LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Oak Park Food Pantry was on the verge of shutting down, but the recent increase in holiday donations has given the food pantry another chance of staying open.
Food Pantry Volunteer Randy Harless said the community responded overwhelmingly and now the shelves are filled.
"I think people in Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana know we care for each other and we want to help each other. It just was a general reminder that maybe someone who had helped in the past who might have forgotten about us, remembered us," Harless said. "We're thankful for that this year."
With help from local organizations and other groups, for example lawyers, Girl Scouts, motorcycle clubs, churches and citizens across the Parish, the Pantry has collects enough food to give families Thanksgiving meals, Christmas meals, and meals to last until Easter.
Harless said through the efforts of the community, the Oak Park Food Pantry is able to meet the needs of the clients and people who come to the food pantry for groceries.
And for Thanksgiving and Christmas, the food pantry gives out turkeys and chickens to families.
"We give people with children a turkey. We try not to waste," Harless said. "So if they got a family or children, we give them a turkey. Otherwise they get their standard chicken."
Along with the Thanksgiving meal bag, those who come to the pantry also get a Lagniappe bag filled with seasonal foods like cake mix, icing, pumpkin pie filling and much more.
Harless said the Thanksgiving tradition is going strong at the food pantry. "We want everybody to have a happy Thanksgiving."