The Joe LeBlanc Food Pantry is actively seeking monetary or food donations as the food ministry is running short on goods to assist needy families.

Executive director Jessica Lewis says had it not been for the Minden Food Project they would not have had the food needed to feed some 600 families in the last month or so.

“When we purchase food, we’re able to buy 10 times more than a person would if they were to go to the grocery store and purchase food,” she said. “So, having actual money would allow us to buy more food.”

Outside of food donations, the food pantry purchases their food from the Northwest Louisiana Food Bank in Shreveport, but they too have been running short.

What’s hit them the hardest these last few months is emergency food, which has dwindled their emergency budget to nothing, she says.

“We’ve almost doubled what we’ve spent on food in the past two or three months,” she said. “At the beginning of the year, I look at our budget and plan out our emergency (fund), and that’s gone and we’re in July.”

The pantry provides nonperishable food items as well as frozen food. They provide meats when they can, such as when the Hunters for the Hungry donate wild game during hunting season, like deer meat. However, there is a need for meats, whether they be canned or frozen, Lewis says.

Nonperishable food items include canned goods, dry beans, rice, noodles and small bags of flour or cornmeal and sugar.
Lewis says they will take donations of meat they can put in the freezer or canned meats such as tuna or chicken.

In the coming weeks, they will be doing a garage sale fundraiser and they are seeking items to sell. Lewis asks for those who wish to, to donate items like small furniture in good condition, household items (also in good condition), gently used clothing in all sizes from baby clothes to adult sizes. Toys in good condition are another item that will be accepted as well, she says.

“We did one a few years ago and it was very profitable,” she said. “We’re considering doing that just before school starts.”

A date has not been set for the sale.

For more information or for questions, call Lewis at 318-465-6726. The Joe LeBlanc Food Pantry is located at 408 Broadway.