Bossier’s 19th Operation Blessing a parish-wide effort
This morning, the Bossier Sheriff’s Department delivered approximately 550 Christmas food boxes to needy people in Bossier Parish. It is estimated each box contains enough food to feed a family of six, meaning the agency distributed about 3,300 meals. It was the final push of “Operation Blessing: Bossier Parish” for 2010 and marks the 19th year the Bossier Sheriff’s Department has delivered food boxes.
Deputies and Posse members loaded the boxes at the Bossier Sheriff’s Substation in Bossier City. From the substation, they fanned out across the parish to deliver the boxes, which included a supply of staple goods, along with a card which can be redeemed for a fresh hen at Brookshire’s Food Stores.
“We hope these food boxes will help, in some small way, at least some of the people in Bossier Parish who are trying to make ends meet,” said Bossier Sheriff Larry Deen. “Giving is what Operation Blessing is all about.”
The food in the boxes came from a variety of sources, with the bulk of it coming from schools in the Bossier Parish system. Brookshire’s Food Stores in Bossier Parish provided the boxes, some of the staple goods and the hens. L.J. Earnest of Benton made an 18-wheeler trailer available for use as a storage facility.
The process of collecting the food began just before Thanksgiving when barrels were placed in the schools. Later, the barrels, which were full of canned goods, thanks to the students, were reclaimed by the Bossier Sheriff’s Department. The barrels were then transported to the 18-wheeler trailer where they were stored, and later, the staple goods were sorted, separated and boxed. Then, at the appointed time, the deputies and Posse members arrived, loaded the boxes and delivered them.
Operation Blessing was not designed to help the needy only during the holidays. The program has functioned year-round since coming into being in November of 1998.
Its food bank is run by the Bossier Sheriff’s Posse and Auxiliary volunteers. The program’s hours of operation for qualifying and food distribution are 9:00 a.m. until noon every Wednesday. Applications must be made in person and applicants need to bring their social security card, their current utility bills, proof of income and/or food stamp verification.
Operation Blessing is a non-profit corporation which operates without tax dollars and is underwritten by individuals and area businesses. Non-perishable food donations from the public are welcome.