The Food Bank of Central Louisiana is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to alleviate hunger in Central Louisiana. We distribute food and grocery products to needy families through a network of approved charitable agencies in eleven parishes: Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Sabine, Vernon and Winn.
To be eligible for food items, one must fall within the poverty levels set by the federal government. Food is channeled through more than 104 member agencies including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other nonprofit organizations. The Food Bank distributes more than 6.9 million pounds of food to Central Louisiana each year. This is estimated to serve more than 22,400 needy people per month.
The BackPack Program is designed to meet the needs of hungry children at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations.
Kids Cafe is one of the nation's largest meal service programs, providing free and prepared food and nutrition education to hungry children in safe and nurturing environments. This after school program provides nutritious hot meals and heavy snacks to youth that might not otherwise receive evening meals. In addition to providing hot meals to hungry children, Kids Café offers nutrition education, character enrichment, tutoring, and individual attention kids need with their schoolwork. The Food Bank of Central Louisiana offers a Kids Café program in Natchitoches and Pineville.
The Adopt-A-Senior Program is designed to assist seniors stretch their budgets. Approximately 50 pounds of food per month is given to each sponsored individual. The Food Bank's Adopt-A-Senior Program currently serves more than 2,200 seniors in the Central Louisiana area.
Initially funded by a gift from Keller Enterprises, the Good Food Project teaches sustainable gardening practices in the demonstration garden at the Food Bank. All of the fresh, organic produce grown here is distributed to Food Bank clients. Additionally, the Good Food Project supports 59 satellite, youth, and community gardens across the country.
The School Food Pantry Program plays a crucial role in providing children and their families with access to food for preparation at home when other resources such and free and reduced price school meals are not available. The first site opened at Bunkie Elementary School in September 2016. During the first quarter of 2017, sites will open at Natchitoches Junior High School and Vernon Middle School. This project is funding through a Healthy Behaviors Program Grant from The Rapides Foundation.
The Nutrition on Wheels Mobile Pantry Programs allows the Food Bank to provide a forum for education programs emphasizing healthy eating during mobile pantry distributions. The Mobile Pantry Program meets the unique needs of the Food Bank's rural and underserved communities by offering services in their area and providing client access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Member Agencies are located in the following parishes: Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Sabine, Vernon, and Winn.
Just knowing the scope of hunger is the first step! There are many ways that you can help...
Make a donation
Donations to the Food Bank of Central Louisiana come in a variety of ways. We accept checks as well as planned gifts. You may also want to remember the Food Bank in your will.
Volunteer in the community
There are many ways to get involved. Volunteers sort and package canned items, serve food at a soup kitchen, help at a pantry, deliver a food box to the home-bound, or lend your professional skills. Call the Food Bank to find out about specific opportunities.
Donate food and grocery products
Donate needed items at community food drives or take the lead and organize your own. Contact the Food Bank at (318) 445-2773 to help you get started.
Support policies to end hunger
Send a letter to the editor of your local paper. Tell your friends, family and coworkers about the issue so they can spread the word. We can end hunger in Central Louisiana and America if we all work together!