Feedback - Fall 2019

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News from the Central Texas Food Bank

Fall 2019

What’s INSIDE Gil and Virginia are giving thanks for you Texas A&M works toward a Hunger-Free Texas You’re helping fill kids’ plates with healthy food


Gil and Virginia Are Making It, Thanks to You “We’re trying to make it through with what we have,” Gil says, sharing a look with his wife, Virginia. “I’m used to doing labor work, and I can’t do it anymore.” Gil had a good job with J.B. Hunt. But a few years ago, he was injured at work. Gil faced a major life change — he was no longer able to support his family like he had in the past. Adjusting to life on a fixed income was a real challenge. Virginia has a visual impairment and still struggles with problems from a serious fall she


experienced at her custodial job. Losing Gil’s income was devastating. Even basic expenses became a challenge for the couple to afford. “I’m on disability and I really need help with the money for groceries,” Gil says.

“I’m on disability and I really need help with the money for groceries.” — Gil

When you give to the Central Texas Food Bank, you offer a greatly needed — and much appreciated — hand up to your neighbors who face hunger. Your gifts help deliver good, quality food to our network of partners, like Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry in Waco near Gil and Virginia’s home. “Places like this are a blessing,” Gil says, motioning to the pantry’s full bins of fresh vegetables.

Having access to nutrient-rich, quality foods — like fresh produce — is important to their health as they continue to recover from their injuries. They were so relieved to learn they could get help from Shepherd’s Heart. Gil describes having to leave his job as “traumatic” and says it was really tough to go on assistance after providing for himself and Virginia for so many years. He was glad to have a chance to share his appreciation with you directly. “Thank you very much for all your donations and ever ything y’all do,” he says. You offer so many Central Texans the hope of another meal — and a brighter future. Thank you for your generous partnership!

“Thank you very much for all your donations and everything y’all do.” — Gil

Why We Care About Child Nutrition Programs

Beth Corbett, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy With a new school year upon us, Congress has once again undertaken the reauthorization process for Child Nutrition Programs. According to a study conducted by Deloitte and the No Kid Hungry Center for Best Practices, three out of four teachers say they teach kids who regularly come to school hungry. Research clearly demonstrates that programs designed to respond to child food insecurity have both short- and long-term benefits in the classroom and beyond. Food-insecure children struggle to thrive academically and physically, but enhanced access to nutritious food improves classroom performance, increases school attendance and graduation rates and contributes to higher earning potential later in life. The last successful reauthorization of these programs occurred in 2010 with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Meals provided under these programs predominantly serve low-income children, many of whom come from the same families the Food Bank serves. In partnership with community organizations throughout Central Texas, the Food Bank administers programs provided for in the Act, including the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which you might know as Kids Café, and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). In fact, we just wrapped up another successful SFSP season, providing free, nutritious meals to children at more than 90 sites in the community all summer long. In addition to critical after-school and summer service programs the Food Bank administers, the Child Nutrition reauthorization process will focus on the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. Together, these programs ensure that every child has access to fresh, healthy meals that contribute to success in school and help build a foundation for a brighter future. The Food Bank will be working in partnership with Feeding America and other anti-hunger advocacy organizations nationwide to ensure that Child Nutrition Programs are not only reauthorized this year, but that the legislation ensures enhanced access to the services food-insecure children need to succeed. It is critical that we advocate for a strong, impactful reauthorization of these vital programs so that no child in Central Texas will go hungry.



Walmart Fight Hunger. Spark Change.

Texas Eggfest


Reggae Fest is one of the Food Bank’s favorite traditions, and this year was no exception! The three-day extravaganza of reggae and world music, arts, crafts, food and great people watching raised more than $160,000 to provide more than 640,000 meals. Hundreds of barbecue fans and dozens of cook teams flocked to Camp Ben McCulloch in Driftwood for the 18th annual Texas Eggfest, celebrating the Big Green Egg and all its wonders. Proceeds benefitted the Food Bank and provided more than 25,000 meals for Central Texans in need.


During the months of April and May, Walmart shoppers donated money to Walmart’s Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign at the register and by purchasing select items. This year, more than 520,000 meals were created for our Central Texas neighbors! Our friends at the Austin Professional Landmen’s Association hosted professionals from the oil and gas industry to play golf for good at the 12th Annual APLA Charity Golf Tournament! This annual golf tournament raised more than $50,000 for the Food Bank.




Improving Efficiency with Texas A&M Through Project Hunger-Free Texas! Back in the spring of 2017, the Central Texas Food Bank began a very special partnership with Texas A&M University through a service-learning class.

