Over 12% of Calcasieu estimated to be food insecure

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Published: Jun. 21, 2023 at 6:25 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Food insecurity is a worldwide issue, and Southwest Louisiana is no exception to this problem. As inflation continues to pressure families across the United States, Louisiana ranks among the worst states for food insecurity in the nation.

Today, the average cost for a meal in Calcasieu Parish is even higher than last year at $3.55.

According to the latest statistics, Calcasieu has 26,370 people that are food insecure with 53% of the parish’s population estimated to be below the SNAP threshold of poverty. With a little over 12% of the parish’s population being food insecure local food banks are struggling to keep up with demand.

Christopher Sarver is the warehouse manager and food bank coordinator for Catholic Charities here in Lake Charles. He says that the number of people applying for food has shot up 33% over the past year.

While some shelves at the charity are full, their freezers are empty as they struggle to find enough high-demand products like protein and frozen meat.

“The supply that we have been taking in has stayed the same or maybe grown a little bit. But the need is growing more and more and more. Since the need is constantly growing we are definitely in need of things like frozen food items and rice and some of the basic staples that everybody is always looking for,” said Sarver.

Sarver says that though some of their shelves are full their freezers are empty lacking things like protein and frozen meat.

“People need and there are very few places in our area that people can go to on a regular basis and know there is going to be something there for them,” said Sarver.

If you would like to donate you can contact Catholic Charities at 1225 Second St. Lake Charles or call 337-439-7436.

And if you would like to donate to Catholic Charities their drop-off times are Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, you can click here.