feedback July - September 2011
Hunger Action Month p2 . Giving our Seniors a Voice p3 . Thank You and Upcoming Events p4 & 5 HOPE p6 . Volunteer Profile p7 . Message from the President & CEO p8
Our mission: to nourish hungry people and lead the community in ending hunger.
Learn how you can help at austinfoodbank.org
September is Hunger Action Month. Advocate. Donate. Volunteer. Details at www.austinfoodbank.org/ham
DIVE! Currently 1 in 6 Americans live in households at risk of hunger. Yet it is estimated that about one-third of the worldâ€™s food produced for consumption is wasted or thrown away each year. In the U.S. alone, thatâ€™s about 68 billion pounds of food, or 226 pounds for every American. Join us at the Blanton Museum on September 15 at 6 p.m., for a special screening of the multi-award winning documentary DIVE!, a film that explores the paradox of wasted food and record levels of hunger in America. Following the screening, our panel of local experts and the filmmaker will discuss the issues raised in the film and how Austinites can have an active role in solving this problem. Our panel includes: Elizabeth Engelhardt, UT professor and author of Republic of Barbeque: Stories Beyond the Brisket; Hank Perret, Capital Area Food Bank President and CEO; Ronda Rutledge, City of Austin Sustainable Food Policy Board member; and DIVE! filmmaker Jeremy Seifert. Moderated by Giving City Austin founding editor, Monica Williams. Co-presented with the Blanton Museum. For more information or to attend this free screening, visit www.austinfoodbank.org/dive
Giving older adults a voice By Kathy Golson, Senior Director, Advocacy and Public Policy
Hello, Food Bank Advocates! I am Kathy Golson, your new Senior Director of Advocacy and Public Policy. I am thrilled to be here, and to be a part of the CAFB team! The word “advocate” has its origins in the Latin word “advocatus,” which means “to summon a voice.” As advocates, I believe that we provide a very strong and important voice for the hungry in our area. In the coming months, watch for my updates on local, state and federal issues that affect our clients, and lend your voice to our mission of ending hunger in Central Texas. This Feedback issue focuses on our senior clients — a population very dear to many of us personally. As a child, I spent my summers in deep East Texas visiting my grandparents. They had a huge garden and chickens, plus a freezer full of whatever was shot during the last hunting season. My grandma made three large meals a day. Even lunch was enormous and often included hand-rolled biscuits, newly shelled peas cooked in bacon grease, and fresh tomatoes. It never occurred to me that my grandparents were poor, or that putting food on the table was truly a labor of love. I just thought they didn’t like the grocery store, saving those trips for only the staples they couldn’t make themselves. In reality, they couldn’t afford it and survived on very little money (my grandfather’s pension from his days hauling lumber and some Social Security). It was difficult, and sometimes impossible, to pay the electric bill or fill the truck with gas. Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more seniors in this situation. Modern medicine has allowed us to live longer, but at the same time, we are getting poorer. The safety nets of Social Security and Medicare do not support the cost of living. According to Feeding America and AARP, Texas ranks 4th in the nation in the number of older adults at risk of hunger. That ranking means 8.9 percent of Texas seniors may not know where their next meal will come from. By reaching out to our aging population, and enrolling those eligible for programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the new “food stamp” program, we can help decrease the incidence of senior hunger. By USDA estimates, only 35 percent of eligible adults 60 and older have participated in SNAP. Older adults may resist admitting they need help, especially from a program they may view as a “handout.” Another federal nutrition program designed to assist older adults is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). This program provides federal commodities distributed in food packages for low-income seniors and other specific populations. The food packages include many staples often lacking in seniors’ diets. Both SNAP and CSFP will suffer cuts in the current version of the Agriculture Appropriations bill currently being considered by Congress. The nutrition program cuts only add insult to injury when you consider that Congress is also debating cuts to Social Security and Medicare. While balancing the federal budget and reducing the deficit is a worthy cause, it should not be done on the backs of our most vulnerable. The generation currently classified as “seniors” include citizens who endured the Great Depression, fought in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and marched for civil rights. They also voted, worked hard, paid taxes, contributed to their communities and took care of their families. Please help give our seniors a voice, and fight these cuts.
