History of the JLFP....
Founded by Mr. Joe LeBlanc and Pastor Paul Gray in 2007 the food pantry began as Helping Hands Ministries. The pantry was originally housed in a tiny room in the back of The Christian Church at Minden serving about 30 families. After Mr. Joe passed away a few years after the pantry was formed it was renamed the Joe LeBlanc Food Pantry to ensure that his vision and heart for serving people would continue on. Through the years the pantry has grown at an unbelievable rate and now serves around 600 families in Minden, LA and the surrounding areas.
The pantry still serves as a ministry of The Christian Church at Minden but has obtained its own 501c3 and is a tax exempt non-profit. We operate mostly on donations from our community and on local grants. JLFP depends greatly on local volunteers and organizations to get the job done each month in preparing to serve our clients. With help from groups such as Youth Challenge, Minden Evening Lion's Club, United Way of Northwest Louisiana, Minden Hunters for the Hungry, area churches and other civic organizations we are able to pack anywhere from 600-800 bags monthly. Volunteers then gather on the 3rd Saturday of every month to distribute those bags to clients.
In October of 2015 a new program called "Joe On The Go" rolled out in an effort to reach our elderly and home bound clients. This program takes a team of volunteers away from the pantry and into the community to deliver groceries to those unable to come to us. Beginning with about 30 clients in 2015, we now deliver to about 85 clients locally.
In 2016 our church obtained a new building that would soon house the Joe LeBlanc Food Pantry. This will be our 4th move in the past 10 years that have each been done out of necessity to keep up with the growing need for our services.
We took occupancy of the building in late 2017 after doing many renovations to the facility. This new location has tripled the amount of space the pantry has and allowed us to redesign our packing and distribution processes, making things much more efficient.
While we have come a long way in the fight against hunger there is still so much work to do. We feel that through community involvement and God's provision there is no end to the resources we can bring to those in need.