Feedback - Fall 2020

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News from the Central Texas Food Bank

Fall 2020

What’s INSIDE Brittany’s family is grateful for you Thank you to our volunteers You share hope with neighbors like Maria


Brittany’s Family Is Grateful for You Brittany is raising her family on her own in Austin. She worked for a temporary employment agency, but was laid off when the pandemic hit. Unfortunately, because of her work status, Brittany’s not eligible for unemployment benefits. That’s a real problem for her family. “I haven’t been able to pay this month’s rent due to the crisis that is going on so I am basically playing it by ear,” she says. Even if she was able to work, Brittany would have to pay for


“I haven’t been able to pay this month’s rent due to the crisis that is going on, so I am basically playing it by ear.”

— Brittany

childcare. Three of her precious children have medical problems that require specialized care and make them more susceptible to the virus. Her son needs expensive medication to treat his sickle cell disease, and her insurance company has been resistant to cover the cost. Since her local Medicaid office has been closed, Brittany has to pay for it herself. “It’s just real hard right now and I am just trying to make the best of it and reach out to all the resources that I can,” Brittany says. Fortunately, she passed by Nelson Field, noticed the food distribution and reached out for more information. She’s truly grateful she can pick up

healthy food thanks to your support of the Central Texas Food Bank. “This means the world to me, but I think it means more to my children knowing that we are going to be able to eat,” Brittany says. “We are very grateful and thankful.” Because you choose to give, countless parents like Brittany have the means to fill their family’s table with good, nutritious food. If you’re able to send another gift today, you can help us ensure our Central Texas families in need have enough to eat. You truly make a difference in the lives of people who might otherwise go hungry. Your neighbors couldn’t be more grateful for your generous support. “Thank you so much and God bless you,” Brittany says to friends like you.

“This means the world to me, but I think it means more to my children knowing that we are going to be able to eat.”

Child Nutrition Program Flexibilities More Important Than Ever The Central Texas Food Bank has been actively engaged in conversations with state and federal administrators of child nutrition programs, as well as members of our congressional delegation, throughout our COVID-19 pandemic response. We’ve consistently supported funding and flexibilities in federal legislation that make sure the most vulnerable Central Texans — children — are able to access the meals they rely on throughout the school year and in the summer months, despite the closure of schools and meal sites nationwide. In response to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) implemented numerous temporary changes to its child nutrition programs to ensure continuity of service to those children who would otherwise be without this critical nutrition support. Schools and other program providers were granted nationwide flexibilities regarding where and how school meals could be served, allowing for meal time restrictions and so-called “congregate feeding” requirements to be waived. The USDA authorized PandemicEBT, allowing states to provide benefits directly the families whose children normally received free or reduced-price school meals. The Food Bank, despite closures of the majority of our traditional partner sites, continued its Summer Food Service Program at full capacity due entirely to the flexibilities built in to these federal waivers. This pandemic has highlighted how critical these flexibilities are for child nutrition program providers. Without them, the Central Texas Food Bank would not have been able to fulfill its critical mission of ensuring access to nutritious meals for Central Texas children this summer. Looking ahead, we will advocate to make many of these waivers and flexibilities permanent while educating lawmakers about the savings and expanded access afforded by their implementation. More flexibilities for child nutrition providers, like the Food Bank, mean more hungry children in our region will be fed.



For the first time ever, Circuit of the Americas (COTA) opened up its Austin racetrack to the public to support our hungry Central Texas neighbors in need. More than 20,000 individuals showed up for an opportunity of a lifetime — to cruise through the world-famous track. The event raised more than $200,000 for the Central Texas Food Bank, making everyone a winner that day!

Blues on the Screen

On July 8 Austin’s summer tradition of Blues on the Green had a unique twist, streaming the Blues on the Screen event for Central Texans to view from the safety of their homes. ACL Live Radio and Fox 7 Austin aired the concert raising funds for the Food Bank and E4 Youth. Thanks to the generous viewers and a match from Thomas J. Henry Law, more than 120,000 meals were created during this one-night event.




Thank You, Starbucks! The Central Texas Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry trucks travel to 52 sites across our 21-county service territory to provide nutritious food directly to neighbors in need. Within the next year, we’ll be able to reach even more areas thanks to a $150,000 grant from Starbucks!

the Central Texas Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry program is an expansion on our existing partnership to donate our surplus food, helping them to provide access to give kids the nourishment they need to learn and succeed.”

