Feedback - Spring 2021

Page 1

News from the Central Texas Food Bank

Spring 2021

What’s INSIDE You’re a Lifeline to Local Families Network Advisory Council Turns One You’re Keeping Anna’s Family from Homelessness

THANK YOU FOR CREATING A BRIGHTER FUTURE


Ruby Pays It Forward with Help From You Ruby is a cornerstone of our community. She moved to the Austin area in the 1950s and raised her four children here. Ruby’s four grandchildren and two great grandkids are also local. “It means everything to me to come together as a family,” she says. “We pray together, we stay together.” A nurturing mother, Ruby put her caregiving skills to good use working in home healthcare for many years. She never was associated with an agency — Ruby built her business through word-of-mouth referrals.

More recently, Ruby has continued helping others by giving her time. She joined the Central Texas Food Bank’s hunger-relief efforts years ago as a volunteer and donor, back when it was known as the Capital Area Food Bank.

“I share with my neighbors and friends, people that can’t come...”

— Ruby

“I enjoy volunteering because I like to give back,” Ruby says. “We’ve been blessed with the food and I want to give something back, too.” She’s found herself on the other side of the food distribution line since she hurt her back. Although she tries to stay active, now that she’s in her 80s, Ruby has had two spinal surgeries and now can’t stay on her feet for very long without experiencing pain. Her only income is Social Security, and her limited budget can’t always stretch to include a trip to the grocery store. But, ever the caregiver, Ruby continues helping others by picking

“It’s really a blessing, and I can’t thank you enough.” — Ruby

2


SENIOR HUNGER AND THE 87TH LEGISLATIVE SESSION

up groceries from Bread for All in Austin for her neighbors as well as herself. She specifically mentioned another senior friend who doesn’t have access to transportation and friends who are strictly quarantining due to medical problems. “I share with my neighbors and friends, people that can’t come,” Ruby says. “The Food Bank is truly, truly a blessing.” Ruby knows from being a Food Bank donor and volunteer herself how vital the role you play really is. She could not be more grateful for your help in making sure she and her community have access to enough healthy food. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Ruby says. “It’s really a blessing, and I can’t thank you enough.” You bring hope in the form of good, nutritious food to countless people who might otherwise go hungry. I hope you’ll help ensure a bright tomorrow for the Austin area with a special gift during Amplify Austin.

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 in our region, the Central Texas Food Bank identified our senior clients as a priority population and recognized the need to advocate for policies that support these vulnerable Central Texans. Following the conclusion of the last legislative session in 2019, we met with county judges across our region to gain a better understanding of the needs in their respective communities. The message we heard from those officials was consistent across every county: the senior population needs more support. Many live in areas with little or no public transportation, and many others support multigenerational households on a fixed income. The pandemic has only exacerbated those needs and brought to light the gaps in services and access for food insecure seniors, particularly in the more rural parts of Texas. As we begin our advocacy work in the 87th session, advancing legislation that impacts senior hunger is at the top of our priority list. One opportunity to address the unique challenges that face food-insecure seniors is to make it easier for them to access available assistance. Bills have been filed in both the Texas House and Senate, with bi-partisan sponsorship, that seek to simplify the application process for seniors applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. Senate Bill 224 and House Bill 701 would reduce and waive the number of requirements currently imposed on applicants, making the process much more streamlined for seniors. Additionally, the bills would enable a longer eligibility period for those who have enrolled in the program, increasing the renewal period from one to three years. We, along with the entire Texas food bank network, supported similar legislation during the 2019 session and look forward to educating and engaging our state delegation again about this critical issue and its potential to support Central Texas seniors in need.

Thank you for paving the way toward our brighter shared future!

3


YOU BRING HOPE TO PEOPLE OF ALL AGE Applied Materials Fight Against Hunger

The Applied Materials annual Fight Against Hunger is the Food Bank’s largest workplace fundraiser. After more than 25 years of this employee-led campaign, Applied Materials staff had the new challenge of continuing their success while working from home. From talent shows to cooking competitions, Applied Materials employees came together in new and creative ways to raise meals for Central Texans in need.

Central Texas Food Bank Corporate Challenge

The Corporate Challenge is a friendly competition of Central Texas companies to raise the most funds through virtual fundraising, while ultimately collaborating on the same goal of fighting hunger. In its inaugural year, 18 companies came together from November 9-December 18 to raise more than $100,000. The Food Bank is grateful for each company that engaged their staff to donate!

Stuff The Bus

From December 10 to December 24, Capital Metro, Whole Foods Market, and the Central Texas Food Bank teamed up for the ninth year to encourage the community to “Stuff the Bus.” Like most things in 2020, this year’s Stuff the

4

Bus went virtual, with online monetary gifts, donated food items through Amazon wishlist, and donations made at local Whole Foods Market registers. We can’t thank our partners and the Austin community enough for making this season bright by helping us Stuff the Bus!

Mace Massingill’s 6th Annual #NoHunger Campaign

Local 13-year-old Mace Massingill is continuing his mission to fight hunger. Since 2015 Mace has been growing his #NoHunger campaign to raise more and more meals for the Food Bank. The pandemic did not slow down Mace, and this year he raised enough to create more than 300,000 meals!


ES


Don’t Miss Amplify Austin 2021! Now through March 5 at 6 p.m. The past year was rough for the 1 in 5 Central Texans who regularly struggle with hunger, as well as thousands of our neighbors who sought food assistance for the first time. Through it all, the Central Texas Food Bank has been a vital lifeline. Our network of partners, mobile pantries and mass distributions served up a record amount of food to those in need, meeting the unprecedented demand head on.

