The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana received a special visit last week from the new Chief Executive Officer of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization. Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, a Louisiana native, was recently appointed to head the non-profit network of 200 Food Banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs.
Before relocating to the Feeding America national office in Chicago, Babineaux-Fontenot spent some time touring the five Food Banks located in Louisiana. One of those stops was at The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana, which is headquartered in Monroe, and serves the entire Northeast region of the state.
“The Food Bank Board and staff were delighted to meet Claire,” said Jean Toth, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana. “We shared the needs that we are addressing in our corner of the state as well as highlighting the tremendous support of our partners and the community.”
Along with visiting the Food Bank of NELA’s facility, Babineaux-Fontenot accompanied Toth to one of the Food Bank’s community partner distributions. “The Zone” food pantry operated by Rays of Sonshine is one of the 60 community partners the Food Bank of NELA supplies with food, some of which comes from national donations made to Feeding America. The Food Bank serves 24,000 individuals monthly through their network of partners and direct distribution programs.
“It was deeply inspiring to see all the good work that Feeding America network food banks do to provide meals to people who need them, in Monroe and across the state,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot. “The staff and volunteers at the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana, and their food pantries and meal programs, provide an essential service to their neighbors in need.”
This visit is particularly important and invaluable for Food Banks in Louisiana as the state has some of the worst hunger statistics in the country. In fact, Louisiana has the highest rate of food insecurity among senior citizens, and is ranked fourth highest in child food insecurity. Right here in Northeast Louisiana, one in five people are food insecure, and 1 in 4 children also face hunger.
The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana is a proud member of the Feeding America network, and relies on local community support to provide food to children, families and seniors in the twelve parish region they serve. Monetary contributions are always needed, and with $10, the Food Bank is able to provide 55 meals to people facing hunger. Community members can also get involved by donating food or volunteering.
About The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana
The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that solicits, stores, and distributes food to partner agencies, children and seniors in 12 Parishes in Northeast Louisiana. Together, as a hunger-relief network we serve over 24,000 people monthly. The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana is a member of Feeding America and a United Way Partner Agency. To learn more about how you can help, please visit www.foodbanknela.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.