The Sugar Cane Festival Building on Parkview Drive was filled with the spirit of giving Tuesday as the annual FoodNet for Families drive took place throughout the day.
The drive is held all throughout Acadiana, and the Iberia Parish chapter has been faithfully headed for many years by Johnny Indest.
Vehicles drove onto the parking lot near the building with dropoff donations of canned goods and other goods, which were picked up quickly and distributed to the various food pantries that use the food to help the needy in Iberia Parish.
“It’s going quite well,” Indest said Tuesday afternoon. “I can’t be quite sure but I think our financial donations are going to exceed last year. It just appears a lot of people are making financial donations.
“As far as the food, a lot of companies have done their internal food drives and they are dropping off that stuff, so it’s going quite well.”
Even with periods of rain that soaked the volunteers, vehicles bearing donations continued to roll in at the site.
Once the donations are dropped off at FoodNet, they are evenly distributed between the six pantries that participate in the food drive. This year, those pantries were St. Nicholas Social Concern, St. Francis Diner, Solomon House, Disch-DeClouet Social Service Center, Mount Calvary Baptist Church and the Glorious Church.
Representatives from every pantry was on-site throughout the day, taking in donations and piling them in trucks that would eventually go to their respective headquarters. The donations were hauled by inmates from the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, who Indest said were doing an “outstanding” job.
In addition to the New Iberia site, Indest said there was a small collection point in Loreauville.
Last year, there were about 12,800 pounds collected. Indest said by the end of the event that that number was about the same, with 12,600 pounds collected and weighed by the end of the day. Although monetary donations won’t be known for a few days, Indest said he was optimistic about the numbers.