More efforts to help SWLA community needs

Organizers of the food distribution said the idea for planning Wednesday’s event started with peanut butter.

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - United Way of Southwest Louisiana, Kiwanis Club of Lake Charles and the Houston Humane Society came together to put on a grocery distribution for the Lake Area Wednesday afternoon.

It was a busy day at the Lake Charles Civic Center as many organizations provided help for the community’s various needs. The Civic Center was packed full of cars, not only for the food giveaway, but also free COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 vaccines.

Organizers of the food distribution said the idea for planning Wednesday’s event started with peanut butter. The Kiwanis Club of Lake Charles came to United Way of Southwest Louisiana after receiving a huge donation of peanut butter.

“We actually met and I said, ‘Well let’s build an entire grocery giveaway around that,’” said Dienes Durel with United Way.

“Now, we were able to put it [the peanut butter] to a good purpose,” said Joel Davidson with the Kiwanis Club of Lake Charles.

Davidson said the amount of peanut butter was unbelievable, and he is proud to see it go to use along with boxes of food, milk and something for pets too.

“We reached out to the Houston Humane Society, and they’re actually here as well today passing out cat and dog food,” said Durel.

The planners of the giveaway said they wanted to make sure to cover more of the community’s needs including the needs of animals.

“This community, Southwest Louisiana, it’s just so giving. And everybody here, you meet new and new people every time who’s wanting to give give give. It’s just a very honor to be a part of our community,” said Davidson.

Many residents agree with Davidson that Southwest Louisiana is a community that cares for one another.

“Just a good Cajun spirit or something. The old Cajun ‘aye’ spirit,” said one resident waiting for his groceries.

“Just everybody loves everybody aye aye. We just all stick together and run together. We need this in our life, you know, to help all of us. Because you know, we all kind of down ‘bout on our luck right about now,” said resident Robert Swin Jr.

Swin said that he appreciates all the volunteers in the community who make him feel cared for.

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