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Food Bank of Central Louisiana gearing up for ‘Christmas Cheer Food Drive’

Last year, local schools collected over 98,000 pounds, and the food bank hopes they can beat that amount this year
Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 4:20 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2020 at 10:08 AM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Local schools are gearing up for the annual ‘Christmas Cheer Food Drive.’

Every year, the Food Bank of Central Louisiana works with local schools in Avoyelles, Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides and Vernon Parishes to collect food that goes to people in need right here in our community.

During the month of November, students are asked to bring in non-perishable items and canned goods to their school. In the first week of December, the food bank will weigh the collected food and pick a winner. The top elementary school, junior high and high school in each parish will receive cash money from the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe that they can use however they choose.

Food Bank of Central Louisiana Director of Community Relations Linda Hutson says it’s all about teaching students to give back, especially during the era of COVID-19.

“Schools are so overwhelmed, there’s so much going on this year. This is something extra they do during a normal school year. This year with the pandemic and so many disasters, we know it’s asking a lot to add this to their plate, but at the same time, I think that they also see the need. There are so many children and families in our service area that need help and so some of the food that’s collected may turn around and help some of those families that actually go to those schools.”

Food Bank of Central Louisiana Director of Community Relations Linda Hutson

It’s important to note that all food items stay in the parish where they’re collected.

Last year, local schools collected over 98,000 pounds, and the food bank hopes they can beat that amount this year.

If you’d like to participate and don’t have a child in the school system, you can also bring food items to the food bank at 3223 Baldwin Avenue in Alexandria. (318) 445-2773.

The food bank also received 15 pallets of food from Morning Star Packing Company Tuesday morning. Donated items include tomato-based products, such as enchilada and pizza sauces.

Union Pacific Railroad dropped off the items at Lake Charles and then volunteers with RoyOMartin picked up some of the pallets and brought them to Central Louisiana.

The food items will go to anyone who qualifies based on income and household size and is in need of food.

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