FoodNet Food for Families drive scheduled in Jennings

Published 9:20 am Saturday, December 2, 2023

“Tis the season for giving and one great way to give back is to help those in need.

The Jeff Davis Parish Council on Aging will hold its annual FoodNet Food For Families Food Drive, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, at the Council on Aging, 210 South State Street, in Jennings. Residents can drop off their donations at the drive-thru where volunteers will be available to help them unload.

“This helps us to be able to restock our food pantry to help families, especially senior citizens, who have a hard time making ends meet,” Assistant Director Tiffany Dunn said. “For some of these people it is a choice between something to eat or buying their medicines.”

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In the last few years, the Council on Aging’s food pantry has been bare by the end of the year because it has been rough for a lot of people, she said. The food drive helps them restock the pantry shelves in time for the holidays.

“We get an average of about 20 people a week, so that’s 1,000 people a year we are seeing,” Dunn said. “And we have seen the numbers continue to go up because he rising cost of food is driving more people to seek help.”

The biggest influx has been in people in need of the bare necessities, she said.

The food pantry is open year around and serves all parish residents. Those seeking assistance range in ages from senior citizens to young adults, she said.

“The Council on Aging has a lot of programs for the elderly and aging population, but the food pantry serves anyone in need in the parish,” she said. “We’ve served them as young as 18 years old.”

The food pantry is open 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday-Thursday at the Council on Aging. Those seeking assistance need only show their driver’s license as proof of residency.

Local residents, businesses and school groups are urged to drop-off non-persihable items to help refill the shelves during the food drive. Items needed include canned fruit and vegetables, canned meats, canned soups, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, cereals, beans, rice and pasta. Paper goods and hygiene items are also needed.

Those wishing to make monetary donations should make their checks out to the Jeff Davis Council on Aging and label them for the food pantry.