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Baton Rouge Food Bank Struggles Amid Rising Demand and Inflation

BATON ROUGE, La. — The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank is facing a pressing challenge as supplies dwindle amidst surging demand exacerbated by inflationary pressures.

"Our mission is to feed the hungry in Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes by providing food and educational outreach through faith-based and other community partners. With community support, we have served the hungry in our 11-parish service area for more than 35 years," emphasized Mike Manning, President and CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

According to Manning, the depletion of essential groceries at this early stage of the year is unprecedented. Serving a network of over 125 member agencies across 11 parishes, the food bank has expanded its reach to address pockets of food scarcity, experiencing a notable 40% uptick in demand in the final quarter of 2023.

The financial strain induced by inflation is keenly felt, with individuals resorting to maxing out credit cards to cover escalating grocery expenses. Manning highlighted the ripple effect of inflation, which has constrained the food bank's purchasing power for bulk items obtained through donations and USDA funding.

With summer on the horizon, historically a period marked by heightened need, the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank finds itself issuing a plea for assistance. Manning emphasized the organization's reluctance in resorting to such appeals, reminiscent of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Critical items urgently required include nonperishable protein sources such as canned meat or fish, along with pantry staples like peanut butter, beans, canned fruits, vegetables, and grains such as bread, cereal, pasta, rice, oatmeal, and granola.

Supporters are urged to contribute both financially and with donations of essential groceries, which can be dropped off at the food bank's location or made online through the organization's website.

For more information on how to support the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, visit their website at

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