CAFB Board of Directors Mike Tomsu, Chair Vinson & Elkins LLP
Kenneth Gladish, Ph.D. Seton Foundations
Heidi Baschnagel, Vice Chair National Instruments Corporation
Terry G. Knighton
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, Intersil Corporation Mohamed el-Hamdi, Ph.D. Samsung Austin Semiconductor, LLP
Joyce Mullen Dell, Inc.
Laurie Rice 3M John Sanchez Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Sheldy Starkes, MBA, PMP Booker, Starkes & Patodia, Inc.
Home of the Brave
Leslie Sweet HEB Grocery Company, LP
Hunger impacts veterans and their families. You can help.
Catherine P. Thompson Motion Computing, Inc.
Hunger, First Hand
Jason Thurman PlainsCapital Bank
After turning to a food pantry in their time of need, this Taylor, TX family gives back.
Mark J. Williams
Feedback? Questions, comments, suggestions? Change of address? Receiving duplicate copies. Email: email@example.com Read it online Download & subscribe to CAFB publications at austinfoodbank.org Subscribe to our blog blog.austinfoodbank.org Our Mission: To nourish hungry people and lead the community in ending hunger.
Your gift means twice as much this holiday season.
When I read or hear a story like Sylvia’s, it really brings home for me what local struggling families are facing, not just this holiday season, but every day. Without help, the challenges faced by these families can seem overwhelming, but no one’s holidays should be hungry. Distributing food to soup kitchens and food pantries lets us be a helping hand for these families right in their own communities. The holiday season is supposed to be full of joy and it should be a special time of year for all of us to come together, either as families or as a community. The food we distribute helps spread a little joy for families like Sylvia’s. This is the time of year when we reflect on the ways we give back to our community, and you’ve given back a lot. Meals are gifts that change people’s lives, and your support will allow the Food Bank to distribute more than 20 million meals this year. As a veteran, Sylvia’s story is close to my heart. During the time I served, I can’t recall my fellow enlistees needing to access food to make ends meet but times and economic situations change. The men and women in our military today make this country a safer place for all of us to live and to see uniformed soldiers in line at one of our food pantries is just not acceptable and as a nation, we should be ashamed. With your continued support, all the families we serve will have happy, healthy, hunger-free holidays.
‘Tis the Season This holiday season, you can make a difference in the lives of people experiencing hunger.
Hank Perret President & CEO
$1 = $2, thanks to the Beaumont Foundation matching gift challenge. Rise to the challenge. Visit austinfoodbank.org/donate to learn more.
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Your gift has double the impact this holiday season. Details inside.
The Home of the Brave
On a sunny Saturday morning, downtown Killeen is peaceful and quiet, with few locals out and about at 8 a.m. At the corner of Avenue C and 8th Street, a line is already wrapping around the corner in front of an electronics store. Outside, almost thirty families are waiting for the pantry at the Capital Area Food Bank’s partner agency Operation Once in a Lifetime to open at 10 a.m. Patiently waiting in line at Operation
Once in a Lifetime is Sylvia, army wife and mother of three. Smiling, she tells how the army has given the couple from San Antonio an opportunity to live around the world, including in Korea and Germany. “You get to see different cultures, the way they live. It’s awesome,” she said. After years of having to pick up and move, often times at the drop of a hat, Sylvia is delighted to be in her home state. However, some things continue to be
“They think ‘if I can protect my country, why can’t I feed my family?’” -Sylvia, army wife & mother of three 2
Order your Holiday Cards! This holiday season, let us mark one thing off your list with CAFB Holiday Cards! Let your family, friends, and neighbors know you’ve made a donation on their behalf and spread the spirit of generosity to your loved ones this year. To order, call Elizabeth Davies at (512) 684-2552 or email edavies@ austinfoodbank.org. Suggested donation: $3 per card.
complicated. With two teenagers and a young daughter, their budget is tight with only one income. “My husband and I, if our truck breaks down, we might not have enough for groceries,” she explains. In times like these, Sylvia reaches out for help at Operation Once in a Lifetime, a new food pantry based in downtown Killeen. Sylvia’s family is hardly alone. Killeen is a community approximately 70 miles north of Austin and the home to many military families based at Fort Hood, the largest military installation in the United States. “We’re serving thousands of soldiers, veterans and their families,” explains John Valentine, director of Operation Once in a Lifetime. “Our partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank has been tremendous, without their assistance and their help, we wouldn’t be able to help as many people as we want to. We wouldn’t be successful,” Valentine continued. Operation Once in a Lifetime is one of 300 partner agencies across 21 counties that receives food and support from the
Capital Area Food Bank, helping the Food Bank reach people in need across the region. Over ten percent of the Capital Area Food Bank’s Partner Agencies are based in Killeen, making it one of the largest concentrations of partners outside of the Austin Metro area. Despite the immense efforts in Killeen to meet the needs of military families, the demand is still growing. Food insecurity is a persistent issue for military families, one that is often not addressed. According to the 2010 Census, some 1.5 million households with a veteran were receiving SNAP benefits (food stamps). However, many veterans feel the pain of stigma about asking for assistance. “They think if I can protect my country, why can’t I feed my family?” explained Sylvia. As the wife of an accomplished soldier, she understands the struggle. She imagines the stress if Operation Once in a Lifetime was not there to help families like hers. “It would be so hard on a lot of soldiers. A lot of them struggle,” she said.
