Joe LeBlanc Food Pantry Open Tomorrow, 3/21/20

Written by on March 20, 2020

The Joe LeBlanc Food Pantry (JLFP) will be distributing food from 9 until 11 a.m. tomorrow, March 21, 2020 at their location, 814 Constable St. in Minden. This will be set up as a drive-thru only. JLFP encourages anyone that is in need to come to the distribution. If you have been laid off, and would not normally qualify for assistance, they are ready to help you. “We are open!,” JLFP Director Jessica Lewis said. “We may go to limited hours sometime next week but unless the government says we can’t legally be open we will continue to have office hours and will continue to help people get through this crazy time. There is no need for anyone in our community to go without food.”

If you are already a client, you will need to line up on E. Crestview Street. A volunteer will check you off the list, instead of you signing it, and will place a sign on your passenger window. Once you get to the pantry door, volunteers will load your vehicle for you. You will not need to get out of your vehicle at any point. When you are done, you will exit through the back lot and out the fairgrounds gate.

If you are a new client, there are some things you will need to bring. Make sure you have your ID, social security numbers for all household members, a normal check stub from this year, and a letter or picture of a sign or a copy of an e-mail that shows you have been temporarily laid off due to the virus. When you arrive at the food pantry, simply join the normal line that will begin on E. Crestview St. A volunteer will come to you. As normal, someone will take pictures of your ID, social security cards, and proof of income. They will assist in getting you registered as a “short-term” client and will direct you from there.

JLFP has received more food in the last month than they ever have before. And at first, they weren’t quite sure why. “Now we know why,” Lewis said. “It was just because God knew the need before we did and he was preparing us to be able to meet the needs of our community. Just this week alone we have taken 19 emergency cases and signed up 16 new families for distribution. A lot of these have been seniors or grandparents that are now keeping their grandchildren. They could make their income work when it was just them but if you throw a few kids in the house with them things tend to stretch to thin.”

JLFP has been serving the Minden/Webster Parish community since 2007 and serves between 400 and 500 households during a regular month. “We have 547 registered households that we serve with clients living in every city in Webster Parish,” Lewis said. “We are a branch of the Northwest LA Food Bank and follow USDA income guidelines. That means that our clients must be living below the national poverty levels to qualify for assistance. Our office is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. for the public to come in and fill out an application. Distributions are done on the 3rd Saturday of every month, even in the midst of a national pandemic.”

More information, including regular income requirements, can be found on the Joe LeBlanc Food Pantry Facebook page, here.

 

THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • Distribution is drive-thru only. Please do not get out of your vehicle at any time.
  • Current and new clients will line up on E. Crestview St.
  • New clients: bring your ID, social security cards or numbers for each person in your household, check stub from 2020 showing your regular income, and proof that you have been temporarily laid off.
  • Please be patient and respect others. The line may become long at times.

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