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News from the Central Texas Food Bank

What’s INSIDE Thank You for Keeping Hilda’s Family Fed Join Us for Amplify Austin! You’re a Lifeline for Seniors in Need

Spring 2019


Hilda was excited to share her gratitude with you, the generous people who help keep her kitchen stocked with healthy food. “I really appreciate [your support] and I know a whole lot of other people do, too,” Hilda says with a warm smile.

Your gifts of time and treasure make a real difference for your neighbors who might otherwise go hungry. On behalf of the many families like Hilda’s we serve together, thank you for sharing what you have!

I really appreciate [your support] and I know a whole lot of other people do, too.

Advocating for Hunger Relief in 2019 “By coming here, I don’t have to worry about feeding the kids.”

Thank You for Keeping Hilda’s Family Fed “I just don’t have enough to keep my family going,” Hilda explains.

to cover her family’s needs for the entire month.

A dedicated grandmother, Hilda has acted as primary caregiver to her five growing grandkids — ages 6 to 17 — for the past decade. Her large family lives in Killeen and often struggles to afford enough groceries for the month.

Hilda knows the value of good nutrition. When a friend told her about the Food Care Center, a Central Texas Food Bank Partner Agency in her community, she jumped at the opportunity to pick up healthy food for herself and her grandchildren.

Like many older adults across the communities we serve, Hilda is retired, and her only source of income is Social Security. She says it’s never sufficient

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“By coming here, I don’t have to worry about feeding the kids,” she says.

When seniors like Hilda visit the Food Care Center, they can receive HOPE (Healthy Options Program for the Elderly) boxes of shelf-stable foods made available for older adults with low incomes. The Food Care Center also provides fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and dairy products four days a week. Your generosity helps keep the Center’s shelves full. As Hilda filled her cart with a variety of nourishing groceries, she shared what a relief it was to be able to access good, quality food. She does all of the cooking herself, and it gives her peace of mind to fill her family’s table with balanced meals that will keep the kids growing up strong and healthy.

140 days each odd-numbered year. That’s the time period the Texas Legislature has to create laws and craft the state budget every legislative session. It is a whirlwind of bill filing, committee and floor debate, late night hearings, and citizen advocacy. Every organization and interest has a day at the Capitol, and wants their issue elevated or wants their piece of the budget. This session, the House will see a new speaker, and the state budget is looking stronger. Central Texas Food Bank will count several new members in its delegation. All of the Texas food banks will be right in the mix of session, advocating for increased funding for the Surplus Agricultural Grant Program. This important program provides needed produce to the food banks. More produce supports our goal of increasing healthy food to our food bank clients, and helps Texas farmers. Food banks will also be advocating for improving seniors’ access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

(SNAP, or “food stamps”). Seniors are a frequently hidden population facing hunger. With SNAP benefits, they have more purchasing power at local food retailers. Legislation improving senior SNAP access will include eliminating unnecessary requirements, making the application process easier, and using data matching so that Medicaid recipients can be connected to SNAP. Finally, food banks and other hunger advocates will be asking legislators to protect nutrition programs from cuts or unrealistic barriers to access. SNAP, and other programs such as WIC, the National School Lunch Program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program are critical to providing meals for many Texans. Addressing hunger in Central Texas involves a true partnership of nonprofits and government. Without the actions of the Legislature, we cannot fully meet the need. Join us in advocating to our elected officials this session.

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YOUR GIFTS ARE CHANGING LIVES ACROSS CENTRAL TEXAS

THANKS FOR GIVING BACK! Wheatsville Community Action Campaign Throughout the month of November, the Wheatsville community generously donated $17,591.98 at registers, providing 70,368 meals for our Central Texas neighbors. The November 2018 campaign broke all previous Wheatsville Community Action Campaign records! Thank you to everyone who contributed.

Applied Materials Food Drive

Miura Group Challenge Grant

The Applied Materials employee Food Drive is the largest workplace fundraiser benefiting the Food Bank and has been a great tradition for more than 20 years. This year on November 16th, employees got creative with a new Pumpkin Chunkin’ event. Teams built catapults, trebuchets and slingshots to propel pumpkins hundreds of feet into the air, all to raise meals for Central Texans in need. The Miura Group generously offered the Food Bank a $10,000 matching grant challenge during the month of December. With the support of our community, we exceeded the challenge, raising just over $30,000 to provide more than 120,000 meals to nourish our neighbors in need.

