BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Twice a month at the Greater Sixty Aid Baptist Church volunteers sort boxes of canned foods and fresh produce in preparation to feed hundreds of families in need from their church food pantry.
"Right now, we've seen a steady increase in the community," said pantry administrator Larry Lowe. "The need is growing very fast now."
The church's pantry serves up to 300 people across three zip codes, but it doesn't do it alone. The pantry is with food from the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.
"Without that support from them, we wouldn't be able to do what we do," Lowe added.
The church is one of more than a 100 organizations and agencies across 11 parishes that distribute food directly from the Food Bank to up to 90,000 people each year.
"We push about 12 million pounds of food through this facility on an annual basis," explained the Food Bank's CEO Mike Manning. "It's a pretty tough task."
That task gets tougher in the summer months. With kids out of school, Manning says the demand for help goes up, but donations often don't.
That's why the Food Bank launched its latest donation campaign, Stand Up to Hunger, with help from Baton Rouge Physical Therapy Lake and WAFB.
Manning explains donations allow the Food Bank to remain stocked and ready to serve, without having to charge for those services.
"We don't charge any shared maintenance or membership or anything for our agencies who are in some of the poor part of our communities to be a member and get food from us," Manning added.