LaSalle Baptist Ministry Center combating community hunger
JENA, La. (KALB) - Food insecurity is defined as a lack of consistent access to food. It is something that affects citizens living in poverty all over the country. According to feedingamerica.org, 1 in 6—or 718,360 people in Louisiana face hunger.
The LaSalle Baptist Ministry Center (Mission House) in Jena, Louisiana is combating hunger in the community one grocery bag at a time.
Through a partnership with the Food Bank of Central Louisiana, the LaSalle Baptist Ministry Center has been able to develop a program that provides citizens in poverty or below the poverty line with a bag of groceries every month.
Director of Missions for the LaSalle Baptist Association Buddy Willis said that the Mission House distributes 360 grocery bags a month to those in the community who qualify. They also provide food for those who may need extra help due to a job layoff, loss of a house or any other emergency circumstance.
“We don’t turn anyone away that has a need,” Willis said.
The Mission House has also been able to partner with Walmart through Feeding America.
“It’s supplementary stuff,” Willis said. “They (Walmart) usually give us a meat of some sort, vegetable and bakery.”
Along with food, the Mission House has also been able to provide the public with clothes that they obtain through donations and ministry to those in need of spiritual counseling.
During the pandemic, Willis said that the Mission House was affected mostly by a lack in volunteers due to concern over COVID-19.
“A lot of our volunteers are older people and [they] did not want to be exposed so they didn’t come out,” he said. “We need some of the younger generation to take over and fill these slots.”
The goal of the Mission House is to serve the community, especially low-income families or those in difficult situations. The Mission House strives to provide those in need with resources to help better their current circumstances.
“If there is a physical need, they can come,” Willis said. “If they have a spiritual need, we have an office up here where we talk with and counsel people.”
The LaSalle Baptist Ministry Center has proven to be a valuable resource in the community. Through their numerous programs and outreaches, they have provided many citizens with items that would not have been available to them otherwise.
By partnering with the businesses and citizens in the community, the Mission House has fostered a program that puts the people first.
“We are here to minister to the people,” said Willis.
For more information on the LaSalle Baptist Ministry Mission House, you can find them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LaSalle-Baptist-Ministry-Mission-House-1719496588080469) or call (318) 992-8864.
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