Feedback - Summer 2020

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News from the Central Texas Food Bank

Summer 2020

What’s INSIDE You’re sharing hope across our community Thank you to our volunteers Thank you for helping Ashley’s family thrive


You’re Bringing Hope to Families Like Gabrielle’s Gabrielle and her husband have five children ages 3 to 11. The couple love their kids more than anything and are no strangers to making sacrifices to provide for them. But with five mouths to feed, affording groceries can be a struggle no matter how hard they try — especially now that their three schoolaged children are home and miss out on reduced-price school meals. “Sometimes, even with military and things like that, it’s like you don’t always make ends meet,” Gabrielle says. Her husband is a lab technician in the military and also works at the Air Force Academy. Gabrielle is excited to get back to work when their two little girls, ages 3 and 4, are old enough for

“Thank you. You do make a difference.” — Gabrielle


school. Right now, she can’t justify a job with the high cost of childcare. Even if she could, no one is hiring during the pandemic. It’s a frustrating situation for her. Gabrielle learned the value of hard work from a young age. Her dad always had two jobs, and her mom spent any extra time cleaning houses and doing odd jobs to help pay the bills. Although she’s eager to rejoin the workforce, in the meantime Gabrielle is giving thanks for you. Because you choose to give, she can visit the Holy Family Saint Vincent De Paul food pantry at her local church, which partners with

the Central Texas Food Bank to share nutritious groceries with families like hers. Gabrielle really appreciates the quality of the food available at the pantry. Not only are the fresh fruits and vegetables important for growth and development, one of her boys has attention-deficit disorder and processed foods can exacerbate his symptoms.

“With programs like this, parents are able to have the resources to be able to provide for their children.”

Since she knows how vital balanced meals are for her kids’ development, Gabrielle says it gives her peace of mind to fill her family’s table with nutritious food — and have apples, carrots, celery and other fresh produce on hand when the kids need a snack. “With programs like this, parents are able to have the resources to be able to provide for their children,” she says. On a recent visit she picked up cabbage, carrots and chicken-pineapple meatballs. Gabrielle got creative in the kitchen and used the ingredients to fix her kids wonton bowls for dinner with a recipe she found on Pinterest. She says they were a huge hit! This summer, you can help families like Gabrielle’s escape hunger, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re able to send another gift today, you can help us feed thousands of families in need. Your generosity brings hope to so many people who face hunger throughout the year. Gabrielle got emotional when sharing her gratitude on behalf of moms like her. “Thank you,” she says. “You do make a difference.”

Federal Support for Food Banks — Now More Important Than Ever The Central Texas Food Bank is fortunate to have great champions in Congress representing the communities we serve. In addition to regular visits to our facility and distribution sites from members and their staffs, our delegation recently showed a strong, unified commitment to funding nutrition programs that assist food banks and their clients by voicing support for legislation responding to the COVID-19 crisis. In response to the expected economic impact, job losses and disruption in school feeding programs caused by the pandemic, the Food Bank successfully advocated for critical provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that will address enhanced needs in our region, including: • Appropriations for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which will provide food banks nationwide with critical commodities and distribution support • Increased flexibilities in nutrition assistance programs such as SNAP to support families experiencing enhanced food insecurity for the duration of the pandemic • Additional funding and waivers addressing increased needs in Child Nutrition programs • Appropriations for seniors and disabled adults programs to ensure continuity of access to nutritious meals In addition to our advocacy activities at the federal level, we’re working closely with state officials and agencies to secure the necessary waivers, expand flexibilities and apply for emergency assistance support to ensure that the Food Bank’s response to the crisis is as effective as possible. We know the communities we serve will be recovering from these disruptions for many months and rely on our support now more than ever. We welcome all of our neighbors to join us in advocating for nutrition programs year-round, not only during times of crisis, and thank our Congressional champions for their continued support of the Food Bank through this legislation.



More than 1,100 individuals contributed $286,017 to the Food Bank during Amplify Austin (March 5-6) to help provide after-school meals, summer meals and weekend backpacks for children facing hunger. This generosity will provide more than 1.1 million meals for our most vulnerable community members. To everyone who donated, raised funds, and spread the word, thank you for helping feed the future of Central Texas!

