Baton Rouge Food Bank
One Dollar Provides 4 Meals.
The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank provided 8.7 million meals to people in 11 parishes in 2015 alone. Over half that number includes children and seniors. The recent mass flooding throughout Louisiana left four feet of water standing in their food storage warehouse. An estimated 500,000lbs of food was completely lost at an estimated cost of $800K to $1M. Many of their computers and records were also destroyed as their offices were also flooded.
In spite of the massive losses, BR Food Bank is still serving the community. As soon as it was humanly possible, the organization began distributing food to those most affected by the historic flooding. The unspoiled warehouse food, which was cleared by the Department of Health, was moved to a temporary space. “Our mission is to feed those in need...” said president and CEO, Mike Manning, “...we just have a larger number to feed.”
Founded in 1984 and incorporated in 1985 as a result of increased need for food assistance due to economic downturn in the state of LA in the 80s. More people were in need of food assistance, many for the first time in their lives. The Food Bank began distributing food from the parking lot of a local church and quickly moved to the first of four subsequent buildings.
For every $1 received, BR Food Bank is able to provide food for 4 meals. With $1,000, they are able to provide food for 4,000 meals. If received, $2,000 would provide food for 8,000 meals and help the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank rebuild faster and stronger. If received, $5,000 would provide food for 10,000 meals and help the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank rebuild faster and stronger. Of course the massive destruction of the floods has created a setback for the organization and must work to rebuild the infrastructure of their operations.
Setback or not they continue to serve their mission and beyond. Strategic goals for the organization include increasing the amount of food distributed to those in need by 5%, working cooperatively with other partners to shorten the time that people are in need of food assistance, giving them some of the resources they need to succeed in life. We also are working on ways to include more produce and healthier food into our distributions, thus improving the diets and health of their clients. Unhealthy diets of the food insecure due to lack of access to healthy food exacerbates pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, high cholesterol, etc. They are also working toward innovative ways to distribute food more efficiently, such as repackaging bulk product into smaller individual sizes with state-of-the-art repackaging equipment. This allows them to accept larger bulk food donations and distribute food much more efficiently. This innovative means of food distribution has even more potential for the organization in the future.