Food insecurity: Many people hungry this holiday season

Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 4:46 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - In a year unlike any other, some people in our community have gone to the food bank for the very first time.

To shine a light on the food insecurity crisis across the country, the “Today Show” teamed up with Feeding America during their four-hour broadcast on Tuesday, Dec. 15.

The non-profit tells KALB that 50 million Americans will face food insecurity this year, including right here in Central Louisiana.

Jayne Wright-Velez, the Food Bank of Central Louisiana’s Executive Director, tells KALB the need for food assistance this year has been incredibly high and has increased well above previous years.

Distribution at the food bank is normally around 6.5 million pounds. This year alone, Wright-Velez says over 10 million pounds have been distributed.

Here in Cenla, 40 percent of the people served have never had to ask for food assistance before.

Before the pandemic, the food bank served around 22,000 people per month. Now, Wright-Velez says about 62,000 people are being served each month, and the need continues.

“Of course the holidays are here now, and it’s the season of giving. We’re again so grateful for the support, and I just want to remind everyone that this is unfortunately not a seasonal issue. We’re going to do our best to make sure that everyone in need that comes to us is fed for the holidays. We’re sending trucks all over Central Louisiana to make sure that happens.”

Jayne Wright-Velez, the Food Bank of Central Louisiana’s Executive Director

The food bank is doing its best to make sure everyone in need is fed for the holidays. If you need food assistance, or if you’re interested in donating, you can call the food bank directly at 318-445-2773.

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