Food shortage at critical level in Baton Rouge

POSTED: Monday, August 29, 2011 - 4:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 5:39am

THIS IS AN NBC33 NEWS UPDATE: The shelves are slowly filling up at the Baton Rouge Food Bank. Donations are being taken from all across the parish.

On Monday, Aug. 29, trucks came into the food bank with more donations than usual.

Erin Swenson is the Vice President of Communications, Public Relations and Special Events for the food bank. She says even though the shelves aren't as bare, they won't be that way for long.

“Once we get the food in, it goes right back out so the second it comes in we have our agencies wish lists,” Erin Swenson, Vice President of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, explained. “And we try to pack up the product and make sure it's ready to go when they arrive.”

Swenson goes on to say the agency survives on donations of time, food, and money.

ORIGINAL STORY - Friday, Aug. 19, 2011 - "This is probably one of the worst times that we've seen since Hurricane Katrina," says Renee Kraft. She is the Executive Director of Hope Ministries here in Baton Rouge. She says she can't remember a time when her shelves were  this empty, "We have had some clients who have been as startled by our bare shelves as we have been and just pleaded with us to get more food."

Renee is talking about people like Nicole Chester. She doesn't know what she or others like her will do if the shelves don't fill up, "It would be very, very hard. Personally, myself, I, thank God for Hope because if it wasn't for them. You know I have a large family and I take care of other kids and without this pantry being here we would run out of food."

With all the supplies at historically low levels, those, like Chster, that need them the most say this trend needs to change before it's too late, "There's a lot of families that's just suffering right now, financially, mentally."

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