Feedback - Summer 2021

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News from the Central Texas Food Bank

Summer 2021

What’s INSIDE Heartfelt Thanks from a Family Facing Hunger You’re Making Food Available to Rosalinda’s Children


Heartfelt Thanks from a Family Facing Hunger Ana worries about feeding her children. Her son, Jesus, is just 2. He’s had poor health since birth and has already endured two surgeries. Good nutrition is critical for him, and is no less important for her daughter Sarai, who’s 7 and needs balanced meals to grow and succeed in school. Like many neighbors in our 2 1 - co u n t y s e r v i ce a rea , the pandemic has been devastating for Ana’s family, heaping new challenges on resources that are already spread thin.

Theirs is a single-income family because childcare for Jesus is too expensive to justify Ana going back to work. Anytime her husband loses hours at his job for any reason, it leaves them desperately trying to catch up. They have to pay bills

“Thank you so much for everything.” — Ana

and rent, which often means there’s nothing left to buy food. “As an adult you worry for the kids because they don’t understand what’s happening around them. They ask for food when it’s time to eat and you have to give them food,” Ana says. There were times that money was so tight she not only ran out of food, she ran out of diapers, too. Her family doesn’t receive SNAP benefits, and she had never visited a food pantry before. But when Ana learned there was a food

“Thanks to the food [pantries], a lot of people have food for their kids.” — Ana


CHILD NUTRITION REAUTHORIZATION Many of our advocacy efforts in recent months have focused on legislation at the Texas Capitol, working to advance bills that support the most vulnerable of the Food Bank’s clients- children. We’ve spoken extensively with our state delegation about opportunities to improve access to healthy, nutritious meals for children by reducing barriers to federal nutrition assistance programs in Texas statutes.

distribution underway to help families like hers, she didn’t miss the opportunity. “I heard they were going to be giving away food, that’s what I came for,” Ana says. Ana is thankful for friends who support the Central Texas Food Bank and our 250 partners who work tirelessly to connect people facing hunger with the food they urgently need. And knowing she can access nutritious food during the summer months when Sarai doesn’t have meals at school is a huge relief. “Thank you so much for everything. I know there’s a lot of people who are having a harder time than I am,” Ana says. “Thanks to the food [pantries], a lot of people have food for their kids.” You can help families like Ana’s escape hunger, made worse by the pandemic. If you’re able to send another gift today, it will DOUBLE thanks to the Matching Challenge, helping feed children and families facing hunger this summer!

This summer we will turn our attention to Congress, urging members to improve the health of millions of children by passing a strong reauthorization bill. Every five years, Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) provides Congress with an opportunity to improve and strengthen the child nutrition and school meal programs. Although the current law, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, expired on September 30, 2015, the programs continue to operate. The pandemic has highlighted not only how important these programs are for struggling families, but it also ushered in a number of significant policy improvements that could be made permanent through the CNR. For example, program operations in our after school and summer nutrition programs could be streamlined to reduce red tape and enhance the scope of services provided. Building on the success of the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program, children who are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals could have access to Summer EBT benefits for the months when they are not in school. Temporary changes to the Child and Adult Care Food Program enacted during the pandemic could be made permanent. Improvements to the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program could increase the number of high-poverty schools that offer meals to students by expanding community eligibility. These are just a few of the recommendations the Food Bank will make in the coming months to members of our Congressional delegation. The waivers, flexibilities and expansions to these critical child nutrition programs put in place during the pandemic have proven effective. It’s time to make those changes permanent and urge Congress to pass a strong CNR that improves the overall health, nutrition, development and academic achievement of all Central Texas children.



On March 7, the annual CROP Hunger Walk began with a Zoom Kick Off to start this year’s Virtual Walk. While walkers were not together physically, they still found a way to come together to raise money and support the fight against hunger both here in Central Texas, and around the globe. We are so grateful for all the congregations, fundraisers, donors and walkers for their continued support. This year’s Virtual Walk would not have happened without the hard work of the CROP Hunger Walk Committee, a group of true hunger heroes!

Randalls Helps Our Community by Nourishing Neighbors

Central Texas Randalls stores have stepped up year-round to support the Food Bank through the pandemic. It is no surprise that they started their support early in 2021, with the Nourishing Neighbors campaign. From January 10th through February 7th, shoppers at Central Texas Randalls stores could buy anti-hunger bags and make monetary donations at the register to help fight hunger. We continue to see an unprecedented level of need for our services and our resources have been strained to the limit. Campaigns from our Randalls partners are more important now than ever before.




