From Central Texas Food Bank, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:
As the largest hunger relief agency in the region, the Central Texas Food Bank provides food and grocery products through a network of about 300 partner food pantries and soup kitchens and its own fleet of mobile food pantries. Though headquartered in Austin, the Food Bank serves nearly 46,000 people every week throughout 21 counties in Central Texas—an area about twice the size of Massachusetts.
During times of crisis, the Food Bank also serves as an emergency responder, providing hunger relief after the Bastrop fires, Hurricane Harvey, the federal government shutdown and—most recently—the coronavirus pandemic.
Through social services programs and education courses in nutrition, gardening and culinary skills, we also help those in need access nutritious food, gain useful life skills and pursue healthy eating habits.
The Need is Huge
We believe that all Central Texans should have access to the nutritious food necessary to achieve their full potential. However, 1 in 7 food insecure Central Texans (1 in 5 kids) face impossible choices and have to make painful sacrifices that often prevent them from accessing healthy, nutritious food. As a result, many turn to the Food Bank for help in emergencies or as part of their regular meal planning.
During crises, the Food Bank sees even more demand for its services and often has to change its operations to adapt to rapidly changing events. This requires more monetary and volunteer assistance from the public.
Volunteer Opportunities and How You Can Get Involved
The Food Bank couldn’t do what they do without the dedicated volunteers who help in our warehouse to prepare food donations for distribution, assist with delivering food at a Mobile Food Pantry, or lend a hand in our kitchen, garden or offices. Visit centraltexasfoodbank.org/volunteer to check out the opportunities.
There are weekday, evening and weekend opportunities—perfect for individuals and groups.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the Food Bank has taken extra measures to ensure sanitation and social distancing, to make the volunteer experience as safe as possible.
And if volunteering doesn’t fit your schedule or capabilities, please consider the option of doing a virtual food drive (VFD) to help raise money online. Funds raised through a VFD are flexible – the Food Bank can put your dollars toward the area of greatest need, which helps us prepare for and respond to evolving situations like COVID-19.