Did you know? 8.9 percent of seniors in Texas are at risk of hunger.
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8th annual Rock ‘n’ Restock Raised $7,000.
Bob Schneider Food for Frunk Raised $1,000 and 100 pounds of food.
Photo courtesy AP
Photo courtesy KAYMFRYE
Thank you, Central Texas, for making thes April – June 2011
Josh Kelley & ConAgra Foods Feeding kids at the Boys & Girls Club
Kicking off CAFB
19th annual National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Raised more than 130,000 pounds of food and $1,300.
Year-long Giving Opportunities Learn more about our year-long giving opportunities, including Ink Out Hunger, NabTheDeal, Pampered Chef and much more! Visit: http://www.austinfoodbank.org/how-to-help/ongoing-fundraisers.html
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Get the facts about hunger at HungerIsUNacceptable.com
For more info on our events, follow us on Twitter: @events4good
se events a success!
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join us for these upcoming events that raise awareness about hunger in Central Texas: 4TH ANNUAL CANSTRUCTION AUSTIN Barton Square Mall November 12 - 20
Easter Service at Austin Stone Raised more than 2,400 pounds of food.
Chef David Bull B’s Summer Food Service Program at El Buen Samaritano.
8th annual Austin Reggae Festival ore than $198,000 and 2,500 pounds of food.
Make a difference in the fight against hunger by joining us for CANstruction Austin, a charity event committed to ending hunger around the globe. Competing teams, led by local architects, engineers and builders showcase their talents by designing and building giant sculptures made entirely of canned foods. At the close of the canstruction exhibition, all of the food used in the structures is donated to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas to help nourish hungry Central Texans. So stop by and check out these gravity-defying structures!
15TH ANNUAL AUSTIN EMPTY BOWL PROJECT Marchesa Hall and Theatre Lincoln Village, 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd. More information: www.austinemptybowl.org Preview Party, Saturday, November 19 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Austin Empty Bowl Project, Sunday, November 20 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. One of Austin’s favorite family-friendly events, Empty Bowl has provided local potters, musicians and restaurants the opportunity to help hungry Central Texas children for over a decade. For $15 you can purchase locally hand-crafted bowl(s) filled with your pick of delicious soups and bread donated by local chefs. All proceeds are donated to the Capital Area Food Bank’s Kids Cafe program.
HOLIDAY LUMINATIONS Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center December 10 - 11 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Enjoy gardens lighted with more than 3,000 luminarias and 5,000 twinkle lights and to listen to music of the season. Admission is free with two canned food items for the Capital Area Food Bank. Be sure to see the beautifully decorated holiday trees in the McDermott Learning Center, sponsored by local community groups. Children can make decorations to take home in the Visitors Gallery. For a complete list of upcoming events, visit austinfoodbank.org/events
HOPE delivers healthy options Older adults rank among the largest groups of people in the United States at risk of hunger. The lack of proper nutrition among the elderly leaves them at risk for more serious health problems, both physical and emotional. Poor nutrition reduces their ability to fight off disease. Prescription drugs are less effective without a proper diet. For many older adults living on a fixed or limited income, their food budget is often under pressure as they cope with the increasing cost of rent, gas, food, utilities and medications. Without a consistent source of staple groceries, many older adults may struggle to maintain a healthy, balanced diet and could also be at risk of hunger. The Healthy Options Program for the Elderly, or HOPE, was started at the Capital Area Food Bank in an effort to curb hunger affecting our elderly neighbors. We partner with neighborhood centers, churches and other hunger relief agencies like Meals on Wheels and More, working together to provide nutritious food to the elderly in our community. HOPE clients receive a bag of groceries to supplement their diets. We provide items like high-protein peanut butter and canned meats, vegetables, cereal, pasta and soups. Fresh produce and personal hygiene products are also included when available. These items are sorted and packed by a team of volunteers. Currently more than 2,500 older adults receive supplemental food items each month. These are food and grocery products that elderly neighbors throughout our community may not otherwise afford. HOPE provides a reliable source of staple grocery items and good nutrition through an efficient and effective distribution method. For more information on the Healthy Options Program for the Elderly, visit www.austinfoodbank.org/how-we-help/hope.html
Thank you, St. Davidâ€™s Foundation, for your generous support of the HOPE program!
