Hunger Heroes - Summer 2019

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An exclusive newsletter for our Hunger Heroes

What’s INSIDE You’re Helping Students Succeed Produce of the Month: Tomato You’re Making an Impact in Your Community

Summer 2019


Austin Restaurant Weeks August 15-September 2 at participating restaurants

You’re Helping Students Succeed Mackenzie is a full-time student at Austin Community College’s (ACC) Eastview campus working toward a career as a Physical Therapist Assistant. Mackenzie is on track to graduate in May and take her licensure exams this summer, but the cost of tuition has put a strain on her family’s budget. Her husband works full time for AT&T to support their family, including their 5-year-old son, but his hours were recently cut after AT&T merged with DIRECTV. Mackenzie said, “We try to be fiscally responsible. It has really hurt us financially.” She adds, “You go from buying regular food to the basics. I buy noodles and sauce. I know how to make a million things with pasta because it is so affordable.” In January, Mackenzie started coming to the Mobile Food Pantry at ACC, launched by the Central Texas Food Bank last year. The Mobile Pantry program is one of the Food Bank’s most effective ways of addressing hunger and food insecurity. At the Mobile Pantry, Mackenzie receives non-perishable pantry staples, fresh produce, bread and frozen items each month to feed her family. She said, “My son gets so excited when I bring home yogurt. He loves it! That’s stuff I can’t really afford to buy.” The Food Bank utilizes refrigerated tractor-


trailer trucks capable of transporting food items that require a climate controlled environment to keep them fresh, frozen and nutritious while traveling long distances to their destination. These vehicles are driven directly from our warehouse to centrally located distribution points for the regularly scheduled Mobile Pantry service times on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. Upon arrival at the distribution site, food is unloaded and distributed in a farmers’ market style atmosphere directly to Central Texans in need, like Mackenzie and her family. The Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry program has 51 distributions scheduled each month throughout our 21 county service area in Central Texas, including the Austin Community College Eastview campus. At each ACC campus distribution, an average of 171 students receive about 60 pounds of food needed to fill nutrition gaps in their diets. For some, this means they can avoid junk food, fast food or skipping meals. For others, the Mobile Pantry helps make it possible for their children to receive the nutrition they need to grow healthy. Mackenzie shares that, “When you’re fed you can chill a little. When you can eat and sleep, you can do better with other stuff. It is one thing that takes the stress off. Thank you. This program is extremely helpful.”

Austin Restaurant Weeks 2019, presented by Tito’s® Handmade Vodka, runs from August 15 through September 2. This two-week-long dining extravaganza features specially-priced lunches, dinners and cocktails at restaurants throughout the greater Austin area. You can help by dining out at participating restaurants and a portion of the price of each meal comes directly to the Central Texas Food Bank. Check out participating restaurants at

Austin Empty Bowl Project November 24, 2019 at the Central Texas Food Bank Preview Party November 23 Save the date for one of Austin’s bestloved hunger fighting events! The Austin Empty Bowl Project is an effort by Central Texas potters to raise meals for children in need. Come to the Food Bank the Sunday before Thanksgiving to select your favorite from thousands of locally crafted ceramic bowls, fill it with gourmet soup from local chefs and listen to live music while enjoying lunch. Love the bowls but hate the lines? Come to the preview party the night before. Get more information at

PRODUCE OF THE MONTH: TOMATO As the warm weather rolls in, it is the perfect time to enjoy the bounties of summer. Is there anything more satisfying than biting into a plump, ripe berry as an explosion of flavor and juices seep over your taste buds? Cherries, blackberries and tomatoes are all excellent examples of berries loaded with vitamins and antioxidants! Wait, tomatoes are berries? Originating in South America, the versatile tomato has withstood the tastes of time. Considered a fruit when raw and a vegetable when cooked, the tomato is botanically considered a berry, which is a subset type of fruit. The original name, tomatl means “swelling fruit” and in Latin, the name lycoperiscum literally translates to “wolfpeach.” Consumed raw or cooked, tomatoes can be enjoyed in myriad ways. With over 7,500 varieties, tomatoes are

virtually everywhere. Call it what you like, berry, fruit or vegetable, tomatoes are the Food Bank’s Produce of the Month. One of the many programs that the Central Texas Food Bank offers to our community is our Nutrition Education program. Our team of dedicated dietetic specialists and instructors work tirelessly to spread the word about healthy options for our clients and their families. Classes are held across Central Texas at various locations including schools, community centers and our Mobile Pantries. This month, our nutrition team has cooked up a delicious and healthy recipe to share with our donors, incorporating our Produce of the Month, the tomato.


10 minutes 10 minutes 1 cup 10

INGREDIENTS 8 ounces of thin spaghetti pasta or pasta of choice 2 tablespoons of olive oil 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped ½ onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup) 3 pints of cherry tomatoes 1 teaspoon of salt ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper 1 cup of coarsely chopped fresh basil garnish with grated parmesan cheese PREPARATION 1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water as instructed on package; drain and transfer to a large bowl. 2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet or wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and let them cook for about two minutes. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes burst and release their juices to form a sauce, 6–8 minutes. Add the chopped basil to sauce once it is done cooking. 3. Serve ½ cup of tomato sauce over ½ cup of pasta and garnish with more basil and parmesan cheese.


Find more recipes online at

YOU’RE MAKING AN IMPACT IN Central Texas Dear Friend,

Hunger is a serious issue in Central Texas:

I am happy to report that thanks to you, we’re making an impact in the fight against hunger. The latest Map the Meal Gap 2019 report by Feeding America shows a decrease in the number of Central Texans without reliable access to food from 443,900 to 438,450. While this is great news, one statistic did not change; one in five kids is still at risk of hunger.

There is a Meal Gap in Central Texas. nearly 450,000 individuals, or 15.6 percent of residents, do not know where their next meal will come from.

21.1 percent of children under 18 years old, or roughly 94,950 kids, are hungry or facing hunger.

Of those children, 33 percent are not income-eligible for federal nutrition assistance.

Summer is especially difficult for families. When their kids are out of school, they no longer have access to important meals through free and reduced price breakfast and lunch. They also struggle with the additional financial burdens of childcare and increased energy costs to cool their homes in the Texas heat. It is difficult to consider that many of our neighbors have to make the choice between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care. We’re currently in the middle of our “Summer Meals That Matter” campaign that kicked off in June. We need your help to raise 1 million meals for Central Texans in need to offset the increased demand for our services. It’s exciting that the Stumberg and Gates families will be matching donations this summer to help make your gift go twice as far. That means that every dollar donated up to $150,000 will provide eight meals until the end of August. In this issue, you’ll meet Mackenzie and learn how your generous support is fighting hunger this summer in your community. Thank you for bringing back the joys of summer for your neighbors in need.

The Central Texas Food Bank supplied enough food to provide almost 39 million meals in Central Texas last year. In FY 2018, the Food Bank distributed nearly 47 million pounds of food to Central Texas through its about 300 Partner Agencies and programs.

Did you know our service territory is twice the size of Massachusetts? Freestone Limestone

McLennan Mills

Coryelle Falls

San Saba

Lampasas Bell


Burnet Llano







Hays Caldwell


We serve 21 counties in Central Texas, including the cities of Austin, Waco, Temple, Belton, Killeen, Fredericksburg, San Marcos, Lockhart and many more.

Our Mission: To nourish hungry people and lead the community in the fight against hunger.

Thank you, Mark Jackson Chief Development Officer

A member of 6500 Metropolis Dr., Austin, TX 78744 | 512.220.2680 |