COVINGTON, La. -- Empty crates sit on empty shelves at the Covington Food Bank Wednesday and that's been the dilemma there for a few weeks.
“During the month of July, we were inundated with need," said Director Terri Turner-Marse. "Our volumes basically rose in the amount that we were giving out. We generally give out about 6,000 pounds a day, the days we're open, and we were giving out 6,500."
And that need doesn't look to slow down, on top of being vulnerable to possible large-scale needs during the height of hurricane season and preparing for the predictable increase in need during the holidays.
“So we're at a point now where we are in a recovery mode so we can get our supplies back up so we can continue our mission here," Turner-Marse said,.
The food bank isn't just looking for anything to fill its shelves. It wants to have basic, nutritious items that can go in their "Staple Boxes."
Those boxes include canned beans, canned fruit, canned vegetables, whole grain cereals, dry beans, Jiffy Mix, Macaroni and Cheese, pastas, oatmeal, peanut butter, rice, rice mix, soups, tomato sauce and tuna. Those are all things severely lacking right now.
Local organizations like the Northshore Rising Professionals, a committee of the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce, have made helping the food bank a mission of their own by holding food drives.
It's something the group says you can do too.
"It’s the easiest way to gather a couple hundred pounds between you, your business contacts, people in your neighborhood and any little bit's going to help them," said NRP Chair Kyle Beerbohm.
"It's not just an individual cleaning out their pantry, per se, but groups getting together, and it can be a baseball team, a soccer team, it can be the Key Club at a high school that determines they want to help the community by running a food drive," said Turner-Marse.
And it's help desperately needed right now.
You can donate items or money by dropping it off at the Food Bank at 840 N. Columbia St. in Covington. It’s open to accept donations Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
You can also visit their website at http://www.covingtonfoodbank.org to learn how to help with your own food drive.