On November 28, 2018, Gov. John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards hosted a press conference at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to issue a statewide call for donations to local food banks across the state of Louisiana. In attendance was Gov. Edwards, the First Lady, Mike Manning, President and CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, Natalie Jayroe, President and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana, Jane Wright-Velez, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Central Louisiana, and Korey Patty, Executive Director of Feeding Louisiana.
“The demand for food is high, but the supply is low,” Gov. Edwards said at the press conference. “As food banks across the country respond with assistance to areas hardest-hit by various disasters, the availability of healthy bulk food product for food banks to purchase is now very depleted. The less food that’s available, the more competitive it is to buy those products and consequently, the cost of securing the food is much higher than normal. Heading into the holidays with depleted shelves is a bit unusual and only further stresses the need for food banks to be top of mind as families and businesses look for ways to give back to their communities. This is why we are launching a call to action today and asking everyone who has the resources to consider donating to their local food bank.”
“The shortage of available bulk food product and empty shelves we are seeing right now in Baton Rouge makes for a very tough situation heading into the holidays. It means less available food for those in need,” said Mike Manning. “We believe there is still time to turn it around and are thankful for the Governor and First Lady’s efforts to build awareness and inspire the community to take action.”
“Hunger is a critical challenge facing many Louisianans,” said Korey Patty. Feeding Louisiana’s member food banks are on the front lines in this fight against hunger, along with businesses, government, and volunteers, providing a vital lifeline to those in need.”
Facts about the need for donations to local food banks:
- Statewide, there are more than 783,000 food-insecure Louisianans, including children, adults, and seniors. Children and seniors are especially vulnerable.
- Nearly 1-in-4 Louisiana children and seniors (age 60+) are uncertain of where their next meal is going to come from.
- Louisiana food banks are a statewide network of 900-plus community and faith-based organizations and programs that distribute more than 63 million pounds of food each year to Louisianans in need.