Mace Massingill’s 5th Annual #NoHunger Campaign Local 11-year-old Mace Massingill is on a mission to fight hunger. For the past five years, he’s been growing his #nohunger campaign to raise more and more meals for the Food Bank. This past holiday season, with the support of other kid Hunger Captains he recruited, Mace raised more than 320,000 meals for Central Texans in need!

Stuff The Bus From November 22 through December 11, the 7th annual Stuff The Bus campaign raised enough food and monetary donations to provide more than 100,000 meals for Central Texans in need. By filling Capital Metro buses at Whole Foods Market’s downtown Austin and Domain locations and by making monetary donations at store registers, our community came together to make the holidays brighter for our hungry neighbors. 4

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Join Us for Amplify Austin!

UPCOMING EVENTS CROP Hunger Walk

2 p.m. on Sunday, February 24th at Camp Mabry in Austin

Do te

Fundr

Join us for the 2019 CROP Hunger Walk. Last year, walkers raised over 50,000 meals. The Walk will feature a live DJ, local hunger relief organizations, and hunger education stations for the whole family. Start your team by registering at www.crophungerwalk.org/austintx. Austin Oyster Festival

Each year, Amplify Austin helps improve life here in our community through an annual day of giving! Hosted by I Live Here, I Give Here, the 24hour event is your chance to join your neighbors in supporting local nonprofits that work to make Central Texas an even better place to call home.

It’s not too early to make a difference! You can preschedule your gift RIGHT NOW! Just visit bit.ly/Amplify2019 to plan your generous gift today. With the partnership of caring friends like you, Amplify Austin has the potential to make an even greater impact for our hungry neighbors. Matching funds and other special prizes will be utilized to ensure local nonprofits can meet their fundraising goals.

We hope you’ll help fund the Food Bank’s mission during Amplify Austin this year from 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 28 to 6 p.m. on Friday, March 1. You can be a hunger-relief champion In 2018 during Amplify Austin, you by making a gift, enrolling in monthly giving or starting your own fundraiser to helped us reach our goal of providing fresh produce for 4,500 families for help share healthy food! a month. As the need for healthy food This year our goal is to close the continues to grow, we hope you’ll help us meal gap in our community for the next break that impressive record this year. three months. Right now, 30 percent We can make this a hunger-free of Central Texans aren’t able to access enough of the healthy food they need community — but only if we work to thrive. But you can help us meet the together. Please help share hope in the growing need for meals by making a gift form of healthy food this year during Amplify Austin! to Amplify Austin. Amplify Austin

6 p.m. on February 28th - 6 p.m. on March 1, online at amplifyatx.org Amplify Austin is the Central Texas community’s popular online day of giving, and this year the stakes couldn’t be higher! The Food Bank’s goal is to raise enough money in 24 hours to close the 30% meal gap for three months. You Fundr Do te can help by scheduling a donation or signing up to fundraise on the Food Bank’s behalf at: bit.ly/Amplify2019

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12 – 6 pm, Saturday, February 23 at Republic Square Park in Austin

Explore new ways to enjoy an oyster at this year’s annual Austin Oyster Festival. This fun event also includes other seafood accompaniments, refreshing drinks and local music. A portion of proceeds benefits the Food Bank. To find the most up to date information and to purchase tickets, visit www.facebook.com/AustinOysterFestival.

You’re a Lifeline to Seniors in Need Vernon served in the Vietnam War, where flying shrapnel left him with a severe stomach injury. In the years following his military service, Vernon lost his wife, home and good health.

as he was reluctant to ask for help. He eventually found employment at a nursing facility, where he worked for several years, and was able to move into a more stable living situation.

He’s especially grateful for the fresh, healthy food available at the pantry. Since having a heart attack four years ago, he takes his diet and nutrition very seriously. Your support is helping him live a healthier life.