Help us help others Volunteers are essential to the Food Bank’s daily operations. We hosted more than 16,500 volunteers this past year, including individuals, corporate groups, student organizations and many others who contributed 88,400 hours of service. Volunteers inspect, sort and pack food in our warehouse for distribution, replenish the shelves at our food pantry, help with nutrition education outreach and serve food to families at our “Wheels of Sharing” Mobile Food Pantry distributions. In addition to hands-on volunteering at the Food Bank and at community events like the Austin Reggae Festival and the Austin Hot Sauce Festival, community members can become Food Bank Ambassadors. Ambassadors help the Food Bank engage the community by providing information at fairs, speaking engagements, events and other activities.
“In this age of non-stop electronic communication, it’s a refreshing change to connect face-to-face with people around such an important issue like hunger.”
- Jennie Trower, CAFB Ambassador
For more information on volunteer opportunities at CAFB, visit www.austinfoodbank.org/how-to-help/volunteer.html
Meet Jerry Jerry has been volunteering at the South Austin Neighborhood Center for about seven months. “At 74, what can I do?” he says. “I can pass out food, but I can’t do much else. I don’t have a good back. My legs ain’t too good. But I can pass out something. I can be of some use to somebody, and that’s why I volunteer.” “And I gotta get out of the house!” he laughs. Jerry and his wife volunteer every month during the Fresh Food for Families distribution, a unique program that provides low-income families with quality fruits, vegetables and other fresh foods, free of charge, on a regular basis. The South Austin Neighborhood Center feeds approximately 200 people during each distribution.
“I can be of use to somebody, and that’s why I volunteer.”
“There’s no reason to go hungry,” Jerry says. “With all the work the Food Bank does, all people have to do is get up and go!”
For more information on Fresh Food for Families and other food assistance programs, visit austinfoodbank.org/get-help
Our mission: to nourish hungry people and lead the community in ending hunger.
CAFB Board of Directors Matt Dow, Chairperson, Jackson Walker, L.L.P. Catherine P. Thompson, Treasurer, Motion Computing Michael J. Tomsu, Immediate Past Chairperson, Vinson & Elkins Vanessa Downey-Little, Secretary, City of Austin, Retired Melissa Anthony, AnthonyBarnum Public Relations Heidi Baschnagel, National Instruments John Cyrier, Sabre Commercial, Inc. Mark Downing, Silicon Laboratories Ken Gladish, Ph.D., Seton Foundations Deborah Kerr, Ph.D., Consultant
message from the President & CEO
The secret is out — a secret that many of us have known for a while. Central Texas is a great place to live and work and is growing fast. In fact, the population of Travis County alone has increased 20 percent in the last decade. This tremendous growth also explains why the Capital Area Food Bank has been called upon more than ever before to help our hungry neighbors and friends. The tough economic times have lingered, creating longer food lines as families struggle to get by, and for the many who live on a fixed or limited income, their food budget is being strained by increases in the cost of food, gas, utilities, and medications.
Melissa Mitchell, Ernst & Young David Montoya, University of Texas School of Law Joyce Mullen, Dell Sue Snyder Paula Soileau, Affintus Sheldy Starkes, MBA, PMP, Booker, Starkes & Patodia, Inc. Leslie Sweet, H-E-B
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Nine percent of the households the Food Bank serves have least one member aged 65 or older, and many seniors live on a fixed income. Sadly, our Hunger in America report published in 2010 discovered that more than a third of our older clients go for extended periods without food. That’s one reason why the Food Bank created our Healthy Options Program for the Elderly, or HOPE. We partner with neighborhood centers, churches, and other hunger relief agencies like Meals on Wheels and More, to provide nutritious food to the elderly in our community. As more and more of our community are getting older, there will likely be more and more need, and HOPE will continue to expand to meet that need. If you’d like to help ensure that hunger is something our older adults need not worry about, please consider making a donation today. It’s no secret that hunger is unacceptable. So let’s make hunger a thing of the past, and enable everyone in our community to thrive and prosper, whatever their age. I hope you will join us.
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HANK PERRET President & CEO
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The Capital Area Food Bank of Texas 8201 S. Congress Avenue Austin, Texas 78745