BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Louisiana has the third highest rate of food insecurity. One in seven people in the state don’t have access to food on a regular basis and the economy is adding to the strain.

Just ahead of the approaching holiday season, Governor John Bel Edwards toured the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. With the rising cost of food, the food bank said its been experiencing a much higher demand for its services.

“Supply and demand imbalance coming out of COVID exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and even now by low water levels in the Mississippi River…all of that and so many more things have put inflationary pressure on the prices of food,” Gov. Edwards said.

In Louisiana, 1 in 4 children and seniors deal with food insecurity in the state and it hits communities of color harder. Gov. Edwards highlighted a lot of the challenges being seen around the country.

“Every bit of food that is in this warehouse came from somewhere and those fuel prices make it that much more expensive,” Gov. Edwards said. “The same thing is happening in supermarkets and grocery stores across the state and the country.”

The food bank serves around 30,000 people a month, but the shortages make it a challenge to source enough canned meat and peanut butter.

“We can get canned vegetables, canned fruit. That’s very easy. To get proteins that’s the real challenge for us,” said Mike Manning, President of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

A donation of five dollars can keep a family fed for a day, which the food bank said stretches less than it used to but they welcome any support.

For information on how to donate go to BRFoodBank.org.