“If we are going to help this community, we will need the support of the Capital Area Food Bank now more than ever,” he explained. As the holidays quickly approach, he is making plans on how to help families make the best memories around the dinner table by preparing a special event to distribute turkeys for Thanksgiving. “These are our friends, our neighbors in our community. If we don’t help them, who will?” said Valentine.
Families struggle with more than the emotional stress of knowing their family member is in danger. Children worry about their parents’ welfare when they are deployed and whether they will see them again. “It is harder on the children than the military wives. They worry if they will see daddy again” said Sylvia, remembering her own experience. The strain on family finances is that much more when a loved one is deployed. The family left behind many times must struggle to make ends meet. “When your husband is deployed, sometimes it is hard to make it from paycheck to paycheck,” explained Valentine. While many troops are returning home from abroad, Operation Once in a Lifetime does not anticipate an end to the demand for their services. “Since we opened, the number of people we serve has doubled” said Valentine. The growth has far exceeded his expectations but he knows that even a little bit of help goes a long way for families like Sylvia’s
‘Tis the season to help the hungry. Visit our website, austinfoodbank.org, to learn how you can help. 3
UPCOMING EVENTS CANstruction Barton Creek Square Mall Nov. 9-16
Competing teams led by Austin-area architects, engineers, builders and students showcase their talents by designing and building giant sculptures made entirely of canned foods. These amazing sculptures will be on display at Barton Creek Square Mall from Nov. 9-16. At the close of the CANstruction exhibition, all of the food used in the structures is donated to the Food Bank. For more information, visit austinfoodbank.org/canstruction.
Austin Empty Bowl Project Marchesa Hall and Theatre in Lincoln Village Nov. 24, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Select hand-crafted bowls created by local potters and students and fill them with your choice of gourmet soups provided by local chefs. Then grab a seat, and share a meal with a couple thousand of your neighbors while enjoying live music. For more information, visit austinfoodbank.org/events.
A Legacy of Giving Day of Service Capital Area Food Bank of Texas Nov. 26
Thirty-six schools across Central Texas will collect canned food items during the fall semester and come to the Food Bank for their “Day of Service.” At the event, student ambassadors from all participating schools will gather together to deliver their collections of donations to the Food Bank.
Austin Holiday Sing Along & Downtown Stroll Texas State Capitol Dec. 7, 6-9 p.m.
This free family-friendly event begins with community caroling at the Capitol grounds. When the caroling ends, the holiday tree in front of the Capitol is lit and participants stroll down Congress Avenue where they find the street alive with music, art, shopping and more. Canned food and monetary donations will be accepted for the Food Bank.
THANK YOU FOR FIGHTING HUNGER IN CENTRAL TEXAS! 1. Hewlett Packard Volunteers A team of Hewlett Packard employees sorted 11,910 pounds of frozen food during a Product Recovery volunteer shift. 2. Grande Communications Grande Communications staff donated $1,300 to support Food Bank efforts to fight hunger. 3. Kerbey Lane Volunteers Kerbey Lane employees volunteered in Product Recovery after their campaign to raise food and funds for the Food Bank. 4. HEB Help End Hunger HEB and Central Market Customers helped raise $111,000 for the Food Bank during the 5th annual Help End Hunger Campaign. 5-8. Hot Sauce Fest The 23rd annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival raised 16,881 pounds of food and $13,423 for the Food Bank. Thank you to all the event and raffle sponsors! 9. Rotary Club Check Presentation Austin University Rotary Club donated $5,000 from their annual golf tournament. 10 & 14. Pedernales Electric Cooperative Food drive hosted by the employees of Pedernales Electric Cooperative raised 10,047 pounds of food and $1,187 11.Wheatsville Volunteers Wheatsville employees volunteered at the first ever Food Bank Noche de Voluntario and won some fabulous door prizes donated by Latino 102.7FM. 12. BE KIND Film Screening and Food Drive Sponsored by KIND Healthy Snacks, screening of “Hunger” raised donations of healthy food. 13. Real Ale Cans for Cans The 1st annual RealAle Brewery Cans for Cans event raised $238 and 1,162 pounds of food! 15. Land O’Lakes Donation Land O’Lakes donated 40,000 pounds of macaroni & cheese as part of a national initiative to alleviate hunger. 16. FedEx Volunteers Over fifty FedEx employees volunteered at the Food Bank as a part of United Way for Greater Austin’s annual Fall Day of Caring.
