Massive turn out at food give away at Monroe Civic Center

Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 7:01 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Food Bank of Northeast Lousiana and the city of Monroe have teamed up to give back, and it’s just in time for the holidays! The food bank and the city held a mobile food pantry at the Monroe Civic Center Tuesday morning. The food bank began setting up for the drive in the parking lot around 7:30 a.m.

By that time, the line for food boxes was wound around the building and backed up to the interstate exit.

The food distribution for the community was contactless; all drivers had to do was pop their trunk or unlock their car doors and volunteers placed the food boxes in the car or trunk.

Each vehicle received one box of food, consisting of fresh produce, gallons of milk, meat and a case of water.

The mobile food pantry was open to all residents in Ouachita Parish who are in need of food this holiday season.

People waiting in line said they were only waiting in line for around 30 minutes but it was still well worth the wait.

Sarah Hoffman, the communications officer for the NELA Food Bank, said since COVID has hit, the pandemic has triggered a wave of unemployment and dashed hours for some who work in the community. As a result, they’ve had to host more of these mobile pantries.

“With so many people being affected by lays offs and cut hours due to the pandemic and the holidays approaching, we just want to make sure that everyone has access to food for themselves and their families, so hosting these extra distributions really helps everyone get a chance to get a grocery. It really drives home the fact that so many people in our community need extra help. And you know Christmas is the season of giving, and so we really appreciate everyone who made this possible,” she added, gesturing to the long line of cars behind her.

If you missed Tuesday’s giveaway, don’t worry, the next mobile food pantry is Tuesday, December 15th in West Carroll Parish at the Oak Grove Maintenance Barn at 10 a.m.

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