LAFAYETTE — Area food banks are asking for donations ahead of upcoming community food drives to boost their dwindling stores for the upcoming holiday season.
“Our shelves are getting bare,” said Executive Director Julie LaFleur, of FoodNet, The Greater Acadiana Food Bank. “By the end of next week, we’ll probably have about a week’s worth of food to go out.”
Having a low quantity of stored food is common for food banks this time of year, LaFleur said, but the nonprofit still needs immediate donations to provide for the 2,000 or so individuals who use FoodNet’s services each month.
Second Harvest Food Bank’s facilities in Lafayette and New Orleans stock fewer goods this time of year, too,
said communications specialist Terri Kaupp.
“We don’t have as much in our warehouse as we’d like to, but so much of what we get comes in and goes out immediately,” Kaupp said, noting that some donations include fresh produce.
The nonprofit — which Kaupp said provided for about 3,000 Lafayette Parish households in September — will host “Turkey Tuesday” Nov. 18 at its Lafayette facility at 215 E. Pinhook Road.
The event is part of Second Harvest’s “Turkey And A $20” campaign, with a goal to collect 5,000 turkeys and raise $50,000 among its 23-parish service area in south Louisiana, Kaupp said. The campaign is ongoing now through Nov. 25.
FoodNet takes in between 175,000 to 210,000 pounds of food annually to its warehouse at 217 Surrey St. and distributes it to about 27,000 adults and children, LaFleur said.
Some of FoodNet’s donations come from smaller drives organized by churches, schools or businesses, LaFleur said, but the organization has three major drives ahead this year.
FoodNet coordinates with the Rotary Club of Acadiana annually for its Election Day food drive, through which non-perishable food items are collected at every polling station, LaFleur said.
The nonprofit is also partnering with the new Whole Foods Market on Ambassador Caffery Parkway for a drive that runs from Nov. 1 through Christmas, LaFleur said. Donors can purchase a $10 bag of Whole Foods goods that goes back to the food bank.
FoodNet’s 28th annual “Food For Families” drive comes next, on Tuesday, Dec. 2. The project is a partnership with KLFY-TV and 17 Acadiana-area food pantries — “everywhere from Morgan City to Mamou and everywhere in between,” LaFleur said.
Not only is the project major for FoodNet’s Lafayette warehouse, but the 17 partnering pantries take in 40 to 45 percent of the food they receive for the year during their own versions of the food drive, held the same day, LaFleur said.