Please donate during Amplify Austin. Early Giving has already begun, and Amplify Austin reaches it peak on Amplify Day, March 4 at 6 p.m. to March 5 at 6 p.m. This campaign may have started in Austin, but it makes an impact in all of the 21 counties the Food Bank serves — each dollar donated provides four meals and makes a real difference. www.amplifyatx.org/organizations/ central-texas-food-bank

Network Advisory Council Turns One The Central Texas Food Bank shares nutritious meals and groceries through a network of more than 250 Partner Agencies across 21 Central Texas counties. Input from our partners is critical to keeping all those communities fed.

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the nation in mid-March, it became apparent that the Food Bank’s distribution models needed to change — and change fast. Thousands of Central Texans were out of work and needed emergency food assistance, large gatherings had been prohibited The Network Advisory Council and our staff and volunteers’ safety (NAC) was created as a volunteer were paramount. group that represents our Partner Agencies to provide input and feedback, The Food Bank swiftly jumped strengthen relationships and help build into action, revising the mobile pantry network capacity to better address model to drive-throughs and adding hunger in Central Texas. special large-scale distributions to meet the increased need. And the The first NAC meeting took Partner Agencies had to adjust quickly place just over a year ago in January as well. The NAC became crucial to of 2020. Representatives from 16 understanding the challenges partners Partner Agencies and Food Bank were facing, brainstorming solutions staff discussed the future of produce and sharing updates within the distribution, Partner Agency trainings, network. In the past year, the NAC advocacy and public policy updates, was vital to the Food Bank’s COVID research and evaluation to better response, and will be essential in the serve clients. fight against hunger in Central Texas for years to come.

6

UPCOMING EVENTS CROP Hunger Walk | 2:30p.m. Sunday, March 7 – Virtually! The 2021 Austin CROP Hunger Walk is going virtual this year! We will be walking together in spirit but not in body. Those joining in can walk (run, waddle, swim, jump, bike, or however you want) anywhere you want in your neighborhood, your living room, a parking lot, at your place of worship or wherever you would like to go. Remember why we are walking - to build a world where there is enough food for all. The official walk will be on March 7 at 2:30 p.m., but you can walk at any time. For more information and to donate, please go to https://events. crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/ austintx and click “Make a General Donation” at the top.


“...any little thing you can give is saving lives.” — Anna

You’re Sharing Hope With Families Like Anna’s “Every day you feel like you’re drowning,” Anna says of her family’s situation. “We’re having to look not only after our family but after our neighbors as well. And when you’re sitting on the verge of becoming homeless, it’s really frightening. Anna and her adult children, who live with her, began struggling before the pandemic hit. One of her kids has a developmental illness that keeps him from working, and her daughter and other son are recently unemployed. That means the family’s only income right now is disability assistance. Anna has numerous health conditions — including diabetes, heart

problems and chronic pain. Although she’s thankful for her monthly disability income, after taxes she brings in less than $10,000 a year.

Fortunately, your support makes a real difference. Anna can pick up healthy food from the Central Texas Food Bank mobile pantry that visits Nelson Field in Austin. She was excited to share her gratitude with you directly.

Anna always has a hard time paying bills and says she’s behind on her utilities. It’s a common story in her community. She says many other senior neighbors, people with disabilities and local veterans, are struggling to afford food.

“You have no idea that any little thing you can give is saving lives,” Anna says to friends like you. “The Food Bank helps a lot.”

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the lives of vulnerable populations as well as Central Texans who’ve never faced hunger before in their lives.

Thank you for promoting health and healing here in Central Texas through your ongoing support! Hunger relief would simply not be possible without you.

7


BOARD OF DIRECTORS Stephen Portner, Chair

Hari Jayaram Applied Materials

Alice Starr, Vice Chair Timothy M. Lee, Treasurer

Pat Massey IBM Corporation

Shaun Cranston, Secretary Halff Associates, Inc.

Laura Mendoza Motiva

Jen Alessandra Frontdoor

Frank Reid Austin Community College

Ann Benolken

John Sanchez Capital One Bank

Kathleen W. Farlow Deloitte LLP Kelli Green St. Edward’s University Jeff Hahn Hahn Public

Anneliese Tanner Austin Independent School District Scott Weatherford Jackson Walker LLP Mark J. Williams

Monica Hernandez H-E-B Pete Inman Camino Real Financial Strategies

Shayne Woodard Waterloo Lobby & Advocacy, Inc.

MESSAGE from the PRESIDENT & CEO Dear Friends, This year has started out like none before. After the significant challenges we faced together in 2020, people across Texas, the country and the world are hopeful for better days. But there’s still much work to be done. You can help our Central Texas community today by scheduling a gift through I Live Here, I Give Here’s annual Amplify Austin event. This effort is a call to action to improve life for others through financial support. Amplify Austin Day 2021 will run March 4 at 6 p.m. through March 5 at 6 p.m. But you don’t have to wait! Join the excitement today at www.amplifyatx.org/organizations/central-texas-food-bank.

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

In this early spring edition of Feedback, you’ll have a chance to meet local seniors who were already struggling to afford food before the pandemic began. These older neighbors have been isolated in quarantine for nearly an entire year. But through these difficult days, they’ve been able to count on your generosity. I hope you’ll take the time to learn about the profound impact your support has made.

Read it online Download and subscribe to Food Bank publications at centraltexasfoodbank.org

As we look toward a brighter tomorrow, it’s a true comfort to know we have caring people like you in our corner.

Make an immediate impact by giving online

So many long months of missed income, lost jobs and economic decline mean countless Central Texans are in a tough spot right now. Your gifts bring them hope. Thank you.

FEEDBACK?

1. Open your camera or a QR Scanner on your iPhone or Android device. 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!

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.

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

A member of

@CTXFoodBank