Folks at the Northeast Louisiana Food Bank say they had a great turnout of community support during the holidays of 2012 -- despite the nationwide shortage -- giving thousands of pounds of food to thousands of families -- but the need doesn't stop at the end of the holiday season.
"They helped us get over that crunch where we were able to serve families that needed to be served during the holidays," said Belinda Carver, Development Director of the food bank.
Although the food bank has received waves of generosity over the past couple months - food bank officials say some of the 78 partner agencies in 12 parishes are already having issues feeding the hungry locally, which is putting a strain on the food bank.
"A lot of these agencies are in our rural areas, trying to provide in impoverished community and they're finding they're short on resources to even be able to afford the gas to come to food bank to get the food," said Carver. "The food bank is trying to find ways financially to be able to take that food and take it to those areas, which we haven't had to do before."
The food bank's backpack program is also in need of help.The program feeds hundreds of children in nine schools every Friday during the school year, but it costs up $7 to $8 per child for each backpack meal, which is delivered to 420 students in nine schools for 36 weeks in a school year.
"It can be very expensive," said Carver.
The backpack program accepts donations of items like juice boxes, apple sauce and other foods that are easy for children to handle. It must be USDA approved for schools.
If you would like to help and donate or need more information, please call 318-322-3567 or visit their website, www.FBNELA.org.