Franklin Parish has a population of just over 20,000, and 21% of the people there are food insecure. Thankfully, Food Bank partner agency Fresh Start Ministries is there to provide food and other support to those in need.
Situated just off Highway 425 in Winnsboro at River of Life Church, the Fresh Start food pantry has been feeding people since 2000. [Read more…]
We appreciate each person who generously gives so that we can feed our neighbors who face hunger. Angie O’Pry Blades is a local business owner who goes above and beyond in her support of the Food Bank. We sat down with Angie to learn more about her and the ways she gives.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family:
I moved to Monroe with my family when I was in junior high. I graduated from St. Frederick High School and NLU (ULM) with a degree in Home Economics. That led me to a career as owner of Fiesta Nutrition Center in Monroe (retail natural foods, vitamin supplements, and café) for the past 41 years. My husband, Jerry Blades, Jr., is employed at Century Link in Monroe as a systems engineer. We live near the ULM campus and enjoy activities at the University, gardening, cooking, fishing, and being with family.
How long have you been a Food Bank supporter?
My store and I have been a supporter for the past several years. I really became interested on the recommendation of my parents who have been supporters and felt very good about the management and far-reaching service of the Food Bank.
In what ways do you choose to support the Food Bank?
Fiesta Nutrition has made monetary donations and donations of food products that are a fit for the focus of the Food Bank. Recently we were able to donate used freezer equipment to satellite food pantries in the coverage area. We can also offer donations of foods for people with special dietary needs (gluten-free, for example) that cannot afford them.
On a personal level, I am on the committee for the EMPTY BOWLS fundraiser event held each January. My café participates with other local restaurants and artists to raise funds as well as being a monetary title sponsor.
Why do you choose to support your community through the Food Bank of NELA?
I have always been impressed with the professionalism of the staff as good money managers, with the critical responsibility of transparency within the organization. The staff makes great use of social media to promote clever events to make the warehouse volunteer tasks easy and fun. They are able to garner support from the whole community to offer time to volunteer to make it all happen. It takes much to INSPIRE people to volunteer, and they do a good job of it. This goes a long way in keeping operating costs down. The template they use for management mirrors a successful business and that’s how this organization will thrive for helping future generations.
What do you wish other people knew about the Food Bank?
If you want to see more information and ratings of charities from a third-party, check out the website:
www.charitynavigator.com. The Food Bank’s reputation is obvious with its excellent ratings.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about supporting the Food Bank?
Many of the people being helped never dreamed that they would not know where their next meal would come from. Life happens. In the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if the drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of the missing drop.”
To become a supporter of the Food Bank’s hunger relief programs, call 318-322-3567 or click here to donate online.
Join us for dinner at Whataburger on Thursday, September 27th from 5-7 pm and show your support for the community. During Oh Whatanight 20% of sales will go to the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana. There will be a free face painter and balloon artist! Dine in or drive through from 5-7 pm. 2411 Louisville Ave., Monroe, Louisiana 71201
Hunters for the Hungry is conducting their annual CLEAN OUT YOUR FREEZER DAY in the Monroe area in conjunction with the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana.
Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Food Bank – 4600 Central Ave., Monroe
The Food Bank will also accept drop-offs during regular business hours (8:00 am to 4:00 pm) the week before and the week after Sept. 22nd.
Here’s how it works:
- Bring any wrapped and labeled frozen wild game or fish to the NELA Food Bank (4600 Central Ave, Monroe, LA) to be distributed to the hungry in northeast Louisiana.
- Donations must be 2 yrs old or less
- Labeled with contents and date (Example: Venison Burger Dec. 2017)
- Deer season kicks off in the area on October 1st! So clean out your freezer, help feed those less fortunate and get ready for a bountiful year!