Ouachita senior center needs help as demand for food rises
OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE) - The Ouachita Council on Aging says there’s been a recent increase in demand from those in need of food.
Food pantry volunteer Carrie Cann says they help when they can, but times are tough.
“They have boxes of food for them at the end of the month. Every [last] Tuesday of the month,” Cann explained.
Board president Chris Valentine says inflation is hitting some people hard.
“The need has grown greatly with the cost of food going up inflation,” Valentine said.
USDA reports that there has been a 10% to 11% increase in the consumer price index this year. Those increases have impacted the senior center in more than just the food pantry.
“We’ve seen a 10% increase in the cost of our contract who provides our meals, helps us provide our food for all of our seniors that we serve in the parish,” Valentine said.
Executive Director Loretta Hudson knows that money is tight for those who come to the center.
“Most of them are on fixed incomes. So to have that extra luxury to be able to have food, just sustainable food is a blessing to them, as well as a need,” Hudson said. “We are asking the community for their assistance and helping us to feel that pantry again.”
People can help with items that are shelf-stable and with a long shelf life.
“Volunteer and bring can goods and food, you know they can bring to help him out. Like, say beans and canned goods and all types you know,“ Cann says.
They want their clients to be able to create meals. Hudson explained that shortages are difficult for seniors because stores replenish and restock items that appeal to the general public.
Any help that people can give is something they are grateful for.
“And they’ll be glad they will be appreciative, very appreciative,” Cann said.
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