Governor Edwards is putting out a call to action for Louisiana citizens to start stocking their local food banks for the holidays, as a series of natural disasters have devastated stores just at the time when banks usually can begin stocking up for spring and summer. Edwards says he’s gravely concerned after touring the half-empty Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank yesterday.

“Food banks traditionally struggle to keep the shelves full heading into the summer, but heading into the holidays with depleted shelves is a bit unusual, and frankly unnerving.”
Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans CEO Natalie Jayroe says she’s highly concerned about the drastic shortages because food banks could already only provide about half of the meals that are needed in the US in past years. She says a lack of food affects the most vulnerable populations.

“There are grandparents who are struggling to decide between medicine and food. There are oil and gas workers who have been laid off, and for the first time, need to ask for help.”

Food Bank of Central Louisiana Executive Director Jayne Wright-Velez says it’s troubling that supply is running low as demand skyrockets. That means the food banks are unable to keep emergency stockpiles.

“(It’s difficult) especially during this time of year, when we think we’re going to be building our reserves, and in this case, we don’t have a cushion, or reserves. All of that food is going out the door immediately.”

Food banks accept cash and food donations, but they can use funds to purchase foods at lower prices than you can at grocery stores.