Bayou la Batre-- It's hard to put a number on the economic losses the Gulf region has experienced since the B-P oil spill. But it's clear that communities along the coast are hurting. The tiny Alabama fishing town of Bayou la Batre was still recovering from hurricanes Katrina and Ivan when the oil spill sent it into another tailspin. For many residents there just isn't enough money for basics, even food. WBHM's Tanner Latham has a profile of one church that's using its food pantry to feed a large segment of the population.
Anna Bosarge paces the gymnasium floor at the Bayou la Batre Community Center. She calls numbers out to the men, women, and children crowding the rows of metal folding chairs. They're black, white, Hispanic, Laotian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese. They all live in and around this South Alabama community. They're all either unemployed, live on supplemental security incomes, or receive food stamps. And they've all been directly affected by the Gulf oil spill.
Bosarge volunteers weekly for this program, the Hemley Road Church of Christ Food Pantry. She organizes the order of the people who shuffle through the food distribution line-long tables butting end-to-end, piled with canned goods, eggs, peanut butter, and other groceries.
After hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, Daphne German co-founded the church and the food pantry in 2006.
"It was just something I wanted to do. I wanted to have a small food pantry, so I could help people in the community. And we have two rooms and a hall in our main church building that was our food pantry, and we were serving, a high for me would be 124 twice a month. I was opening it twice a month."