*Photographed pre COVID-19

Thank You for the Best Amplify Austin Ever

Garden Improvement Project Nears Completion Since breaking ground in January, our garden improvement project has made great strides. We anticipate the work will be complete very soon and planting can begin!

The expanded garden facility will be used to help people in our community learn about gardening, food production and nutrition — including field trips for kids in our summer meal programs.

Generous support from Loewy Law Firm helped fund improvements and upgrades that include the addition of an outdoor pavilion, storage, restrooms, a permanent greenhouse and a teaching garden.

The Food Bank will invite families to learn how to cook on a budget using produce from the garden. And kids in our summer meal programs will have the opportunity to learn about gardening and participate in nutrition education classes.

In the summer, the garden will yield fresh, organic produce to distribute to families in need through our programs and Partner Agencies. In previous years, the garden has provided as much as 14,000 pounds of produce to Central Texans facing hunger.


Thank you Loewy Law Firm and others who gave generously to help Central Texas Food Bank nourish more lives.

Amplify Austin More than 3,400 individuals contributed to the Food Bank during Amplify Austin (March 4-5) helping create a record-breaking 3 million meals for Central Texans in need! To everyone who donated, raised funds, and spread the word, thank you for helping the 1 in 5 Central Texans who are struggling with hunger. A special thank you to our generous sponsors, matching donors and community partners — I Live Here I Give Here, McCullough Heating and Air Conditioning, ShipStation, the Sherlock Charitable Foundation, Hank and Mary Perret, WP Engine and a generous anonymous donor for amplifying these gifts.

“I would like to say thank you ...” — Rosalinda

You’re Making Food Available to Families Like Rosalinda’s “We’re just trying to get by,” Rosalinda says. “Hopefully we’ll get our ‘normal’ back, that’s what I want. But I don’t know when that’s going to happen.” Rosalinda and her children, who range in age from 18 down to just 5, have struggled to get by since COVID-19 came into all our lives. The pandemic didn’t cause Rosalinda to lose her job, but her pay was reduced, making it very hard to make ends meet. Having her children at home and learning remotely during the height of the pandemic was a comfort to

this loving mother. She and her kids all struggle with asthma which makes them high risk, and Rosalinda was recently diagnosed with diabetes. Without access to the school meals her children would normally receive, Rosalinda had to stretch her smaller paycheck even further for many months. “I don’t get benefits. We have to cut down on cereal and juice...anything that makes it more affordable,” she says.

Rosalinda is thankful that people like you give generously to stock the pantry shelves because they care about their neighbors whose budgets are stretched thin. “I would like to say thank you and God bless [you] always,” she says. “[You] provide for people in need.”

On behalf of families like Rosalinda’s, thank you for sharing another gift today that will be DOUBLED by the Matching When the frightening day came Challenge, helping more neighbors that her check didn’t stretch far who are facing hunger this summer. enough, she turned to a local food pantry supplied through your support of the Central Texas Food Bank. 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

Estrellita J. Doolin, JD, MBA Ascension Health

John Sanchez Capital One Bank

Kathleen W. Farlow Deloitte LLP

Anneliese Tanner Austin Independent School District

Kelli Green St. Edward’s University Jeff Hahn Hahn Public

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.


Questions, comments or change of address? Email:

MESSAGE from the PRESIDENT & CEO Dear Friends, This summer edition of Feedback features neighbors whose families have faced hunger in the wake of the pandemic. So many people are deeply thankful for your support that’s made all the difference during a most difficult time. I’m grateful for you, too. With summer upon us, far too many Central Texas children will experience hunger. Without access to meals their children normally receive at school, good nutrition is often out of reach for parents whose budgets are already stretched thin. Parents who fall short could see their children plunge into a nutritional deficit that can have lifelong repercussions — slower learning and crippling developmental issues. Central Texas Food Bank is mobilizing to equip our partners to expand outreach to ensure children have the nutritious food they need all summer long. With your help now, families and individuals can put balanced meals on the table, and senior citizens won’t have to choose between groceries and filling a prescription or paying a bill.

Read it online Download and subscribe to Food Bank publications at

It’s true that the pandemic has caused widespread devastation that will linger for many years and that hunger may hit crisis levels again this summer. But it’s also true that friends like you have rallied to meet the need head on.

Make an immediate impact by giving online

If you can share another gift today, it will be DOUBLED by a very special $300,000 Summer Matching Challenge offered by our friends at The Roomie Group.

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!

On behalf of all the Central Texans you help — thank you for your compassion and generosity.

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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