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FoodBanks have fed thousands of families, college students since March



MONROE, La.– Foodbank officials say they have never faced such a big need for food in our community, until this year. As the positive covid-19 cases rise, so does the need for food.“We have seen our need creep up every since the march so we saw it spike in the spring and it leveled off at a high level and now we are seeing it increase again,” said Jean Toth, Director of the FoodBank.

The holiday season is a stressful time for many families who struggle financially, but on top of that, residents in Northeast Louisiana have faced a pandemic, hurricanes, and tornados. Since March, the foodbank has had over 60 drive-through community food distributions throughout the 12 parishes they serve–giving out thousands of pounds of food. But the community has played a crucial role in keeping their doors open.

“Throughout the past week, the food has been coming in as fast as it’s been going out. It has been incredibly touching to see people who are dropping food off when you know they could probably use it themselves,” said Toth.

But the need for food is just as strong on college campuses. The food bank at the University of Louisiana Monroe has been opened since February 2020. Within the last 30 days, they’ve seen almost 100 students come through.

They don’t have a vehicle, they don’t have the funds, so it is important to keep these students in mind when you are donating for the holidays. It’s not just families in need, small children, and schools, but these college students, these young adults who are trying to further their education to support themselves and maybe on their own for the first time in their lives,” said Megan Morris, Assistant Director of Student Life and Leadership, Ulm.

Down the street, a Grambling State University student has worked hard to start a food bank on campus. He saw the need after a survey showed over 500 students were suffering from food insecurities.

“I feel like this will be a great asset to our campus as well as what you think is next for our campus, we think about our students. The biggest part of this project is working for the betterment of our students here on campus,” said Steven Wilson, former SGA president.