CROP Hunger Walk

On March 1, hundreds of walkers gathered from a variety of local congregations at Camp Mabry in Austin to raise money for food, medical care, disaster relief, and development locally and throughout the world at the annual CROP Hunger Walk. Numbers are still coming in, but this year’s event has already provided more than 64,000 meals for our Central Texas neighbors. 4

Central Texas Grocers Making a Difference

Central Texas H-E-B, Central Market and Randalls grocery stores already support the Food Bank with campaigns throughout the year, including their joint efforts during the annual Souper Bowl of Caring campaign. And when COVID-19 hit the Central Texas community, these stores were quick to react with even more support. Donations from H-E-B, Central Market and Randalls shoppers will directly support our hungry neighbors during this critical time. Thank you to the grocery stores and our generous community for supporting hunger relief in Central Texas when it’s needed most.



THANK YOU TO OUR VOLUNTEERS The COVID-19 pandemic has meant drastic changes and daily adaptation for the Food Bank’s volunteers. We are incredibly grateful to those who have been able to serve with us in this challenging time. We miss so many familiar faces including those of the many regular volunteer leaders who have been unable to come in due to the elevated risk. It has been a comfort to be able to keep in touch with you virtually, but we want to see you again! We miss our educational and life skills groups who are unable to be with us while school programming is suspended, and we look forward to having you back.

travel and gathering. We are grateful you’ve found other ways to show an incredible outpouring of support — thank you for the emergency grants, the special workplace giving matches, virtual food drives and online team fundraisers.

And we are indebted to the many individuals and families who stepped up to serve, many of you adding service to your daily routine and becoming new familiar faces at the Food Bank. Thanks to you, the Food Bank was able to respond immediately to the COVID-19 crisis as it began, and to keep up a sustained relief effort as the weeks went on. Your service has made a difference in so many people’s We miss our corporate volunteer lives. We could not have done this groups who had to cancel their without you! shifts in response to restrictions on


Thank You for Helping Ashley’s Family Thrive “I had a good job in Austin, but the rent just started getting high,” Ashley says. “We decided we needed to find something cheaper.” But since she made the move to Copperas Cove, it’s been tough for Ashley to find a job that pays what she was making before. She says that by the end of the month, she often struggles to provide for her two little girls — Isabelle, 6, and Whisper, 3 — on her own. Neighbors like Ashley are facing even more challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why your continued support is so critical right now. You see, many parents like Ashley have a hard time affording groceries when school is out for any reason. Usually Isabelle can eat a free breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria each weekday. But when school’s out, Ashley must find a way to provide an extra 10 meals per week to replace what Isabelle received at school. That’s where friends like you come in. You help share needed food through the Central Texas Food Bank’s network of partner food pantries, emergency food distributions, summer meal sites, mobile food pantries and more. Ashley found out about her local Food Bank partner pantry when she saw a crowd outside the church one day. She’s able to visit each month to pick up a variety of food, including hearty vegetables, lean meat and the girls’ favorite fruits. With Isabelle unexpectedly home this spring and the approaching summer break keeping her home even longer, your generosity will be a real lifeline to Ashley and countless other people in her situation. “Thank you,” she says. “If these services weren’t available, we’d probably go three days with little to no food, scrounging things together.” Ashley’s is one of so many families who are in serious need right now. If you’re in a position to give again today, please consider making a gift to feed children like Isabelle and Whisper. Your partnership gives local children and families the hope of another meal — and a brighter future. Thank you for all you make possible!

“If these services weren’t available, we’d probably go three days with little to no food, scrounging things together.” — Ashley 7


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 Treat Health Corporation 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, As our community continues to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, children and families across our community are struggling to adjust to a “new normal”. With children unexpectedly home this spring, low-income families are facing the challenges of summer hunger months earlier than usual. As you know, school meal programs provide a vital food safety net for low-income families. But when school is out for any reason, countless kids will be stuck spending long days at home with empty stomachs. This is simply unacceptable. That’s why the Central Texas Food Bank is raising one million meals — to connect kids and families facing hunger with healthy food during these trying times. I realize that you and your family may also be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. If you are able, please help keep food on the table for local children with a generous gift. The Central Texas Food Bank is adapting to the urgent need for food through safe and efficient distribution methods. At this time, the best way to help is to make a monetary donation or volunteer. We’ve taken steps to maximize social distancing and other safety precautions so we can continue to welcome volunteers to our warehouse to help respond to the increased demand for critical resources. You can sign up for a volunteer shift on our website:

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

I hope you take the time to learn about the impact your generosity makes in this summer edition of Feedback. Every dollar you give means eight meals for our neighbors facing hunger, many for the first time. This has always been a community that bands together in times of crisis. I’m truly inspired by your outpouring of support for those in our community who need our help the most.

THANK YOU SPONSORS! 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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