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Food insecurities in SWLA

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 9:54 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) -As we prepare for a Thanksgiving feast.

A growing number of people in Southwest Louisiana are struggling to get enough to eat.

Whether it’s related to natural disasters or due to the rising cost of basic needs, food insecurities remain a growing problem in Southwest Louisiana.

“What we’re trying to do right now is just fill the need,” said Regional Director for Second Harvest Food Bank Paul Scelfo.

Distributing monthly to over 30 different places, Second Harvest Food Bank is working to make a change.

“When a person has to make a choice between maybe buying car tires for his car vs putting food on his table that’s food insecurity,” Scelfo said.

On average, in the Lake Charles area, someone is considered food insecure if they’re short 170 meals a year.

“It’s not that they’re short all the time, it’s not that they can’t go to the store all the time, but sometime throughout that year, they’re going to short themselves about 170 meals. What we try and do and what our pantry partners try to do is fill that gap,” Scelfo said.

Regional Director for Second Harvest Food Bank Paul Scelfo said the need is much greater now than it was before the hurricanes.

“On average before the hurricanes, off of every pantry we were averaging about 8,500 pounds of food on a monthly basis. This year, those same pantries are averaging about 13.5,” Scelfo said.

But Scelfo doesn’t see the need going away anytime soon, with the rising cost of meat comes the rising need for help.

“It creates that need where you might be able to provide the majority of your meals but as these prices increase and wages are not rising with those prices, your dollars are buying less and less,” Scelfo said.

He leaves with the message, though it can be a daunting task food insecurities can be accomplished with the communities help.

“Whatever it is if you have the opportunity to volunteer at one of these food banks or pantry’s take the time to go volunteer,” Scelfo said.

Second Harvest Food Bank is working on putting a holiday food distribution out on the second week of December,

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