Need for donations and meals increasing this holiday season

The need for donations and meals is rising this holiday season.
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 6:02 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The need for donations and meals is rising this holiday season.

“It’s been a really interesting challenge for us to try to figure out how we’re going to get through the holidays,” said Mike Manning, president and CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

According to Manning, the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank is set to feed over 100,00 families in need this holiday season. The number has grown over the last year due to the rising cost of food.

“We’re seeing so many more people get back in line because of inflation and we’ve also seen our donations off because of, well the same reason, inflation. It’s causing problems for us to get access,” said Manning.

Manning said inflation has also been impacting the amount of donations they get, which is why you see all these empty shelves right now. As you can imagine, that’s forcing the food bank to get creative.

“We put together everything together for a holiday meal and we usually have the protein and ideally you want that to be a turkey. Because of the problems with it and the cost of turkeys, we’re doing chickens this year,” said Manning.

People still wait in lines for over an hour to make sure their families have food on the table next week. Manning said the need doesn’t stop after the holidays are over.

“People tend to forget the food bank and those in need and how thankful they should be for their situation,” said Manning. “They’re doing that now leading into Thanksgiving and Christmas, but after the new year it pretty much falls off.”

No matter the challenges they face, Manning said the food bank will continue to make sure no one goes hungry.

“The reward of helping people and getting to see the difference we can make in individual’s lives and how much it’s appreciated. That’s what keeps us going,” said Manning.

If you’re interested in donating to the food bank or are in need of a meal this holiday, you can check out these resources on the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank’s website.

There’s also a list of Thanksgiving meal giveaways happening in the Capital City throughout the week.

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