An Inside Look at How Distributions Are Being Established During COVID-19
As the need increases in our service area, the Food Bank is finding new ways to distribute food directly to those in need. Under normal operations, the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank is run as a warehouse facility. We solicit, procure, inventory and warehouse donated food and other products through food drives, food purchasing, grants and more. This food is distributed to a variety of community agencies such as pantries, meal sites, homes, shelters and soup kitchens which serve the people in need in our 11-parish service area.
With the current pandemic, many of our agencies have closed out of caution for their senior volunteers’ health. With this challenge to operations as well as the need increasing due to unemployment and school closures, we have established a temporary drive through operations process. To set up these distributions, we have to go through the proper channels to ensure a safe environment for everyone involved.
Our staff and the Louisiana National Guard are working six days a week to ensure the need is being met to the best of our organization’s abilities. On Mondays, our staff contacts local police, local government, potential locations with parking lots large enough to serve those in need and more. Tuesday-Saturday our staff, in conjunction with the Louisiana National Guard, distributes to areas in our 11-parish service area that are seeing an increased need as well as member agency closures.
The Food Bank is only able to serve a pre-determined number of households at these distributions due to our resources which are limited during the week. Our trucks not only have to bring food to the distribution sites but must continue operations as normal as much as possible. This includes picking up donations and pre-purchased food to keep our inventories at an appropriate level.
Our distributions serve clients that relied on our services before COVID-19 as well as those newly food insecure at a rate that we can produce at this time. If you are in need, please call our office at 225-359-9940 to be directed to an open agency or distribution near you.