Breaking Down Online Barriers at The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank

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The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank has provided food and resources for its community since 1984. Nearly 40 years later, it has become one of the first food banks in the country to implement Recite Me language and accessibility tools, providing inclusive support for everyone.

We had the opportunity to chat about the importance of an accessible food bank website with Kristen Bellatti, Communications and Donor Relations Coordinator at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

Please tell me a bit about the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and your role as Communications and Donations Coordinator.

The mission of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank is to feed the hungry in Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes by providing food and educational outreach through faith-based and other community partners. We have served our 11-parish (county) service area for 35 years.

Between frequent changes in technology and tried-and-true methods, I tailor communications to meet the needs of our audience. Information on receiving food, agency resources, volunteering, or donating needs to be accessible to every person in our community.

Why are accessibility and inclusion important for your organization?

Digital accessibility is equally important as physical accessibility such as wheelchair ramps. Of the parishes we serve, as many as 20% of the population 65 and older have a disability. With Recite Me, there is no reason information cannot be available for this part of our community.

How does Recite Me help the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank further its mission?

For those who either struggled with accessing the information on our website or through our mobile app, Recite Me provides visual and auditory customization each user can change for their individual needs. People who needed food assistance the most who were not able to access the information in past are now able to get the information they need.

How did you find Recite Me and why did you choose to partner with us?

I came across Recite Me while using another website. I clicked on the Recite Me button out of sheer curiosity and realized what a great tool it could be for those who could benefit from it.

What does the future hold for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank?

My plan for the Food Bank is to build on the channels of communication we currently have and to develop new channels to stay current with technology. The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank will continue to support its community for many years to come.


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