Last year, the campaign collected more than 10,000 pounds of food — the equivalent of more than 7,500 meals — for area residents in need. The program goal this year is to collect 15,000 pounds of non-perishable items.
“As we continue to see an increase in need at the Food Bank, we are thankful for businesses like Suddenlink who are making an effort to help the impoverished in our community” said Jayne Wright, The Food Bank’s executive director.
Several factors have contributed to the increased need for food items this year. Storms that hit Louisiana in multiple locations last month caused residents to visit local shelters where they had to be housed and fed. In addition, the current economic crisis has increased use of the state’s food programs and at the same time caused a significant drop in the number and size of donations.
Central Louisiana has one of the highest levels of food insecurity in the country. This year the percentage of central Louisiana’s needy has risen to 14.4 percent of the total population. The average monthly income for clients of The Food Bank is $740.
U.S. Congressman Rodney Alexander said, “Often, it’s all too easy to forget that millions of Americans simply cannot afford a basic necessity such as food. The Food Bank of Central Louisiana has long been committed to providing for those in need, and it is inspiring to see groups such as Suddenlink continuing to share their commitment. I am proud to do all I can to support their efforts.”
In a statement, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu wrote: “Every Louisianan deserves to be able to put food on the table. Suddenlink Communications is taking on a tremendous public service effort in restocking food items at The Food Bank of Central Louisiana, and I thank them for their ongoing commitment to reducing hunger in central Louisiana.”