The Northshore Food Bank, operating since 1984, serves low-income, food insecure households in St. Tammany and Washington Parishes. As a Second Harvest partner, the food bank’s traditional food distribution program serves households at or below the 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
In 2017, after reviewing studies inclusive of United Way ALICE research as well as Map the Meal Gap through Feeding America, the food bank decided to add an additional food distribution program, Feed the Gap. This program is designed for households that are low income (131-200 percent of the FBL) and do not meet Second Harvest income requirements. These households are one unexpected expense away from falling into poverty.
Feed the Gap, launched in October 2017, serves 11 households in the region with supplemental food. The food must not be a USDA donated product. Thus the program requires items that come from community donations or are purchased explicitly for the program. Individuals receive one box of non-perishable food monthly, households of two to four people receive two boxes monthly, and households of five or more receive four boxes monthly. The cost per box is $35.
Northshore Food Bank is averaging 20 box distribution monthly, at the cost of $700 per month or $8,400 annually. United Way’s investment in the program will serve those who are struggling to make ends meet on the Northshore and help fulfill UWSELA’s mission to eradicate poverty in Southeast Louisiana.