Food pantries in Louisiana have experienced a tripling of the number of clients.
Supplies were at a critical level before COVID-19 and as the pandemic continues, numbers of meals continue to decline while the number of those needing meals increases.
Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey has approved a Louisiana Conference grant from the Office of Missional Engagement and Outreach in the amount of $50,000 to Feeding Louisiana, to be distributed by them to their food bank members around the state.
"It is so important during this time that we pay special attention to this most vulnerable of our population," said Bishop Harvey. "Food security is always a challenge across the state but it is particularly challenging when children are out of school, as people are furloughed or have lost their job."
Rev. Elaine Burleigh, Director of the Office of Missional Engagement and Outreach says it is times like this when United Methodists are at their best, seeing a need and stepping up to help.
"Unemployment in Louisiana has surged in recent weeks, which means a record number of people are facing food insecurity," Burleigh said. "Food pantries around the state are struggling to meet the need, but many food banks and pantries will run out of food in a matter of days if help doesn’t arrive. That’s what we United Methodists do so well - we see the need and we step up to help. This makes me so proud to be a United Methodist."
The grant will assist the mission and outreach of Feeding Louisiana
to be a unified voice for Louisiana’s hungry by providing short-term food relief while seeking long-term solutions to hunger through advocacy, education, and leadership.
"This is an important time for the church to respond as people of faith," Bishop Harvey said. "Because of the faithfulness of others we are able to share this offering and I pray that it might be an outward and visible sign of compassion, grace, hope, and love."
Feeding Louisiana was created by the five regional food banks within the state to support their collaborative efforts to accomplish statewide policy, advocacy, and food and fundraising objectives. The food banks that serve Louisiana are listed below:
In a recent episode of Louisiana Now, Todd Rossnagel visited with Rev. Sam Hubbard at SLU Wesley and Rev. Kennon Pickett from Broadmoor United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, two pastors who are doing all they can to serve meals in this time of need.