Hunger, First Hand
By Sarah Holman, Volunteer, Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry and Community Ministries It’s the fear of going hungry that drives people to the Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry every Saturday. Some have even known the feeling of missing a meal not by choice, and they fear it. They take the brown paper sacks my family has filled and hope the food inside will last a whole week. How do I know this? Because I used to be on the receiving end. Like so many others, my dad lost his job after the economic downturn in 2001. He was skilled and held a degree from Rice University, but he remained unemployed for the next two years. Dad applied for anything and
everything—even jobs bagging groceries and flipping burgers—but no one would hire him. It was hard for my mom and dad to swallow their pride and accept help, but they eventually joined the line at the local food pantry. Every week we got a box and had to figure out how to make meals from what was inside. Feeding a family of eight for a week on one box was a stretch, but we never missed a meal. It was sometimes close, but we never felt the physical pain of hunger. Eventually things got better. My dad found a job, and we were able to make ends meet
again. We no longer needed those boxes of food ourselves, but we wanted to help fill the need for others who were struggling like we had. We began volunteering as a family. Today, you can still find the Holman family in the Shepherd’s Heart supply room every Saturday. The eight of us work together assembly line style, filling bags with food for the people who stream through the doors. For my family, filling those bags isn’t a chore, an obligation or a duty; it is an honor. We know that, for every bag we fill, there is one person who will not be hungry this week. That feeling is worth all our work.
“For my family, filling those bags isn’t a chore, an obligation or a duty; it is an honor.” -Sarah Holman About Shepherd’s Heart Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry and Community Ministries is Partner Agency of the Capital Area Food Bank. Located at the corner of Ninth and Hackberry Streets in Taylor, Texas, in the Taylor Resource Center. The pantry has no paid staff, but a dedicated core of hard-working volunteers like the Holman family have made it possible to distribute more than 1 million pounds of food since January 2005.
Join the Holman family in the fight to end hunger. Visit austinfoodbank.org to get involved. 6
The Deserving Hungry
‘Tis the Season to Help the Hungry
By Kathy Green, Senior Director of Advocacy & Public Policy Who deserves to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP) and who doesn’t? Most would argue that our children and other vulnerable populations should receive it first. Hunger isn’t a character flaw; it is an economic condition. Our country is a land of equal opportunity, but unequal obstacles. A recent study of government data conducted for the Associated Press revealed rates of unemployment for the lowest-income families — those earning less than $20,000 — have topped 21 percent, nearly matching the rate for all workers during the Great Depression. Last year, the average length of unemployment for U.S. workers reached 39.5 weeks (about nine months), the highest level since World War II. The U.S. House of Representatives just voted to kick people off of SNAP if they can’t find a job in only one-third that time. A single mother without consistent access to transportation or child care—despite her ability or determination—has a lesser chance of keeping that decent job than someone with a car and a babysitter. That recent college graduate may have landed his first job, but between student loan debt and other bills, he may not be able to afford food all the time. A 58-year-old factory worker may have been laid off three months ago, and despite his best efforts, no one wants to hire an older worker with outdated skills. The result of Central Texans not having access to jobs or at least a decent paying job plays out in our hunger line or even worse, suffering in silence without enough food at all. This is the reality of our population receiving SNAP: people who are doing what they can to make it and aren’t. SNAP is keeping them afloat and in many cases, keeping them out of poverty. SNAP puts food on their table so they can actually pay that bill that’s four months overdue or afford their medication. Congress repeatedly makes efforts to cut SNAP by picking and choosing who deserves it and who doesn’t. Rather than take into account the economic circumstances that trump a person’s ability to mitigate those circumstances for why they need nutritional help, Congress votes on assumptions and anecdotes. The result is many more of our Central Texas neighbors in poverty. Instead of targeting people, let’s target those obstacles that prevent people from accessing the American dream.
The holiday season is especially hard for families experiencing hunger. But with the generosity of the Beaumont Foundation, you can make all the difference. The Beaumont Foundation has issued a special challenge to supporters of the Food Bank: from now until Dec. 31, they will match every dollar you give, up to $100,000. That means your gift will have twice the impact! Your gift will mean families like Kenyatta’s will have happy holidays, not hungry holidays. Kenyatta and her husband are hardworking parents to their daughters, ages 19-years-old to 10 months. Kenyatta is even going back to school part-time to study nursing in hopes of creating a better future for their family. Still times are tough and sometimes they need extra help to make sure their daughters grow to be healthy and strong. Because of your support she can get healthy food for the whole family at our Partner Agency Gateway’s Feeding the Community Pantry. “Thank you for showing love,” says Kenyatta. “You’re really helping my family, probably more than you know” she said. Memories that last a lifetime are made at the dinner table as they share a meal and celebrate. No one should ever go hungry – especially during the holidays. You will bring joy to our hungry neighbors and make the season bright for the thousands of Central Texas families. You can change the future for a family like Kenyatta’s. Will you make the most generous gift possible today? Thanks to the Beaumont Foundation’s generous matching challenge, every gift you make until Dec. 31 will double! You can make a difference this holiday season. Thank you for putting food on the table for hungry Central Texans.
Match my gift! $1 = $2 Visit austinfoodbank.org/donate to give now! 7