Throughout Hunger Action Month in September, the Central Texas Food Bank is teaming up with Feeding America, a network of nationwide food banks, in an effort to fight hunger. Hunger Action Month is designed to raise awareness of food insecurity in America — the USDA found that 41 million Americans, including nearly 13 million children, are food insecure — and to inspire people to take action.
Right here in Central Texas, an area with so many outward signs of affluence, nearly 440,000 people are faced with hunger and may not know where they’ll find their next meal. That number includes one in five Central Texas kids who struggle with food insecurity.
The Food Bank and our partner agencies lead the charge in the battle against hunger in Central Texas, covering a 21-county service area twice the size of Massachusetts. Despite distributing nearly 47 million pounds of food last year, we’re still falling short of demand by about 25 percent, according to Feeding America’s annual “Map the Meal Gap” survey.
It’s important that all of our neighbors have access to enough healthy food to reach their full potential — especially our children, who cannot grow, succeed or learn on empty stomachs.
But we can’t win the fight against this public health crisis without your help. That’s where Hunger Action Month comes in. Simply put, the Food Bank needs your help so we can help those in need.
So, what can you do to make a difference?
The quickest and easiest way to have an impact is to make a donation. The Food Bank can turn each donated dollar into four meals. So a contribution of just $50 can provide 200 meals! And with our four-star Charity Navigator rating, you can rest assured that we’ll use your gift wisely.
You can also conduct a “Virtual Food Drive” by collecting monetary donations online. It’s easy and a great way to set up a competition among friends, teams or groups. Challenge each other to see who can raise the most to fight hunger in Central Texas.
Another great way to make a difference is by volunteering. Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Food Bank. They bring our mission to life. There are weekday, evening and weekend volunteer opportunities that are perfect for individuals and groups. Our volunteers help prepare food donations for distribution, deliver food at mobile food pantries and lend a hand in our kitchen or garden.
And make plans to join us on September 5 for our annual Hunger Heroes dinner, which celebrates the Food Bank’s partners working to end hunger. 2019 James Beard Award finalist, Chef Kevin Fink of Emmer & Rye, will create a special menu for the event and serve it in the Food Bank’s warehouse. Thank you for your support of the Central Texas Food Bank.
By Derrick Chubbs, President and CEO of Central Texas Food Bank