BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — It is Hunger Action Month and BRProud will be highlighting the local needs here all month long.

“We have generational hunger,” said Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank President and CEO Mike Manning.

The month kicked off with new 2020 data from Feeding America.

“When you look at numbers like map, the meal gap, the food banks don’t have the resources to fill that gap alone,” said Feeding Louisiana Board President and Food Bank of Central Louisiana CEO Jayne Wright-Velez.

The Greater Baton Rouge Food Banks says a few of the numbers really stand out.

“Louisiana is number one in child food insecurity and number three in senior food insecurity. That’s the two ends of the continuum,” Manning explained.

“White households experience food insecurity at 17.8% in Louisiana, Black household is 32.5%, Latino is 23.9%, and Asian households are 30.6%,” stated Wright-Velez.

Courtesy: Feeding America (“Map the Meal Gap”)

Although the overall food insecurity is leaning slightly lower at about 13.5% (2020). They said there’s more than meets the eye.

“After all the craziness of COVID and the hurricanes and everything that happened in 2020, things were easing up a bit,” she said.

“A lot of that is contributed to the federal assistance that we receive during COVID, and it really significantly increased the government food that we receive to distribute. Now with that going away, I fully expect that the meal gap will increase again,” added Manning.

During September they plan on pulling out all the stops to help address the growing hunger issue.

“It’s really our effort to raise awareness about the issue of hunger and to get people engaged, to advocate for us, to donate food to us, to donate funds to us, and to volunteer to help us because everything they do to help us to helping feed hungry people in our area,” said Manning explained.

If you would like to donate to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank or volunteer, click here.