Our mission: to nourish hungry people and lead the community in ending hunger.
CAFB Board of Directors Mike Tomsu, Chair, Vinson & Elkins LLP Heidi Baschnagel, Vice Chair, National Instruments Corportation Melissa Mitchell, Treasurer, Ernst & Young Vanessa Downey-Little, Secretary, City of Austin, Retired Melissa Anthony Sinn, anthonyBarnum Public Relations John Cyrier, Sabre Commercial, Inc. Matt Dow, Jackson Walker, LLP Mark Downing, Silicon Laboratories, Inc. Mohamed el-Hamdi, Ph.D., Samsung Austin Semiconductor LLC Kenneth Gladish, Ph.D., Seton Foundations Terry G. Knighton Joyce Mullen, Dell, Inc. Sheldy Starkes, MBA, PMP, Booker, Starkes, & Patodia, Inc. Leslie Sweet, H-E-B Grocery Company, LP Catherine P. Thompson, Motion Computing, Inc. Jason Thurman, PlainsCapital Bank
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from the President & CEO
One of the perceptions of Austin and Central Texas is it’s just a young person’s city. With a carefully cultivated brand as destination central for young creative types, we do have one of the nation’s youngest populations. In 2010, only 7 percent of residents within the city limits were older than 65, about half the national number. But over the past decade, our small elderly population grew by 27 percent, twice the national rate. The ‘silver tsunami’ as it’s been referred to, is here and growing.
feedback Winter 2013
While many are enjoying a longer and fuller life, sadly one of the faces of hunger we are serving more and more is that of a senior. The recession has taken an especially large toll on older people, and the number of older residents living in poverty has increased 42 percent in Central Texas over the last 10 years, according to the U.S. Census, and shows no sign of abating. Texas as a whole doesn’t do well when it comes to providing enough food for its elderly residents according to the AARP, which says the state has the nation’s third-highest rate of food insecurity for residents older than 60. Some of our older friends and neighbors find it hard in the wake of job losses, or because they worked lowpaying jobs, or were homemakers. A growing number of seniors are also outliving their resources, and coupled with recession decimated retirement investments and savings, need our help. Here at the Food Bank we created our Healthy Options Program for the Elderly (HOPE). HOPE provides supplemental groceries, fresh fruit and produce, directly to seniors from over 20 sites across our service area. We are also advocating with our lawmakers not to cut other programs seniors rely on, which would only worsen their hunger situation. But we need to increase our response and help Central Texas’ eldest citizens get food on their tables, and fully enjoy their later years. This is an issue that deserves our urgent attention, we need to work together and find a way to make this a model city and region for growing older and not a hungry one. I hope you will join us.
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HANK PERRET President & CEO
Photo by Joel Salcido Color printing generously donated by Ginny’s Printing, Inc.
The Capital Area Food Bank of Texas 8201 S. Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78745
Our mission: to nourish hungry people and lead the community in ending hunger.
Rosie is hardly alone. Texas ranks third with the highest rates of seniors at risk of hunger, according to the AARP.
“ Hunger in the senior community is an invisible problem.” Joyce Lauck AGE of Central Texas
hunger are more than twice as likely to report fair or poor health statuses. By providing healthy groceries, the Capital Area Food Bank’s network of partner agencies and programs help seniors when they are facing those choices. And seniors, like Rosie, appreciate having one less tough decision to make. “It’s hard, making ends meet” she sighed, “but I am happy that people want to help someone like me.”
Rosie, 77, waiting for the mobile food pantry in Taylor, Texas.
Growing older, growing hungry Friday mornings are busy for Rosie, age 77, of Taylor, Texas. Rosie wakes up early to attend mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and then she goes to wait in line for the Capital Area Food Bank’s mobile food pantry delivery. Rosie’s is among over 100 households served by the mobile food pantry, which brings fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy protein, and nutritious groceries to the small town. Most times, Rosie waits in line for over two hours, but it hasn’t always been this way. She has lived in Taylor, “all my life,” she explained. Rosie remembers when the town was smaller, with a bustling town square and a closeknit community. Now, downtown Taylor is littered with empty store fronts and there are few job prospects for young people to stay. Most of all, Rosie remembers when she didn’t have to wait in line for a box of groceries.
