BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – There are empty shelves and baskets for this holiday season as the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank gets ready for one of their busiest times of the year. 

“This time of year, most people are thinking about the holidays now, thankfully, or for their situation. But there are a lot of people who can’t be very thankful because they’re dealing with food insecurity,” says Mike Manning, president and CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. 

Food insecurity is on the rise and Louisiana is one of the states affected by the issue. “Louisiana is number one in child and senior food insecurity. And those are the two ends of the continuum that are least able to do something about it,” says Manning. 

Manning says the community is being affected, and the food bank needs help as they get ready to distribute holiday boxes. 

“We’re really trying to focus on getting what we can, but that’s the real challenge. We’re seeing an increase in the number of people coming for assistance, people getting back in line that didn’t need assistance from us in the past year, who now need assistance from us again,” said Manning. 

Manning is asking people to continue helping, especially with donations, and help spread joy during this holiday season. 

“Money is the key because we can get access to food for less than a person can, buying in the grocery store. And then food, if you’ve got food, will gladly take it because it’s really what we do.” We help more during the holidays because we’re trying to make sure that people have a holiday meal,” says Manning.  

For more information on how you can help, visit

Manning says that “we need food, we need money and we need people’s time.”