We at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank are heartbroken at the passing of Mr. Albert Fraenkel. He was a dedicated friend to the entire community, and he will truly be missed by everyone here at the Food Bank. As we continue to keep his family and dear friends in our thoughts and prayers, we remember and honor his legacy of philanthropic efforts to make this community better.
Mr. Fraenkel’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to serve others began in 1959, when he founded Fraenkel Co. in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. What began as a $50,000 start up from savings, loans from friends, and a pay-as-you sell agreement with a bedding manufacturer, quickly began to grow into a budding business. Over the years, more and more employees were hired, and the operation expanded to add upholstery and furniture distribution.
Fraenkel Co. served the Greater Baton Rouge area for decades as a successful, 100% employee stock owned company with over 1,000 employees at its peak. As much as Mr. Fraenkel believed employees should have ownership in the business they worked to support, he equally stressed the importance of taking care of those who are less fortunate in the community.
Mr. Fraenkel was an active supporter of so many great organizations and entities here in Baton Rouge. He served as president of the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge along with board positions for Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, United Way, LABI, Audubon Council Girl Scouts, Community for the Arts, and Junior Achievement. He was also inducted into the Baton Rouge Business Report Hall of Fame and named Outstanding Philanthropist by the Baton Rouge Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2014.
As years passed, Mr. Fraenkel continued to hold the Baton Rouge community near and dear to his heart. After manufacturing at the Baton Rouge office location was replaced with newer facilities in Carrollton, Texas and Branch, Mississippi, Mr. Fraenkel saw an opportunity to breathe new life into the existing, unoccupied Baton Rouge warehouse.
With giving back to those less fortunate in mind, he made the decision to donate a major portion of the facility to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank so that more food could be processed, packaged, and distributed – helping thousands more families in need. It was an absolute game changer for your Food Bank, quintupling our operating space from our old location.
For nearly a decade now, the refurbished 172,000 square foot facility has allowed us to expand operations and grow our mission, distributing millions of pounds of food annually to help families in need. Our continued growth was possible because of the vision and philanthropic spirit of one man, Mr. Albert Fraenkel, who simply wanted to find a meaningful way to help struggling families in his community.
We are honored to have been a part of his legacy of good work – one that will have a lasting impact and continue to move our mission forward for decades to come.