The proud mother of eleven children, Rosie was a homemaker because her husband’s income made it possible for her to stay at home. Despite having such a large family, they never had to go without.
“ This means a lot. You know how expensive groceries are.” Rosie, 77 Taylor, Texas Retirement has been very different. Rosie has been coming to the mobile food pantry for almost a year, after discovering the program from a friend at church. Despite the long wait, Rosie appreciates the program. “This means a lot,” she said, “you know how expensive groceries are.”
Mobile food pantry delivery in Johnson City, Texas More than one-third of the older adults served by the Capital Area Food Bank go extended periods without food. The limits of retirement savings and pensions combined with rising living costs and medical expenses makes budgeting for older adults a herculean task. “Hunger in the senior community is an invisible problem,” explained Joyce Lauck, executive director of AGE of Central Texas, a nonprofit that serves older adults and their families. “Seniors may make tough choices, like choosing whether to pay a medical bill or buy food. It may not obvious, but they are suffering.” Skipping meals in order to afford prescriptions does more harm than good. People with chronic illnesses have more nutritional requirements to maintain their health. According to the Food Research and Action Center, seniors at risk of
Thank you to the St. David’s Foundation for supporting our programs for older adults. You can support a healthy lifestyle for thousands of older adults in Central Texas by donating today. Visit austinfoodbank.org to learn more.
For more on our events, follow us on Twitter: @events4good
for these upcoming events:
Austin Empty Bowl Project featured handcrafted bowls from local artists, students and celebrities, raising $63,070 to support Kids’ Cafe, our afterschool meal program.
Sunday, March 3 Camp Mabry- 2200 West 35th Street CROP Hunger Walk helps raise money for hungerrelief programs in Austin and around the world. Teams of neighbors, walkers, volunteers and sponsors with a passion to help end hunger and poverty put their hearts and soles in motion to make a difference. They walk because they want to end hunger - one step at a time. Won’t you join us? For more information, visit: austinfoodbank.org/cropwalk/
Photo courtesy of Meals on Wheels and More
Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll raised 973 pounds of food and $692.
33RD ANNUAL CROP HUNGER WALK
20TH ANNUAL AUSTIN REGGAE FESTIVAL Friday, April 19 – Sunday, April 21 Auditorium Shores – Riverside at South 1st Street
H-E-B Grocery Stores donated 44,000 pounds of healthy cereal, enough to fill 180,000 bowls.
Thank you for helping us fight hunger in Central Texas A special thank you to everyone who made these events successful!
Join thousands of reggae enthusiasts for this Texassized celebration of spring, bringing together world music, tasty food, arts & crafts, spectacular scenes and excellent people-watching in Austin! Hosted at one of the city’s most popular outdoor venues, this event also helps feed hungry Central Texans by benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to: austinfoodbank.org/ austinreggae/
Stamp Out Hunger Saturday, May 11 On the Saturday before Mother’s Day, join the U.S. Letter carriers in the largest one-day food drive in the nation. U.S. Letter carriers collect bags of healthy, non-perishable food while on their routes across the US. Look for your H-E-B paper bag in your mailbox, fill it with healthy, non-perishable food and set it by your mailbox on Saturday to be picked up. All food donations are then checked for safety and quality, and distributed to a CAFB Partner Agency who then provide the food to hungry Central Texans. For more information, visit: austinfoodbank.org/stampout/
Austin-area Bank of America branches donated $3,500 and 490 pounds of food.
You can help fight hunger too! Support the Capital Area Food Bank by hosting a food drive or volunteering with your friends and family. Visit austinfoodbank.org/how-to-help/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
11th Annual Randalls Turkey Donation provided 1,000 frozen turkeys in time for Central Texas families to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Stuff the Bus food drive, in partnership with Whole Foods and Capital Metro, raised 12,805 pounds of healthy food.
A Legacy of Giving brought budding philanthropists from 36 Austin-area schools to donate more than 46,000 pounds of healthy food.
