Five Things You May Not Know About the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank
1. The Food Bank is a food warehousing facility.
We receive food through a variety of ways, including retailers such as grocery stores and restaurants, wholesalers, manufacturers, growers and food drives. As a food bank, we acquire, inventory and warehouse the donated and purchased food product. On average, the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank distributes approximately 250,000 pounds of food and other products (such as cleaning supplies and toiletries) a week.
2. Food is primarily distributed through member agencies.
The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank has three main outreach food programs. Adopt A Senior, BackPack and Mobile Pantry. Other than these three programs, all food is distributed to our 11-parish service area through our member agency partners. We provide food to more than 115 agencies, completely free of charge. These agencies include food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and homes. Clients who face hunger may visit one of these agencies to receive food assistance.
3. Just $1 can provide 4 meals.
A monetary donation can go a long way when given to the Food Bank. We are able to generate 4 meals from just $1 because we are able to work directly with the Feeding America Network and local distributors to secure large amounts of product below retail costs.
4. Almost 16% of the population we serve does not have reliable access to affordable, nutritious food.
In the 11 parishes we serve, more than 135,000 people (or almost 16% of the population) are food insecure. Food insecurity means that an individual does not know where or when they will find their next meal. Food-insecure households may not always be food insecure, but it may reflect a household’s need to decide between basic needs, such as housing or paying bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.
5. Summer is a difficult time of the year.
While donations of food and funds are needed year round, they are especially helpful during the summer. Many children who are food insecure are able to receive free or reduced priced meals through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, yet many of these children lose access to these meals when schools close for the summer. Additionally, seniors with fixed incomes face hunger as utility bills may increase due to the heat. Through donations to the Food Bank, our agencies are able to help provide programs to help meet the needs of low-income children, their families and seniors who face hunger.