BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Schools across the Greater Baton Rouge area are out for the summer and that means more kids could go hungry.
Local food banks are preparing for the summer spike as they continue to face challenges.
“It’s a new challenge for them to face during the summer, and it creates more need for our clients,” said Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank CEO Mike Manning. “There is a greater need for food naturally because kids are out of school and they’re no longer receiving their free or reduced lunch program.”
Manning said they help supply food to different programs, especially during the summer when it’s most needed.
“We do outreach through our agencies to summer programs. The Y [YMCA] and other places have a lot of programs that we work with and it’s really just trying to get food to kids as much as we can,” he explained.
They’re also looking to go into areas they haven’t been able to before.
“We do mobile distributions. We’re looking at some additional expansion of those efforts,” he said. “Expansion of those efforts so that we can get into areas that we aren’t getting into now and aren’t being served by a pantry. So people don’t have to travel a large distance to get assistance.”
There are a few bumps in the road as the food bank works to accomplish its goals.
“Natural supply and demand issues because of the plant issues, the trucking issues. But also we’re going to be looking at transportation costs going up dramatically because of the increasing diesel costs and that significantly increased the cost of food,” said Manning.
He said inflation is also making matters worse for families across the 11 parishes they said.
“We’re starting to see more people get back in line who had gotten out of line of needing assistance from us because they’re looking at food costs. They’re looking at the cost of gasoline to get to and from work,” he said.
Despite the challenges, they’re working to meet the needs for summer. They are asking for volunteers. To sign up, click here.