New Iberia food pantry in need - KLFY News 10

New Iberia food pantry in need

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There's a lot more space on the shelves and inside the freezers of Shepherd's Food Pantry in New Iberia this year.

"We have at best 25 percent of what we normally carry. Our freezers are empty. Normally, we have six freezers, stand up freezers, that are full," says Curtis Viator, President of Shepherd's Food Pantry.

He says the food pantry's  resources have been spread thin, since the New Iberia City Council cut the Iberia Parish Council on Aging out of their budget.

"We supply food at least a couple times a month. We're trying to get to where we can supply their meals. They have meals cut from three times a day to once a day, which is lunch time, five days a week," says Viator.

According to New Iberia Mayor Pro Tem Dan Doerle, the Council on Aging, a non-profit assisting the needs of elderly residents in the parish with everything from hunger to unemployment, lost  100 percent of their funding from the city this year.

"It came as a suggestion of the administration, because we had to cut $1.9 million dollars from our budget this year," says Mayor Pro Tem Doerle.

Doerle says the council on aging only cost the city $2,500 a year, but was among multiple charities cut out of the budget for the first time in over 15 years.

"Council on Aging, SNAP, St. Francis Diner, SMILE," says Doerle.

Doerle says funding for veterans and for the Industrial Development Foundation were the only two non-profit items spared.

"It was sad, but our employees have not got a raise in two years and the insurance costs was more from them this year, so we had to do something to protect our people. It's sad that we couldn't help these non-profits, because it's such a good thing for the city of New Iberia," says Doerle.

We reached out to the Council on Aging on Sunday afternoon, but have not received a response as of yet.

If you would like to donate to Shepherd's Food Pantry or volunteer, you can contact Viator at (337) 321-3803.

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