DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - For more than six years, grocery bags full of meals and snacks have found their way into the hands of kids in need. The volunteer group, Mighty Moms, and their Full Tummy project packed bags every week to ensure kids in the free lunch program at Livingston Parish schools had meals at home over the weekend. School guidance counselors would identify students who needed the extra food, and Mighty Moms did the rest.
Then the flood hit.
"School had just started and so we were getting ready to do our first Full Tummy delivery," said founder Dawn Birdsong. "Six hundred and fifty kids were going to get food that week."
The Mighty Moms' two room work and storage space on the campus of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Denham Springs took on water. The storage room was packed to the ceiling with supplies. It was all lost, including $10,000 worth of recently purchased groceries.
"Two chest freezers and tables, all of our bins, all of the shelving was knocked over," said Birdsong. "We had 1,000 bags packed, it was all gone."
Most of the group's volunteers had flood damage as well, so they took a short break while the church made repairs. When classes resumed, Birdsong says the Louisiana Culinary Institute helped to pack meals at their campus, serving around 200 students, which was half the amount they had before the flood.
Fortunately, the group's home base is repaired and ready to be restocked. Mighty Moms runs completely off donations and volunteers. Now they need both, as they expect the need in their community to only grow.
"I think right now there's a lot of help happening, but I think there's still a lot of people a long, long way away from being back in their homes," said Birdsong.
For more information on Mighty Moms, visit www.mightymomsgo.org.