We are thankful to live in such a fabulous place. How can we make sure it stays that way? We’ll be bringing you ideas on how you can help our fellow Austinites all year long in our Give Back series.
What’s the most basic of human needs? Food. It’s so easy to take for granted that we often have food in our fridge and our tummies are full, but not everyone is so lucky. How can you help? Here are some organizations working to end hunger in Austin:
CAFB is the largest hunger relief organization in Central Texas. Its programs include:
- Fresh Food For Families, free monthly distributions of fruits, vegetables and other fresh foods to low-income families.
- Healthy Options Program for the Elderly, free monthly distributions of healthy, shelf-stable foods for low-income seniors age 55 or older.
- Kids Cafe, a partnership between the Food Bank and after-school programs to provide nutritious meals afterschool to low-income children.
- Summer Food Service Program, which provides nutritious lunches and snacks to children of low-income families.
- BackPack, a weekly program to provide low-income families with bags of healthy, non-perishable meals that low-income families can eat during the weekend.
- Mobile Food Pantry, a network of locations in the community stocked with basic staples, fruits and vegetables.
- CHOICES Nutrition Education, classes that help people eligible for SNAP (food stamps) make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose active lifestyles.
- Disaster Relief, to direct food and water assistance to affected areas.
- Regional Food Delivery, to supply fresh and packaged food to a network of over 100 agencies in over 20 nearby counties.
- Food Rescue, to collect food that would be otherwise discarded from grocery stores and farms and distribute it to low-income families.
Ways to Give:
- It’s great to give to your local canned food drive, but did you realize that every dollar donated to the food bank can buy 6 meals? Food banks can save by purchasing exactly what they need in bulk, so every dollar donated goes a long way. Donate here.
- Volunteers are most needed during the summer months, because children to not have access to free and reduced-price lunches and cooling costs rise. Youth volunteers ages 8-17 can help sort donations in the warehouse in South Austin must be accompanied by an adult. The Food Bank does not allow volunteers younger than 8 years old. Morning and afternoon shifts are available to youth volunteers Monday through Saturday. The first Tuesday of the month is youth and family night. These shifts do fill up quickly, so you may need to reserve your spot months in advance.
- You can also organize a canned food drive at your school, place of worship or business. CAFB can supply you with foldable cardboard food drive boxes. If you collect at least 300 pounds of food, the Food Bank will pick up the donation. Learn more about how to host a food drive here.
- Work with your family to advocate for hunger-ending policies.
Here are some other organizations working in Central Texas to end hunger: