Feedback - Holiday 2019

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News from the Central Texas Food Bank

Holiday 2019

What’s INSIDE Thank you for supporting local families You and the Loewy Law Firm made our garden grow! You’re making a difference for Ayani’s family


Thank You for Supporting Local Families “I can’t afford to give up — my daughter’s dependent on me,” Donald says. “There’s nothing I won’t do for that little girl.” He’s raising his precious daughter, Kennedy, 5, on his own in the east Austin area. Donald loves her more than anything in the world, which is why it’s so difficult when he struggles to fill her plate. It’s been a challenge for him to get back on solid financial footing the past few years. Not long after Kennedy was born, Donald had to miss work unexpectedly to care for her and ended up losing his job. He didn’t find another position in time to cover rent and they soon lost their apartment.

Donald was facing a parent’s worst nightmare: he had an infant to care for and nowhere to live. He scrambled to find them a safe place to stay until he was able to secure stable work. As someone who’s had steady jobs from a young age, it was terribly frustrating to be unemployed — especially with a little girl to raise. But Donald’s story doesn’t end there. He found custodial work, and over the past four years he has moved up the ranks to supervise four buildings and four respective crews.

“I’m blessed by having these people who help people this time of year.” — Donald

Donald found out about El Buen He and Kennedy now have a Samaritano, a Food Bank Partner place of their own in public housing. Agency near his home. Thanks to Although he’s made great strides your support, the agency is able to

“From the bottom of my heart — from Kennedy and me — we love y’all.” — Donald


in becoming self-sufficient, Donald still has a hard time stretching his budget sometimes — the holidays are especially tough. That’s why he’s so grateful for friends like you.

CENSUS 2020: WHY A COMPLETE COUNT MATTERS FOR CENTRAL TEXAS share nutritious food during the holidays and all year long. “I got a lot of bills I have to pay, and that cuts out my money,” he says. “So, I’m blessed by having these people who help people this time of year.” Donald was able to pick up healthy groceries for the holidays like corn, green beans and a nice big turkey. It meant so much to him to be able to provide a special meal for himself and his little girl. “From the bottom of my heart — from Kennedy and me — we love y’all,” Donald says. You bring hope to so many families through your generous support of the Food Bank’s hunger-relief mission. Thank you for all you do!

Beth Corbett, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy It will come as no surprise to residents of Central Texas that our region has experienced some of the most rapid growth in the nation since the last census was conducted in 2010. Recent Census Bureau estimates reflect an increase of more than half a million residents just within our 21-county service territory. Along with the positive economic impacts we’ve experienced, rapid growth has put a significant strain on resources and existing infrastructure. That’s why the Food Bank is working to spread the word about the importance of participation in the 2020 Federal Census. Decennial census data are tied to the allocation of federal funding for approximately 325 federal programs, ultimately determining the distribution of more than $900 billion annually to states, municipalities and households. Data from the census, for example, impacts nutrition programs that rely on federal poverty guidelines, such as: National School Lunch; Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants and Children; and Nutrition Services for the Aging. In Texas, the accuracy of census data is critical for other reasons. Given estimates of the increased population in our state since 2010, we stand to gain multiple congressional seats following completion of the 2020 Census. Additionally, states use census data when conducting budget forecasting to ensure the passage of a balanced budget during the legislative session. Households will begin receiving invitations in March to participate in this important effort. For the first time ever, respondents will be able to fill out their census information online (in addition to the traditional paper questionnaire and phone options). Reminders will be sent throughout March and April until the response period closes. It is vital that all Central Texans participate in the census. If your household receives an invitation to contribute to this decennial count, the Food Bank encourages your participation. We won’t have another opportunity to impact funding and representation in our region for another decade, so let’s all do our part to ensure the 2020 count is complete. The future of all Central Texans will be impacted by the outcome. 3


During the months of May and June, shoppers at Central Texas H-E-B and Central Market locations donated at checkout through the annual Help End Hunger campaign. This campaign helped provide more than 700,000 meals during the summer months when the need for food assistance increased. Thank you for bringing back the joys of summer!


On July 27 dozens of vendors went head to head competing to be named the best queso in town at the annual Quesoff, held at the Mohawk in Austin. Event goers enjoyed a celebration of all things melted cheese and sampled from four different categories of delicious queso! More than 18,000 meals were created through attendees’ donations. 4

Austin Restaurant Weeks Presented by Tito’s® Handmade Vodka

From August 15 to September 2, Austin-area diners enjoyed special prix fixe menus and drink specials at participating restaurants, bars and breweries, with a portion of each meal or drink benefiting the Food Bank. In its second year, Austin Restaurant Weeks raised enough to provide more than 750,000 meals.

Hot Sauce Festival

Chili fans gathered at Fiesta Gardens in Austin on August 25 — one of the hottest Sundays of the year — to sample red, green and special variety hot sauces. Attendees at this classic Austin event donated nearly $25,000 at the gates to help fill more than 97,000 empty plates.



