BATON ROUGE, LA -- Louisiana rice growers wrapped up the month-long celebration of National Rice Month by donating a truckload of rice to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank (GBRFB). Representatives of the state’s rice industry gathered on the steps of the state capital building to present the donation, in conjunction with National Hunger Awareness Month.
Richard Fontenot, a rice grower from Evangeline parish and a vice president of the Louisiana Farm Bureau, discussed the importance of rice, and the rice industry, for Louisiana's economy and its impact on conservation by providing critical wetland habitat throughout the state. Fontenot expressed thanks and appreciation to Louisiana Rice Mill, Falcon Rice Mill, and Farmers Rice Mill for providing the rice that was donated.
"The rice donated today will help provide nutritious and well-balanced meals for thousands of families in need in our community,” said Michael Manning, president and CEO of GBRFB.
Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain read Governor John Bel Edward's proclamation declaring September National Rice Month, and said, "through this donation, the Louisiana rice industry is making a generous contribution to society by providing a safe and nutritious food source to our citizens in need." He encouraged all citizens to continue in their support of "one of the state's oldest and most valuable agricultural industries.”