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|Louisiana First Lady touts recovery efforts|
Louisiana's First Lady Supriya Jindal toured Northeast Louisiana Food Bank Wednesday to witness firsthand its disaster recovery efforts. Jindal also called upon communities to assist food banks throughout the state.
Food Bank executive director Richard King said the organization has provided thousands of pounds of food to the 12-parish area in northeast Louisiana since Hurricane Gustav moved through the area last week flooding many homes and businesses.
The food bank has provided the most food to Franklin and Richland parishes, which had the most flooding in northeast Louisiana.
Franklin residents have received 42,644 pounds of food; Richland Parish has received 15,454. In Ouachita, the food bank has distributed 12,292 pounds.
"We welcome evacuees no matter where they come from," King said. "However, this food bank does not stop doing what it does every day just because we have a hurricane. We're responsible for hunger in the 12 parishes of northeast Louisiana, and we will not stop helping those who need our help every day."
"Our primary response to Gustav has been to our own people who got flooded out," he said.
Jindal thanked residents of northeast Louisiana who opened their homes to evacuees and provided food, shelter and comfort.
"You all do a phenomenal job of getting out in the community year-round helping neighbors and families," the First Lady said. "The food bank works year-round, and in the wake of Gustav, supplies began to run low in food banks across the state."
Jindal urged people and businesses and industry throughout the state to donate items to their local food banks
"Everything here is local," she said. "They are helping the local families and the local communities. As I've traveled the state, one of the greatest things I've seen is neighbors helping neighbors. It's such a great part of Louisiana, and it makes me proud of our state. They're still out there helping others, and we are so proud of them."
September is national hunger awareness month. Volunteers and officials from the food bank are out spreading the word that food banks across the country need assistance every day of the week.
The food bank relies mostly on donations from all over the United States. It is the last resort for people who are without resources. It distributes more than three million pounds of food annually through 90 charitable agencies in northeast Louisiana.
For more information about the food bank, or to donate, call 322-3567.