In 1984, the economy in Baton Rouge was among the worst in the country and many people in the community were in need. The downtown churches and social relief agencies, all members of the Urban Ministries Coalition, noticed about three times the usual number of people coming to them, seeking help.
A small group of volunteers, who later became the steering committee for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, got together and began distributing collected bread and food items in the parking lot of Victoria Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. This group of volunteers was able to move from the parking lot of the church, to a small home located on 21st Street.
As the mission grew, so did the Food Bank’s needs. The Food Bank was able to move to a new warehouse located on Chippewa Street. With the help of numerous partners and donors, the Food Bank then moved to a 25,000 square foot warehouse located on Choctaw Drive in 1996.
This warehouse served us well for 17 years, when the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank was able to move to a new location at 10600 S. Choctaw Drive. With more than three times the square footage of the former warehouse, this facility has allowed the Food Bank to better serve its 11 parishes by increasing capacity, efficiency and output.
Although the Food Bank was flooded with 4-feet of flood water in August 2016, donors from the community and across the country continued to rally alongside us and helped us to get back into our facility quickly.
Through the years there has been a lot of growth from volunteers distributing food in the parking lot of Victoria Baptist Church to where we are now, however the mission and purpose of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank still remains – and that is to feed the hungry.