This past semester, teams from A&M worked with 12 food pantries to come up with ways to increase the amount and level of service the pantries are able to provide, with a focus on sharing more fresh produce through the The interdisciplinary course is a Food Bank’s ReThink Hunger initiative. collaborative effort between A&M’s Sociology and Engineering Technology Eight of these groups received & Industrial Distribution (ETID) Community Impact Awards based departments and provides hands-on, on their projects’ cost efficiency, problem-based learning for students of impact level, feasibility and their various academic backgrounds. understanding of the agency’s challenges. The students and the Each semester, students use their pantries they worked with received discipline-specific knowledge and skills funding to implement their impressive to help Food Bank Partner Agencies solutions. with issues like recruiting and keeping volunteers, improving the efficiency of Special thanks to Dr. Malini how food is distributed and managing Natarajarathinam from A&M’s ETID food inventory. department and Dr. Mary Campbell from Sociology for spearheading this In addition to making our partners’ unique effort to educate students and food distribution more efficient and improve hunger relief. We look forward effective, the course benefits students to seeing future projects succeed! by engaging them in real-world projects to improve critical thinking skills, communication and leadership.


Austin Empty Bowl Project Sunday, November 24 at the Central Texas Food Bank Save the date for one of Austin’s best-loved events! Join us the Sunday before Thanksgiving and enjoy locally crafted ceramic bowls, gourmet soup and live music — all to raise meals for children. Love the bowls but hate the lines? Come to the preview party the night before. Get more information at Wheatsville Co-Op Community Action During the month of November, Wheatsville shoppers in Austin can round up their total at checkout to benefit the Central Texas Food Bank. Last fall, the Food Bank’s Community Action campaign shattered Wheatsville’s records to raise more than $17,500 to provide more than 70,000 meals! Bank of America Give A Meal Keep an eye out for the Give A Meal campaign at Bank of America branches and ATMs and on the Food Bank’s website starting in October. For a limited time, Bank of America will offer a triple match to donors supporting the Give A Meal campaign, so every $1 contributed helps provide an incredible 12 meals. Fall volunteering The fall holidays are a great time to volunteer at the Food Bank — but our shifts fill up fast during this popular season! Get more information about our volunteer opportunities and reserve your spots early at centraltexasfoodbank. org/volunteer.

Your support helps fill empty plates at the Food Bank’s many partner meal sites. When she can’t afford to fill her family table, Margarita can take her kids to their local library for a healthy balanced meal.

“There are a lot of families who really do need help.” — Margarita

You’re Filling Kids’ Plates With Healthy Food After struggling to afford enough groceries during the long summer break, many local parents feel an added financial strain at this time of year. Back-to-school costs like new shoes, uniforms and school supplies can push family budgets to their breaking point. Just ask Margarita.

You’re helping give Jonathan the fuel to focus in math class, Carlos the energy to excel on the soccer field and little Josephine the food she needs to learn, grow and thrive. Their mother couldn’t be more grateful. “Many thanks to you!” Margarita says. “There are a lot of families who really do need help.” Children can only reach their full potential with consistent access to healthy food. Will you help set kids up for success — at school and in life — with a generous gift today? THANK YOU TO OUR AUSTIN RESTAURANT WEEKS SPONSORS

She and her husband are raising Josephine, 3, Jonathan, 11, and Carlos, 14, in Del Valle. Margarita says their grocery bill increased by about half over the summer. Now with new clothes, schoolbooks and other expenses for Jonathan and Carlos, she’s facing some difficult choices. “We’re barely able to pay for rent and bills,” Margarita says. “Sometimes we have to buy less in food.” Her husband has a full-time construction job, but Margarita can’t justify returning to work due to the high cost of childcare for Josephine. Until her youngest is old enough for school, money will continue to be tight. Fortunately, friends like you are a lifeline to families at risk of hunger.

a u s t i n c h r o n i c l e . c o m


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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

Pete Inman Camino Real Financial Strategies Hari Jayaram Applied Materials Timothy M. Lee Treat Health Corporation

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

Pat Massey IBM Corporation

MESSAGE from the PRESIDENT & CEO Dear Friends, September is Hunger Action Month! Every September, our caring community joins together to combat hunger by giving money, volunteering and advocating on behalf of our neighbors in need. At the end of the day, when we look at who we serve through our programs and partners, it’s hardworking folks who are just struggling to get by. Many are working one, two or three jobs and still can’t afford to make ends meet. Others are older adults who aren’t able to stretch a fixed income. And of course, one in five children in our service area don’t always have enough to eat. It’s our responsibility as a food bank to advocate for these individuals and their needs. I was able to speak on behalf of our hungry neighbors three times during this past legislative session. Hunger is a pervasive issue here in Central Texas — and it’s not going away. When the Central Texas Food Bank moved to our new building, which is more than twice the capacity of our old facility, we increased the amount of food we distribute by nearly 32 percent — but we’re still falling another 25 percent short of what’s needed.

FEEDBACK? Questions, comments or change of address? Email: Read it online Download and subscribe to Food Bank publications at

As we continue to catch up after the government shutdown and a busy summer, we need people like you to help fill the Food Bank’s shelves before the busy holiday season. I hope you’ll join us in giving time, funds and voice to help make sure everyone here in our community has the food they need to thrive. Your partnership means the difference between someone sitting down to a full meal or going hungry. Please continue your legacy of support this fall. Thank you for helping to fight hunger here in Central Texas!


Derrick Chubbs President & CEO

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

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