COVID-19 has presented many challenges for our community and your Food Bank. More children are opening bare pantries while their parents struggle to recover from financial hardships caused by the pandemic. Seniors are facing higher electricity bills and prescription costs while having to pay for groceries they can already barely afford. All of this is occurring under the cloud of fear and concern from the latest variant of the pandemic.
New data shows Louisiana holds the highest food insecurity rate among children and third highest food insecurity rate among seniors in the nation. Feeding America’s recent study, Map the Meal Gap, additionally indicates there is a “meal gap” of over 19 million meals in our service area. This “meal gap” is the number of meals necessary to ensure that the food insecure in our area receive three meals a day.
While we have risen to face the additional challenges presented by the pandemic, we believe many great things are ahead of us as an organization. Yet, the increased need for our services continues. Kids should not have to rely only on school-provided meals as the school year begins and seniors should not have to pick between food, prescription medicines and utilities.
It has been inspiring to see so many people step up to help their hungry neighbors during one of the most challenging periods for your Food Bank. Because of you and your ongoing support, our organization can and will continue to fight hunger in our community. I want to thank you for your compassion and encourage you to spread the word about your Food Bank as we continue to fulfill our mission of service to others – Together We’re Fighting Hunger.
Michael G. Manning
President & CEO