“A lot of our families have been affected,” said Ashley Chavis, principal of Advantage Charter Academy. “Our school community has been hit hard by this virus. So, the fact that a lot of them came out today with their protective equipment on, we were ready to go. The National Guard was prepared so we could be out there engaging with them.”Cars lined up throughout the school parking lot with their trunks open, ready and waiting for the National Guard to distribute 75 pounds of food per family. Each family received one box of food including fresh produce, a variety of canned goods, and shelf-stable foods like pasta and grains.
“It was exciting to truly be a community partner to service the entire community of Baker,” said Chavis.
Since the event was open to the entire Baker community, members of Advantage’s school community were also able to come out to receive food if needed. Chavis shared that it was nice to see individuals from the school out at the event. “It’s been a struggle being at home, so the fact that we were able to come and participate in this essential practice, it meant everything.”
Chavis was contacted by the Carl Dunn, chief of police at the Baker Police Department, inquiring if the school would be willing to host the food distribution event. “Baker Police Department is truly a supporter and community partner for Advantage,” said Chavis.
Historically, the food bank did not distribute food directly to individuals, instead, regional partner agencies would deliver the boxes to those in need. However, because these agencies closed due to the coronavirus, the food bank’s staff is turning to new community partners to come together with the help of the National Guard to ensure the food is distributed, and Advantage was honored to be involved.
“Advantage has always played an integral part in the Baker community and we must show others that we will do all we can to help our families during this difficult time,” said Ronnie Harrison, director of school quality at Advantage. “I am excited to see Principal Chavis continue to strengthen the partnership with the Baker Police Department and work with the Louisiana National Guard and the Baton Rouge Food Bank to help our families and provide them with necessary food. This is truly a time where we need ‘all hands on deck’ as we navigate through this challenging time.”
The food bank will continue providing food to those in need with additional distributions planned over the coming weeks. The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank is asking for donations to ensure they can continue offering this essential service. A representative for the food bank shared that online monetary donations aide in fighting food insecurity.
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