Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased rates of food insecurity among families and individuals across the state, Louisiana Healthcare Connections has awarded $90,000 to Feeding Louisiana to support the statewide food bank network.
Food insecurity, defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle, has long been an issue for Louisiana. In the 2019 America’s Health Rankings, Louisiana, at 21.7 percent, scored the highest rate in the nation of adults ages 60 and older who faced the threat of hunger in the previous 12 months.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Louisiana, food insecurity has become an even more pressing issue, leading to increased demand on the state’s network of food banks, according to Feeding Louisiana, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing relief to hunger and food insecurity in Louisiana.
Feeding Louisiana is the advocate for the state’s five regional food banks in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Alexandria, Shreveport, and Monroe. Together with their food pantry, shelter, and meal program partners, these food banks coordinate food distribution to thousands of families and individuals statewide.
“Feeding Louisiana and its members are deeply grateful to Louisiana Healthcare Connections for its donation to support the state’s food banks in responding to increased food insecurity due to the spread of COVID-19,” said Korey Patty, executive director. “This donation will help Louisiana food banks to distribute more than 300,000 meals to individuals and families in need across all 64 parishes of the state.”
“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have extended beyond medical care to negatively affect access to food, housing, employment, and more,” said Jamie Schlottman, CEO of Louisiana Healthcare Connections. “These social determinants of health have a tremendous impact on overall health, especially among vulnerable populations. We are committed to working collaboratively with partners like Feeding Louisiana and our network of healthcare providers to address the needs of Louisiana families in these unprecedented times.”
Feeding Louisiana welcomes donations to help meet the increased demand for assistance. Monetary donations are preferred to help minimize the need for person-to-person contact. They can be made by visiting www.FeedingLouisiana.org/take-action. Families and individuals in need of food assistance can call 211 to locate help in their area.