Summer demands for assistance are depleting food bank shelves

Summer demands for assistance are depleting food bank shelves

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Summer brings increased demand for food assistance. With increased food distribution already underway and more required, the resulting empty shelves are becoming more and more apparent. The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank is calling on businesses and the community as a whole to help raise critical funds and food to fill the shelves this summer through its REDSTOCK initiative.

"During the summer months we traditionally see an increase in needs for food assistance along with reductions in donations, and this summer is proving to be one of the more challenging," said Mike Manning, CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. "The shelves are pretty empty and the demand is still very high. We have been fortunate that when faced with a challenge like this in the past, local businesses and individuals responded with food and funds when we needed help the most. We need help once again and the REDSTOCK summer campaign is designed to build awareness along with a call to action for the community to assist through donations of critical food and funds."

This summer impact also comes at a time where new data shows just how much the Greater Baton Rouge area community struggles with hunger. A new study finds that 129,440 people in the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank 11 parish service area do not always know where they will find their next meal. In all, 15.2 percent of the population in our 11-parish service area struggles with hunger, according to research released by Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief organization.

The study also shows the Child Food Insecurity rate for the state of Louisiana at 24.3 percent and the summer months are particularly hard on these children because they aren't receiving meals through free or reduced school lunch programs during this time.

The REDSTOCK summer drive campaign runs from June 1st to August 31st. To learn more about REDSTOCK, visit brfoodbank.org/redstock2015.