Two Louisiana food banks still open despite suspension of church facility
Patty Bolton stands in the food pantry of Heart to Heart Community Outreach. Despite the suspended operations of an evangelical food pantry in Louisiana, Heart to Heart and the Community Food Pantry at the First Baptist Church are still going strong.
Disadvantaged families recently suffered a setback with the closure of the Louisiana Evangelical Outreach Food Pantry.
But two other faith-related food pantries remain and the evangelical group’s facility could return, according to coordinator Lois Turner.
The evangelical food pantry was recently closed because of her illness and for a lack of a building.
“We still haven’t found a building,” Turner said last week.
Some charge too much rent for the group and others need to much work to accommodate the operation, she said.
“We’re hoping to bring it back. We were serving 50 to 65 families a month,” which is about 200 people, Turner said. “If not, we’ll say ‘Sorry, that’s all we can do,’ ” after 16 years.
Meanwhile, Louisiana still has the food pantries at Heart to Heart Community Outreach and the Community Food Pantry run out of the First Baptist Church.
“Our pantry has no income guidelines, we give to anybody,” said Patty Bolton at Heart to Heart. “We give to anybody that needs. Some are one time, some are several times and some are all the time.
“We feed a lot of elderly and disabled people because they don’t get a lot from food stamps, maybe $30 or $40 of food per month and they find that’s not enough.”
Heart to Heart’s Food Pantry is funded by proceeds from its clothing store next door.
Bolton said it was notable when the evangelical facility was not open in April.
“We served 210 families and we were at 175 in March,” Bolton said. “When something happens we have to do a lot more,” because of the constant need.
“We have about 100 families a month, it varies from 90 to 125 and in November and December (when the give out holiday meat coupons) “it goes up to 15 families, said Marie Fisher at the Baptist Church.
“It’s sad to see this many people in need right now but unfortunately, that’s they way it is,” Fisher said.
Most of the area’s churches contribute to the Community Food Pantry, purchased with private donations and a monthly donation from the Trimble Fund.
The Community Food Pantry is open at the church at the corner of Seventh and South Carolina streets from 8:30 to 11 a.m. on the last Monday of every month. In November and December, the pantry is open the Mondays before Thanksgiving and Christmas.
For more information, call 754-6905.
The Heart to Heart Food Pantry at 3515 Georgia St. is open from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1-4 p.m. on the third Friday of each month. Some recipients are allowed to come on other days due to their circumstances.
For more information, call 754-6384 or 754-0148.