For a complete list of upcoming events, visit austinfoodbank.org/events
Learn how you can help at austinfoodbank.org
Feeding our neighbors, one loaf at a time
Protecting hungry seniors
One man’s mission to bring bread to those in need
By Kathy Green, Senior Director, Advocacy and Public Policy
On Tuesday mornings around 7 a.m., a minivan packed with bags arrives at the Food Bank’s St. John Community Food Center. But this is no catering delivery. Local business owner Rocco Bruno is bringing fresh, whole grain bread for the 150 families served each week at St. John.
Rocco Bruno, founder of E.A.T. Outreach.
Rocco is the founder of E.A.T. Outreach, a volunteer project that collects day-old baked goods from local bakeries and delivers the food to nonprofit organizations that serve families in crisis across Austin. E.A.T. Outreach began fourteen years ago, when Rocco learned that bakeries sometimes discard unsold bread. While some saw trash, Rocco saw an opportunity. “These are choice commodities that can give people some real nourishment, especially families with children,” he explains “it’s just day-old bread that needs a home.” Bringing nutritious food to the community is a calling for Rocco. “We feel a duty to help uplift others and not let those commodities go to waste,” he says.
Bread selection for clients at the St. John Community Food Center in Northeast Austin.
Access to nutrient dense food is a challenge for many of the Food Bank’s clients. For families with children or seniors on a fixed income, affording groceries may already be difficult, let alone healthy food, like whole grains and fresh produce. Almost half of the people the Capital Area Food Bank serves must choose between paying utilities and buying groceries. In the last four years, volunteers have helped E.A.T. Outreach grow to support ten food pantries. St. John Community Food Center is one of the largest beneficiaries of E.A.T. Outreach, because “we know we can help a thousand people a week here,” explains Rocco. The donation of whole grain bread allows St. John to provide the healthiest groceries to those who need it the most.
Healthy groceries we provided nourish our most vulnerable clients, including children and seniors.
It’s not news that more Americans are living longer than ever before. However, you may be surprised to hear that our Central Texas community is home to one of the fastest growing senior and pre-senior populations, according to the 2010 Census.
Tackle hunger with Souper Bowl of Caring Annual event engages youth to fight hunger The Capital Area Food Bank rang in the New Year with the 24th annual Souper Bowl of Caring, a nationwide, youth-led movement bringing schools, congregations and community organizations together to fight hunger on the weekend of the big game. Central Texans of all ages tackled hunger with Souper Bowl of Caring, beginning at the kick-off at Travis High School on January 17. More than 200 area congregations, schools, businesses and youth organizations collected food and money, and volunteered in the local community. So far, these young Central Texans have collected more than 710,000 meals. And with food and funds still coming in and as yet uncounted, the final total will be even higher.
Rocco is modest when discussing the impact of his hard work. “This is my community, these are my neighbors,” he says, “I’m going to help feed them.”
Over the years, Souper Bowl of Caring has grown from just 22 churches in South Carolina to a movement of 10,437 groups raising $9.8 million in cash and food items around the country. In 2012, the Austin area Souper Bowl of Caring ranked second in the nation, donating enough food and money to provide over 1.2 million meals in Central Texas.
To learn more about St. John Community Food Center, visit austinfoodbank.org.
See photos and learn more about Souper Bowl of Caring at austinfoodbank.org.
For many older adults, making ends meet is a challenge. Limited incomes, lack of mobility, increased medical expenses and a rising cost of living all mean less money for basic necessities like food. Worse, nutritious food can even more difficult to afford. Fortunately, a network of partners in the area strives to ensure our older neighbors don’t go hungry. The Capital Area Food Bank provides special access to healthy groceries for seniors through our HOPE initiative and enrolls seniors in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Meal programs, such as those operated by our friends at Meals on Wheels and More, provide nutritious meals and a friendly check-in for many low-income seniors. Decisions made on Capitol Hill greatly affect how nonprofits are able to serve older adults at risk of hunger. Among those programs at-risk include SNAP and funding for nutrition programs under the Older Americans Act. In budget discussions, it is easy to make cuts when you remove yourself from the reality of who will be affected. However, the lives of older adults—including grandmothers and grandfathers—will be impacted by the reduced access to healthy food. Our elected officials must remember that protecting these programs ensures a healthier quality of life for many Americans—especially our seniors.