Big Award to Food Bank Announced During Hunger Action Month
It was a sea of orange at the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana this morning. Orange is the color of hunger, and September is Hunger Action Month.
Today was a special day -- Public Servant Day -- when public officials and volunteers donated their time to pack senior food boxes. Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler - decked out in her lovely orange dress - Caddo Commissioner Matthew Linn and Shreveport Fire Chief Scott Wolverton were among those onhand to help.
But that wasn't all the good news this morning. Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation President Michael Tipton had a big announcement concerning the agency's new Angels of Change grant program.
"A panel of child welfare advocates met in August to look through more than 60 applications we received and to determine the programs and ideas they thought would most likely meet the needs of Louisiana's children," Tipton said. "I'm pleased to tell you that the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation is here to announce that the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana is one of those recipients of the 20th Anniversary Angels of Change grants."
The $50,000 grant will benefit the Food Bank's Backpack Program, which provides children in need with healthy snacks for over the weekends. That directly helps Bossier City 6th-grader Jamarion Gladney. He lives with his mom and sister and cousins, and says his mother does what she can to take care of them, but sometimes it isn't enough.
"At the end of 4th grade, I started getting food put in my backpack every week for over the weekend. I'm a growing boy and that's why I like the Backpack Program. My favorite thing is the juice," Gladney said. "So if any of you are responsible for me getting my backpack, I'm here to say thank you. I look forward to it every week."
Shreveporter Roger Rutherford is a recipient of the Senior Box program. He, too, got a chance to thank everyone for their help.
"I'm on a fixed income, and it helps so...I'm so grateful for it," he said. "I'm thanking the [Food Bank] for listening when I call and accepting me. And thanking each and every one that gives to the Food Bank, and the volunteers that pack the boxes for us so we can have a meal every month....thank you for everything."
On a just-for-fun note, don't be surprised if you see a lot of pictures on social media of people with orange spoons on their noses. It's also been named 'Spoontember.' As you can see from my photo, I balanced that spoon perfectly -- no cheating by using tape. Be sure to tag KEEL on Facebook if you have a similar photo you'd like to share.
Take a look at photos from the event: