Sustainers Circle - Winter 2022

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An exclusive newsletter for our Sustainers Circle

What’s INSIDE Culinary Program Success Story How to Amplify the Food Bank Winter Home Gardening Tip 2021 Year in Review

Winter 2022

Culinary Training Program Alum Opens Popular New Food Truck For the past five months, people have been raving about a new food truck called Yeni’s Fusion. Located at the Aristocrat Lounge on Burnet Road in Austin, the food truck provides flavorful Indonesian cuisine with American, Mexican, and Texas barbeque influences. The star of the show there is the owner and chef, Yeni Rosdiyani. Yeni is a proud graduate of the Central Texas Food Bank’s Culinary Training Program. While cooking has become Yeni’s passion, it was a long road that brought her here. Yeni moved to America from Indonesia in 2011 to be with her fiancé. They married in the United States, and as a newlywed Yeni started finding her passion for cooking. Two and half years after Yeni was married, her husband passed away. Yeni found herself at a crossroads, and she was not sure what her next step should be. At that point, Yeni had become such a great cook that a friend of hers referred her to the Central Texas Food Bank’s Culinary Training Program. It was an unexpected suggestion. Yeni loved cooking but had not considered it as a career. She applied, had an interview, and was accepted. She says she is grateful to the Food Bank and donors, “for giving me a chance to learn…and then giving me very precious knowledge about so many things. I hope that the culinary program will grow.” The Central Texas Food Bank’s Culinary Training Program is a free job training program for community members who have


faced challenges in their lives. Students get real-world experience cooking in our 4,200-square foot state-of-the art kitchen. Pre-pandemic, students in the 12-week program trained full time inperson. Now, the program has shifted to a hybrid method of in-person training and online lessons. In addition to learning things like food safety, temperature control, and basic kitchen techniques, students also get training from our nutrition and garden experts. The program also helps arrange job interviews for graduates.

mouth has made the food truck popular and business has been good so far. In fact, Yeni would love to hire more trained cooks from the Culinary Training Program. She says it is not easy to find people talented enough to cook Indonesian food, “because Indonesian food is very complicated. It sometimes takes intensive labor to do it. We cook everything from scratch, even the sauce, and it takes a long time. Especially the beef curry. People love the beef curry.”

“I hope that the culinary program will grow.” After graduating from the program, Yeni found exciting work honing her skills in commercial kitchens. But she missed cooking the flavorful Indonesian recipes she had developed. Yeni started doing popups and promoted them on Instagram. They were so well-received that her customers and friends encouraged Yeni to open her own restaurant. Wary of making that big of an investment, Yeni thought a food truck would be a good place to start-and the Artistocrat Lounge had an open spot. While only five months old, word of

Yeni’s Fusion is open Thursday through Sunday 4:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M or until sold out. For more information, follow Yeni on Instagram @yenis_fusion.

Amplify the Food Bank Early giving open now! Don’t miss your chance to Amplify Austin from Wednesday, March 2nd at 6pm through Thursday, March 3rd at 6pm. Mark your calendar, or make your donation now during early giving. If you are looking for a way to help the Food Bank even more, you can become a fundraiser through Amplify Austin. This is a fun way to share your enthusiasm for the Food Bank with your friends and family by creating a personal fundraising page. Although this is billed as Austin’s day of giving, by raising money for the Food Bank you are helping all of our Central Texas neighbors. You can set up your page and start accepting donations now at Thank you for being a part of the fight against hunger!


15 minutes 10 minutes 10 1 cup

INGREDIENTS 8 cups baby arugula ¼ red onion sliced thin 1 cup walnuts, toasted 2 kieffer pears, cored & diced

Winter Home Gardening Tip

1 shallot, minced

from our Garden Manager, Greg Mast

¼ cup olive oil 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon honey 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper PREPARATION 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.

Winter gardening is nigh impossible in some parts of the country, but here in Central Texas we can grow year round. With colder weather and shorter days, focus on leafy greens and root crops. For a quick harvest, sprinkle some arugula seeds over a few square feet of soil or onto a large pot filled with good dirt, and keep it moist. In just a few weeks you’ll be harvesting tangy leaves for your winter salads. For those with more space available, try growing some salad turnips. There are several varieties, most famously ‘Hakurei’. These mild tasting, creamy white root veggies hail from Japan, and are sweet enough to eat raw. To really take it up a notch, cube and roast them in the oven with vegetable oil and a touch of soy sauce. When they are starting to get brown and toasty looking, take them out and eat them up. Yum!


2. Combine honey, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, minced shallot, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. 3. While whisking, slowly drizzle olive oil into the bowl to make a vinaigrette. 4. In a large bowl, mix together baby arugula, sliced red onion, toasted walnuts, sliced pear and vinaigrette. Serve and enjoy. Find more recipes online at

2021 Year in Review Dear Friend, Happy New Year! With 2022 underway, I am more grateful than ever for your loyal support of the Central Texas Food Bank. As I reflect back on the challenges of the past two years, I’m in awe of your generosity and willingness to help your neighbors. And as I look to the future, I am excited for your partnership in fighting hunger. At the Central Texas Food Bank, we recently adopted a new strategic direction to guide us into the future. At our core, we will always continue to do what we do best: feeding our neighbors who are facing hunger. As we invest and grow, we want to make sure we are also focusing on providing healthy food and making our food distribution as equitable as possible. We’re building out a model that will ensure that the Food Bank can adapt to our changing world. And we plan on continuing and increasing our role as the leader in our community when it comes to matters of hunger. The paradigm shift brought on by the pandemic demonstrated just how important adaptability is. Going forward, we will be ready to adapt to whatever comes next. We are already seeing the impact of the rising cost of food. In general, the same market forces and supply chain issues that have increased retail prices for food will also increase the cost of the food we purchase wholesale. This means the Food Bank has seen a dramatic increase over pre-pandemic food purchase budgets. Whatever else this new year may bring, your support will make it possible for the Food Bank to continue to effectively serve our community.

Mark Jackson Chief Development Officer

1 in 7 Central Texans is at risk of hunger

For children, that number jumps to 1 in 5

To meet this need, we served an average of 299,000 individuals each month in 2021, around the same level served in 2020 and a 26% increase from 2019

We distributed 64.5 million pounds of food

That’s the equivalent of 53.8 million meals

26% of the food we distributed was produce

Our food rescue efforts kept more than 28 million pounds of food from ending up in landfills

Thank you for making all of this possible! Our Mission: To nourish hungry people and lead the community in the fight against hunger. A member of 6500 Metropolis Dr., Austin, TX 78744 | 512.220.2680 |

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