BATON ROUGE- In spite of the destruction of ninety percent of local agency warehouses, distribution buildings and food supply, and the loss of many staff members and clientele, the Louisiana Commodity Supplemental Food Program is resuming many of its pre-storm operations.  The program, which is the largest of its kind in the nation, provides monthly food packages for qualified low-income people.

Services in Orleans Parish have resumed, with food package distributions occurring in the Central City neighborhood and in Algiers on the West Bank, two areas where most residents have been able to return.  Food distributions take place on the first and third Thursdays of each month from 9 a.m. to noon in Algiers at 1111 Newton Street and on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month from 9 a.m. to noon at 2222 Simon Bolivar Ave. in Central City.

Warehousing and prepacking operations are being distributed across the state to greatly reduce the program’s vulnerability to catastrophic losses in the future.  The Townsend Avenue Prepacking Facility in New Orleans East is being refurbished for a return to service in the spring.  Some level of service has been restored to all 58 parishes that were receiving services before the storms with the exception of Cameron, Calcasieu, Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes.

The Louisiana Commodity Supplemental Food Program is designed to improve the diets and health of the following low-income people:  pregnant women; women up to one year following the birth of their child; babies; children up to their sixth birthday; and men and women who are at least sixty years old.  All foods are donated to Louisiana by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The program also educates clients about good nutrition by providing feeding guides for parents, easy-to-make recipes for commodity food and a monthly nutrition newsletter for senior citizens.

To sign up for the Louisiana Commodity Supplemental Food Program, call Food For Families/Food for Seniors at 225-357-9099.  Callers can find out whether their household income qualifies them to be part of the program, the closest food site to their home, and what serving days and times are available in their area.