JEFF DAVIS PARISH, La. (KLFY) — News 10 and Catholic Charities of Acadiana are back for our annual Food Net Food for Families Food Drive. This year will be year 36 of helping to feed families across Acadiana.

Small pantries throughout Jeff Davis and Acadia Parish urge people to donate nonperishable food items. They said it’s important to the community’s sustainability and the families who live there.

Helen Langley with the Jeff Davis Parish Council on Aging said words cannot describe how important the annual Food for Families Food Drive is.

She said this has been a hard year for people in the community looking for food.

“You know it’s hard to say that this is the most important year ever,” Langley said. “I’ve been here 33 years, but looking back, this is one of the times where it’s been the hardest for people and we’ve had the most people come through here for food. “

Langley said donations made to smaller pantries like the Jeff Davis council on aging help out families who lack resources to purchase food, especially in towns like Jennings.

“Because we’re in Jennings, it’s not a huge town, and it’s also a farming town,” Langley said.

She said nonperishable items with protein like peanut butter, chili and can goods with meat is what pantries normally need, and if there are items the pantry is running low on or does not have, they use monetary donations to purchase the food for the families.

“If we don’t get something that they really need, we go out and buy it and put it in the pantry,” Langley said.

Langley said food drives like Food for Families is a really important event to help out the elderly on fixed incomes, and those families and young people who might not make enough to buy food.

“It’s real important that we do have this food that we can distribute, and this year more than ever,” Langley said.