UPCOMING EVENTS Austin Empty Bowl Project | Nov. 24 at the Central Texas Food Bank Join us the Sunday before Thanksgiving from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., choose from an array of hand-painted bowls and enjoy hot soup from local restaurants. Love the bowls but hate the lines? Come to the preview party the night before! Information and tickets at

The Loewy Law Firm Is Helping Grow Our Garden! We’re excited to announce plans This past year, our garden produced to expand the Food Bank’s 1-acre 7,500 pounds of nutritious fruits and teaching garden! vegetables for people facing hunger. Just imagine how many neighbors can The teaching garden grows fresh learn how to create their own gardens food for Central Texans in need and through this expansion project. provides a space for neighbors of all ages to learn about healthy food Creative initiatives like our teaching production. garden promote self-sufficiency and good nutrition across Central Texas. Our new facility will include a With one in every five local children permanent teaching and event area, at risk of hunger, it’s vital that we help increased storage capacity, volunteer the next generation learn the skills restrooms and a produce washing necessary to lead healthy lives — one station. It’ll be the new hub for all seed at a time. activity taking place in the garden. Thank you for joining us and the An incredibly special thank you Loewy Law Firm in providing more goes to Adam Loewy and the Loewy fresh food and making sure more Law Firm who offered to match all gifts, neighbors have the skills to garden at up to $100,000, in September to home! make this expansion a reality! 6

Stuff the Bus | Dec. 2019 Austin-area Whole Foods Markets Whole Foods Market and Capital Metro partner with the Food Bank for this annual December event to stuff a Capital Metro bus with food donations! Keep an eye out for ways to participate in December when you’re grocery shopping and check the Food Bank’s social media channels for details. Souper Bowl of Caring | Jan. 6 – Feb. 2, Central Texas H-E-B & Randalls store locations Leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, this huge food drive brings together local schools, churches, community organizations and grocery partners to raise food and funds for the month before the big game. Donate at the register during January and early February when shopping at your local H-E-B, Central Market and Randalls stores. Even More Events Stay in the know about the latest opportunities to fight hunger at Central Texas Food Bank events! We list upcoming events on our website at, and you can find timely updates on Twitter and Instagram at @ctxfoodbank as well as Facebook. com/CentralTexasFoodBank.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” — Rosa

You’re a Gift to Ayani’s Family Ayani, 15, lives with her family in Alicia, Rosa can only work weekends Manor. She loves singing in the high at a local hospital. Her part-time job school choir, hopes to join the Air means she must pay out-of-pocket Force and is always quick to help care for health insurance. for her spirited little sister, Alicia, 3. Although she says it was hard You’d never guess a bright, to do, Rosa reached out for help talented and driven teen like Ayani because she wanted to provide the doesn’t have reliable access to food. healthiest meals possible for her But when both her parents’ cars broke children. Her mother had told her down at the same time, affording about the Central Texas Food Bank’s their regular expenses became a real Mobile Pantry at St. John’s in Austin. challenge. It’s a trek from Manor, but Rosa says the quality and amount of food she “Even with our two incomes, we picks up is worth the drive, especially don’t make enough with paying the fresh produce. mortgage and two car payments and kids’ school and lunches and stuff,” her “It means I don’t have to stress mom, Rosa, says. “It’s a struggle.” about having food for the kids,” Rosa says of the relief your gifts bring. Rosa’s husband has a full-time job with the school district, but due Rosa and her girls were so to the high cost of childcare for appreciative of the fresh produce

they picked up on their second Mobile Pantry visit. Ayani was especially excited to take home a big juicy watermelon. Rosa knows she wouldn’t be able to provide such nutritious food for her family on her own, and she was happy to get to share her gratitude for your support. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” she says. You can help so many more families like Rosa’s access the food they need to thrive this holiday season through our $150,000 match campaign, made possible by the Beaumont Foundation and an anonymous donor! Will you join us with a generous gift to DOUBLE today? 7



Jen Alessandra, Chair Frontdoor

Joyce Mullen Dell, Inc.

Stephen Portner, Vice Chair

Hon. Jeff Rose Texas Third Court of Appeals

Dear Friends,

John Sanchez

Thank you for bringing hope to so many during this holiday season! I’m sure you agree that no one should have to be concerned about affording a holiday meal — or any meal — especially during this time of year. This season is a reminder of how vital your commitment to hunger relief really is.

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

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

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

During the holidays, there’s a major focus on big family dinners and special gifts. It’s so much pressure on those who are struggling, and it just breaks my heart. I hope we can work together to take at least one burden off their list. As the year draws to a close, I recall the government shutdown earlier this year and the number of Central Texans we met who said they never thought they’d be asking for food. That was probably the most impactful “aha” moment to me — a reminder that the face of hunger isn’t always what we think. We have so many families here in Central Texas dealing with a high cost of living who work more than one job but still can’t buy groceries — and that shouldn’t be the case. They shouldn’t have to go hungry. As we prepare to share more nutritious food than ever this holiday season, I’m so grateful for your support and hope we always remember that hunger is a real issue 365 days a year. Thank you for what you’re doing to make the holidays bright — and for what you’ll do in the coming year to help fight hunger in Central Texas. You make a difference in so many lives!


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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