LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - As we continue on the road to recovery from what has been a challenging year for most, the need for help could definitely be felt in Lake Charles on Wednesday.
Pantry of Hope held its last distribution event of the year and it was by far their biggest one yet.
Nearly a mile-long line of cars stretched down Corbina Road as people waited nearly three hours for free groceries.
Pantry of Hope held its final distribution event of the year...handing out more than 1,500 meals to the community.
“When we advertised it on Facebook, we had such a great response and we knew that we would be able to bless a lot of families and it has been not overwhelming but a high number,” said Pantry Director Valerie Jenkins.
Jenkins said it’s a blessing to be able to serve the community one last time just before the Christmas Holiday.
“Today we have a kit that was donated from a third party...it has meat, dairy, produce, yogurt...a lot of nice items. We even had some hams donated.”
She says seeing the outpouring from the community at Wednesday’s event shows the long road to recovery still left for so many in Southwest Louisiana.
“Even with Covid hitting in March, we have not stopped,” Jenkins said. “At one time we were the only pantry open in the city and it was more on us. We want to spread the love because everyone is going through one thing or another.”
Although this is their final pantry event of the year, Jenkins says the work won’t stop here because the need amongst the community is sure to travel into the new year.
“We look forward to it. A storm will not stop the Pantry of Hope and we want to give hope to every family whether it’s a canned good or whatever....just giving something to them is a sense of hope and we’re very thankful for that.”
Jenkins said now they’ll focus on repairing their food pantry which sustained damage during Hurricane Laura. They hope to hold another food drive sometime early next year.