This grant is only a portion of Starbucks’ efforts to fight hunger The grant will help expand our in Central Texas. Over the summer, Mobile Food Pantry program to seven they committed $1.5 million to 17 additional locations and add a new 30- food banks across the United States, foot refrigerated trailer to our fleet. including the Central Texas Food Bank, as part of the company’s efforts to help By delivering food directly to alleviate hunger. our neighborhoods, our mobile food pantries fill geographic and service gaps Since 2017, Starbucks has also been in food assistance by providing people in partnering with the Food Bank through need with pantry staples, lean meat and its FoodShare program to donate fresh fruits and vegetables. nourishing food each day from its stores to families in need. This past year, the Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry program provided We’re proud to fight hunger more than 3.1 million pounds of food, alongside Starbucks and are grateful for serving an average of 16,216 individuals their support in helping to feed more each month across our 21-county neighbors in need. We can’t wait to get service area. “Starbucks is committed our Mobile Food Pantry truck engines to doing our part to alleviate hunger in running and out on the road to serve the U.S.,” Jane Maly, Starbucks’ social even more Central Texans facing hunger impact manager, says. “Our grant to thanks to Starbucks. 6

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a huge increase in need for the Food Bank’s services, but it has also made traditional nonperishable food drives much more challenging. We’re incredibly grateful for the community’s outpouring of support to help us meet the increased need. The very best way to raise food for the Central Texas Food Bank is to host a Virtual Food Drive, which calls for dollars instead of cans. Why should I do a Virtual Food Drive? You’re helping more people. The Food Bank uses your dollars to provide far more meals than you can buy at the store — about five times as many meals! You’re keeping yourself, our Food Bank staff and your supporters safe. You don’t have to store collected food or transport heavy boxes to us. Your meals will be raised virtually on a customizable online fundraising page. Your dollars are flexible. Every day the Food Bank is responding to how the pandemic is affecting our clients. The Food Bank will put the funds you raise toward the area of greatest need. Creating your Virtual Food Drive is easy! To start today, visit: help-prepare-families.!

“Thank you...I’m wanting and ready, once everything goes back to normal, to start paying it forward.”

You Share Hope With Neighbors Like Maria “We’re getting to the bare bottoms, and it’s a scary feeling,” Maria says about her family’s pantry. “It’s coming to the point where it’s stressing me out and it’s starting to show.” Maria and her husband are raising their two boys, ages 11 and 15, in Austin. They’d been getting by just fine before COVID-19. But after the outbreak, Maria was furloughed from her sales job and her husband has been out of work, too. The couple had never needed to reach out for help before. But now their kids aren’t able to access the food they typically eat at school. Their 11-year-

old recently got into a bike accident, and they had to pay out-of-pocket to get treatment for his injuries since their insurance ended with the furlough. Fortunately, Maria found out about the Food Bank’s mass distribution at Del Valle High School. She was relieved to be able to access nutritious groceries to keep her family growing strong. “Hopefully this is just a one time and we can get back on our feet,” Maria says of visiting the distribution. “It’s hard because we were both working and we felt like other people need it, not us. But it’s coming to the point where we are needing it too.”

Maria hopes to be able to help others soon. She knows there are countless families like hers who are struggling to fill their tables right now, and she looks forward to being in the position to offer assistance. In the meantime, she’s truly grateful she can count on the generosity of caring people like you. “Thank you,” Maria says. “I’m wanting and ready, once everything goes back to normal, to start paying it forward.”


BOARD OF DIRECTORS Jen Alessandra, Chair Frontdoor

Hari Jayaram Applied Materials

Stephen Portner, Vice Chair

Pat Massey IBM Corporation

Timothy M. Lee, Treasurer Treat Health Corporation Shaun Cranston, Secretary Halff Associates, Inc. Ann Benolken Ascension Seton Kathleen W. Farlow Deloitte LLP Kelli Green St. Edward’s University Monica Hernandez H-E-B Pete Inman Camino Real Financial Strategies

Frank Reid Austin Community College John Sanchez Capital One Bank Alice Starr Anneliese Tanner Austin Independent School District Scott Weatherford Jackson Walker LLP Mark J. Williams Shayne Woodard Waterloo Lobby & Advocacy, Inc.


Questions, comments or change of address? Email: Read it online Download and subscribe to Food Bank publications at Make an immediate impact by giving online

1. Open your camera or a QR Scanner on your iPhone or Android. 2. Hold your phone camera over the QR Code. 3. Wait for a web page link to pop up. 4. Click and make your donation on CTFB’s website!

MESSAGE from the PRESIDENT & CEO Dear Friends, I can’t thank you enough for your partnership during this ongoing crisis. The Food Bank is only able to reach struggling Central Texans with the healthy food they need because you choose to give. I’m truly grateful for your support. Our community’s recovery will take many months. Countless people across Central Texas have been losing jobs, missing paychecks and having a hard time covering the cost of school meals for their kids. We don’t yet know what our “new normal” will look like. We’re all hoping for a brighter future, but right now, we’re just working to provide for people’s most basic human need: nutritious food. You help pave the way toward a better tomorrow by making sure this basic need is met. During the month of September we recognize Hunger Action Month — our nation’s annual focus on the fight against hunger. I hope you’ll join us in giving voice, financial support and time to the effort to provide food for our neighbors in need. If you haven’t already read the stories in this fall issue of Feedback, please take some time to learn about the impact you’re making for local families working to rebuild their lives. Your generous support brings hope in the form of nutritious food to the Central Texans who need it most. Thank you for sharing what you have. I know we have the hope of a brighter future because you choose to give.

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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