As Vernon waited in line at a Food Bank Partner Agency near his home this past fall, he showed his battle scars and shared his moving story.

Today, Vernon is retired and relies on a small amount of assistance. He says resources like Destiny Food Pantry, the Partner Agency nearest his new home, are a lifeline.

Our network of hunger-relief partners and programs would not be able to reach neighbors like Vernon without your gifts. We’re so thankful for the vital role you play in the fight against hunger here in Central Texas.

Vernon was homeless for a while, but says no one really knew about it

“It’s a blessing,” Vernon says.

“It’s a blessing.”

Austin Reggae Festival

Friday, April 19 – Sunday, April 21 at Auditorium Shores in Austin

Save the date for this three-day extravaganza of reggae and world music, arts, crafts, food and great people watching. Reggae Fest has helped raised more than $1 million for the Food Bank since its inception. A portion of ticket sales goes to the Food Bank, so bring a friend and enjoy the music! Stamp Out Hunger

Saturday, May 11, at mailboxes everywhere

The National Association of Letter Carriers’ 27th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive will take place on Saturday, May 11, 2019. Look out for the food drive bag that your mail carrier will deliver, and simply place your bag of non-perishable donations by your mailbox for pickup on May 11th. 7


BOARD OF DIRECTORS Jen Alessandra, Chair SolarWinds

Joyce Mullen Dell, Inc.

Stephen Portner, Vice Chair

Hon. Jeff Rose Texas Third Court of Appeals

Sheldy Starkes, MBA, PMP, Secretary Texas Department of Information Resources Kevin J. Koch, Treasurer McLane Company, Inc.

John Sanchez Clint Scott CLS Partners Alice Starr

Ann Benolken Ascension Seton

Leslie Sweet HEB Grocery Company, LP

Shaun Cranston Halff Associates, Inc.

Anneliese Tanner Austin Independent School District

Hari Jayaram Applied Materials Timothy M. Lee thinc.small, LLC Pat Massey IBM Corporation

Scott Weatherford Jackson Walker LLP Mark J. Williams Shayne Woodard Waterloo Lobby & Advocacy, Inc.

MESSAGE from the PRESIDENT & CEO Dear Friends, We’re so excited to see how our partnership with friends like you will work to expand hunger relief in Central Texas this year! Your generosity keeps me and the whole Food Bank team inspired. It’s difficult to put into words the incredible impact you make through your gifts of time and treasure. Every dollar you give helps solve hunger for someone in need — a parent who skips dinner to feed their child, a senior who can’t afford a trip to the grocery store, and a young student who would otherwise go to bed hungry and unprepared to learn. This springtime issue of Feedback features the stories of two neighbors whose lives have been made better through your gifts. Vernon is a Vietnam veteran who overcame homelessness with the help of friends like you, and Hilda is a caring grandmother who is grateful for your generosity that helps feed the grandchildren in her care. I hope you’ll take the time to read their stories and learn about the impact you’re making in their lives. Coming up February 28 through March 1, our community is celebrating Amplify Austin, I Live Here, I Give Here’s annual day of giving! This year, our goal is to close the 30 percent gap in food assistance facing Central Texans for the next three months. You don’t have to wait to make a difference! You can preschedule your generous Amplify Austin gift TODAY by visiting bit.ly/Amplify2019!

FEEDBACK? Questions, comments or change of address? Email: communications@centraltexasfoodbank.org

Throughout this past holiday season, we heard from so many Central Texans who were able to access healthy food because you chose to give. You truly change lives for the better. Thank you for your partnership in this important work!

Read it online Download and subscribe to Food Bank publications at centraltexasfoodbank.org Derrick Chubbs President & CEO Do you know someone in need of food assistance? Help spread the word about the “Find Food Now” feature on our website. When you visit www.centraltexasfoodbank.org and click on “Find Food Now” at the top of the page, you’ll be able to search for FREE help with food by location and type of assistance: groceries, hot meals, or kids’ meals.

Our mission: To nourish hungry people and lead the community in the fight against hunger. 6500 Metropolis Dr., Austin, TX 78744 | 512.282.2111

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Feedback - Spring 2019  

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