“We anticipate a conservative estimate of 16,000 visits for help here by the end of the year. St. Paul’s donation is critical to helping our families,” said Mrs. Carmen Catalanotto O’Mara, volunteer coordinator of the Covington Food Bank.
Every year for Thanksgiving, the Student Council sponsors a food drive for the Covington Food Bank. This donation is one of the largest that the Food Bank receives all year. Cans are collected for about two weeks in teachers’ classrooms and then are brought to the Wolf Dome on the selected delivery date to be sorted and delivered to the Food Bank. Due to the size of the donation, the Food Bank makes sure to have extra people on staff to process the influx of food. Some of the items the food bank requested this year are canned beans, canned fruit, corn, whole grain cereal, dry beans, green beans, Jiffy Mix, Oatmeal, and Ravioli.
“The amazing points I have learned are that 1 in 8 people here in Louisiana are hungry; 1 in 6 children in St. Tammany Parish are hungry; 1 in 3 children in Washington Parish are hungry. This wealthy nation, this affluent parish…very sad,” said O’Mara.
The Covington Food Bank was originally founded as the Food Bank, Inc., of St. Tammany on May 21, 1984. The idea for a food bank started at a meeting of the Ministerial Alliance of Covington by Deacon Skip Grafanini of St. Peter Catholic Church who later went on to become the director of the Food Bank in January of 1985. Nine churches in the area took the lead and provided the food in the early weeks of operation.
Today, the Food Bank is located at 840 N. Columbia Street and has a 6,000 sq ft. warehouse for packing and sorting food and has grown to include the 2,000 sq. ft. All Saint’s Thrift Store and a state-of-the-art Dental Clinic. The Food Bank is open for donations Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.
For more information on the Covington Food Bank go to covingtonfoodbank.org.