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Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank prepares for holiday rush

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BATON ROUGE- With Thanksgiving just weeks away and Christmas a month after, the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank is getting ready for its busiest time of the year.

"The holiday season is a unique time and there's the additional need in wanting to provide food for the holidays. But its also the additional interest of everybody wanting to give back because they are so thankful for their situation and not having to be in a food insecure situation. So it's really a unique time where we try to raise more food but also distribute more food so it's an interesting dichotomy," Mike Manning, president of the food bank, said. 

Manning has been the president for nearly 20 years. He says Louisiana faces a big challenge when it comes to food insecurity this year.

"Louisiana is number one in child and senior food insecurity," Manning said. "Most recently the USDA has come out with increased food insecurity numbers nationally and we'll be seeing what the impact of that is in the state as we get more information." 

They will be working extra hard this holiday season to put food on people's tables with the traditional holiday box. 

"Stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, the normal things you would expect at a holiday dinner. The one thing that will be missing is the turkey, because of the problems we're seeing with the turkey supply and the cost of turkeys. We're going to be substituting a full frozen chicken in place of that."

While fighting hunger, the food bank is also looking to break a new record with volunteers.

"Hopefully this year we're going to crack the 50,000 hour mark with our volunteers that will give us the equivalent of 24 full time employees from the hours that our volunteers dedicate to us." 

To learn more or volunteer, click here. 

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