging because they're struggling to put food on their own tables," President and CEO Mike Manning said.

For the people the food bank serves, it has become a bigger issue for them to be able to try to spread the limited dollars they do have to put food on their tables.

Schools like Catholic High and St. Joseph's Academy have helped the food bank with their annual canned food drive competition. While the drive was a success, the food bank is still very low on products.

The food bank also purchases food from the USDA in order to meet the high demands. Even so, it still expects a 15% decrease in this year's USDA food products.

Baton Rouge has many areas known as desert areas, or areas where it is difficult to buy affordable good-quality fresh foods. Due to that, the food bank can only give so much to each family.

"We are not providing them everything. We are just supplemental assistance for them, to help them bridge their situations," Manning said.

If the shelves don't fill soon, Manning says the food bank will have to look for more creative ways to acquire products before summer, when assistance is needed most.

To get involved, click the link here to register a food drive, donate food, or give financially.

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