In 1995, a group of individuals from churches with food pantries and benevolent organizations met to discuss the need to establish a local Food Bank to serve the parishes of Northwest Louisiana. This group evolved into a formally organized Steering Committee in 1996 and met with America's Second Harvest Food Bank officials in New Orleans and Alexandria. In January of 1997, they received confirmation that Dr. and Mrs. Charles T. Beaird had generously donated a building located at 2307 Texas Avenue. The Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana signed on as a Subsidiary Distribution Organization of the Second Harvest Food Bank in Alexandria, was incorporated, received 501 (c) 3 status, and after a great deal of work and preparation opened its doors on April 17, 1997. In June 2003, the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana became an affiliate for America's Second Harvest, the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization. Since then, with over ten years of experience, we have distributed more than 25 million pounds of food throughout Northwest Louisiana.
The Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana, one of only five food banks in the state, currently distributes food to over 90 non-profit organizations in our seven-parish region, which includes Caddo, Bossier, Bienville, Claiborne, Desoto, Red River, and Webster. These organizations, also called "member agencies", distribute the food to needy individuals free of charge. In this way food collection and distribution is streamlined to provide a highly efficient vehicle for getting the maximum amount of food to food insecure individuals. The Food Bank also warehouses Northwest Louisiana's portion of the state's allocated USDA commodity food products. These USDA commodities are available at no cost to our member agencies. Donated food from coast to coast across the United States is available for up to nineteen cents per pound, a shared maintenance fee that helps to cover fuel and freight costs to get it here.