Story by Tom Pace, Special to the Press-Tribune
They were all smiles at the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana Thursday, September 4, as BHP Billiton presented the non-profit organization a check for a three-year investment program totaling $150,000.
The funds will go to support the Backpack and Senior Programs across the seven-parish area.
Inside the Food Bank’s loading dock, some 50 attendees gathered to watch the donation ceremonies unfold.
“The BHP Billiton gift could not have come at a better time,” said Martha Marak, Executive Director of the Food Bank. “Their donation will provide 225 food insecure children with food on the weekend for each school year, and 1,200 seniors with food each month, We are extremely grateful for this donation.”
Mayors Lorenz “Lo” Walker of Bossier City, and Cedric Glover of Shreveport issued a joint proclamation on “Elected Officials Day” that officially launched the food box campaign for the Senior Program as part of the local effort in a nation-wide movement titled “Hunger Action Month” (food banks and volunteers working to solve hunger).
The two mayors joined a large group of elected officials, that included Bossier State Rep. Henry Burns, plus other community leaders, who helped pack special Senior Program boxes of food, weighing 45 pounds each.
“One of our core values at BHP Billiton is sustainability in the communities we serve,” noted Geraldine Slattery, General Manager of BHP Billiton’s Production Units in the Haynesville and Fayetteville Shales. “Key to this region’s sustainability is confronting hunger, particularly among children and the elderly.”
Investing in the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana is aligned with BHP Billiton’s company charter values by finding ways to address and conquer the food insecurity rates among children and seniors, high poverty rates, and obesity and obesity-related illnesses.
Tom Pace is Executive Editor and Radio Host of “Talk of the Town” The Promise 90.7FM