MONROE, La. (10/17/29)– Much like the weather, food is always an easy, go-to topic of conversation. While we sometimes can’t decide what we want for dinner some days, there are many people who don’t even know where their next meal is coming from
St. Vincent dePaul Society, a national Catholic organization with a chapter here in Monroe, is trying to change that. In observance of World Food Day, the organization is collecting food and praying for those in need.
“We have a mass at 5:30 [at Jesus the Good Sheppard Church in Monroe] and we ask people to bring food to the alter, at the offertory, and we put that in our food pantry for Thanksgiving and Christmas for the needy in Monroe,” said JoAnn Crone, Board President of St. Vincent dePaul Society in Monroe.
Across town, the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana is handing out dozens of boxes of food to local seniors. Something the organization does once a month.
“We serve about 1,400 seniors all across northeast Louisiana, we serve about 350 to 500 right here at the food bank, and they sign up for the program, they qualify by income, they’re over 60 years old, and we give them a food box along with anything extra that we have at the food bank,” said Jean Toth, Director of the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana.
Toth tell us the number of people struggling with hunger in this area is staggering.
“In northeast Louisiana, one out of every five people is food insecure,” said Toth.
It’s not just the elderly who struggle with food insecurity. There are thousands of people who are struggling with hunger, and many of those people are children. About 21,000 children in the area to give you an idea.
The food bank has provided more than 27 thousand backpack meals for kids this year alone.
Though World Food Day may just happen once a year, it’s important to remember the thousands of people in our area who go without it everyday.
If you are interested in starting your own food drive or getting involved with volunteering at the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana, you can visit their website at www.foodbanknela.org or call (318) 322-3567.