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Attending a donation ceremony are, from left, Mike Manning, president and CEO Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank; Betty Mujica-Milano, community outreach coordinator Neighbors FCU and Steve Webb, president and CEO NFCU.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Neighbors FCU launched the Every Swipe Counts campaign to raise $30,580 for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

NFCU committed 5 cents for every qualified debit card purchase from its Free Cash Back Checking accounts from April 1 through June 30 to the Food Bank.

“We’re thrilled to expand our relationship with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank,” Neighbors President and CEO Steve Webb said. “We’ve conducted many food drives in the past and enjoyed volunteering with the food bank annually for Neighbors Day. We are excited about this new opportunity to provide financial support as the Food Bank’s needs are more dire than ever before.”

The Neighbors Free Cash Back Checking Account has generated 5 cents to charity and 5 cents to the member for every qualified purchase since it launched in October 2018. However, this is the first time the charity funds have been specifically designated for a particular organization.

Previously, these funds have gone toward the Neighbors Capital Area Foundation’s scholarship program. In 2019, the checking accounts generated just over $61,000 to the foundation.

Approximately, 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 5 children in the food bank’s 11-parish service area are food insecure. The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank is reporting that the number has increased exponentially during this pandemic.

Due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the food bank has begun mobile distributions of emergency food boxes.

Distributions are focused on populations of individuals from various service industries: casinos, hotels, restaurants, etc. Additionally, the organization is supporting its member agencies who have suspended operations because the volunteers running them are elderly and at high risk at this time.

The food bank’s service area represents about 19% of the state’s population. If 19% of the 266,000 unemployed in Louisiana were to request food assistance, it is estimated that 50,540 would request assistance from the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

Currently, the cost to fill and distribute one Emergency Food Box is $30. A typical box has 40 pounds of shelf-stable items (canned food). The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank is also distributing about 22 pounds of fresh produce and 10-15 pounds of proteins, while those supplies last. In all, it’s a 75-pound box of food and can produce about 62 meals.