Helping the Hungry
In 1984 The Baton Rouge economy was among the worst in the nation. The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank was organized to aid in this problem in the fall of 84 as an outgrowth of Urban Ministries Coalition. The downtown churches and social relief agencies, all members of the Coalition, had noticed three times the usual number of people coming to them seeking assistance.
Also, at that time, Delchamps Food Stores had contacted United Way wanting to donate the food they could not sell to a local organization that would feed the hungry. United Way called together a small group which became the Steering Committee for the new Food Bank:
- The Rev. John Lipscomb, St. James Episcopal Church
- Jim Colvin, United Way
- Fred Griggs, St. Vincent de Paul
- Pete Underwood, American Red Cross
- Nancy Penn, Episcopal Hunger Coordinator
- David Cheveallier, Volunteers of America
- John Spain, WBRZ-TV
- Isabel Austin, Judson Baptist Association
- Deborah Roe, Catholic Life Center
- B.T. Lewis, The Salvation Army
- Tyke Olinde, University Presbyterian Church
A small group of volunteers began distributing collected bread and food items in the parking lot of Victoria Baptist Church.
Later we moved from the parking lot to a small house on 21st street.
As the mission grew, so did we. We later moved to a warehouse on Chippewa Street.
In 1996 we moved into our 25,000 square foot warehouse on Choctaw Drive. There has been a lot of growth from the volunteers in the parking lot of Victoria Baptist to the 24 full-time employees on Choctaw Drive, but the mission and the purpose still remain. We are dedicated to eliminating a tragic problem – hungry people in a world of surplus food.