Food banks in need of state funding

By Crystal Price - bio | email

JENNINGS, LA (KPLC) - Pantry shelves at the Council on Aging in Jeff Davis Parish are about as dry as the food products in their boxes.

COA has been receiving food supplies from Feeding America for almost 10 years.

But COA has seen a shrinkage in monthly food shipments in recent months.

"It's never been this bad," says Helen Langley, director of the Council on Aging in Jeff Davis Parish.

Instead of distributing food every month, the COA had to skip the months of August and October in order to have enough for September and November.

"Because there have been so many people who have been laid off their jobs lately, we have had so many applicants that we could not serve all of those who qualified," says Langley.

In addition to the growing number of needy families, the Louisiana Food Bank Association's state funding went from $5 million to $500,000.

"That's a dramatic drop within a year," says Rhonda Broussard, Commodity Coordinator for the Jeff Davis COA. "It's been really hard on them and the agencies they service because they can't buy the quantity of food they need to service everyone."

The Jeff Davis Police Jury recently passed a resolution to the Governor Jindal to get the state funding back.

"The funding is needed to purchase more nutritional food," says Broussard. "This way the families will have an opportunity to put a meal together with the other food products that they already get."

As the holiday season quickly approaches, pantry workers feel this is the time they could use both state funding as well as community donations.

"I hope that with the upcoming holiday season people will be more generous this time of the year," says Broussard. "This way families who don't normally have a good holiday meal can have one."

The Council on Aging organization is always looking for donations in the form of canned goods and even paper products.

For a complete list of the nearest COA location near you, click on "Food Pantry Donations" to the right.

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