Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The pandemic situation is evolving rapidly, but the Central Texas Food Bank has a long history of responding to emergencies and disasters. We are closely monitoring news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and from state and local agencies regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its potential spread and weighing appropriate options for several possible scenarios that could play out.

The best way for the general public to help right now is to make a donation.

The Central Texas Food Bank provides vital relief for our 21 county service area, through more than 250 partner agencies and direct programs. As a food handling organization, the Central Texas Food Bank always takes precautions to combat the spread of germs. Our protocols are now even more stringent as we continue to focus keenly on food safety and sanitation in order to reduce risks.

We are experiencing a dramatic increase in need for our services as more people are impacted by shutdowns and work stoppages.  We are working hard to convert our distribution model to emergency food boxes only while distributing food in drive-through settings wherever it is safe and practical to do so.

Our Volunteer Model is Adapting

The Central Texas Food Bank is a lifeline for thousands of families needing food assistance, as such the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and clients remain our top priority. All volunteers will be required to follow COVID protocols recommended by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), social distancing and wearing a mask, until further notice. 

We still need volunteers. Because we are providing an essential service in this time of need, the Food Bank is exempt from orders restricting the size of community gatherings. However, we’ve adjusted our volunteer shifts to include fewer people so we can maximize social distancing and we’re taking even more sanitary precautions than usual to minimize risks. We have even implemented a touch-free volunteer check-in system.

If you’re healthy and not in a high-risk group, please consider helping out. Volunteers must sign up online prior to showing up to help out. Click here to volunteer.

Additional precautionary hygiene measures and contingencies are in place to maintain the health and wellness of our volunteer workforce as well as those that receive our food.

If you'd like to help from home, 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. Find tips and templates in our Virtual Food Drive Toolkit here.

Community Support

We’re grateful to the support we’re seeing in the community, including H-E-B, who recently donated a truckload of food to us as part of their statewide pandemic response. Click here to read the press release. 

Do you or someone you know need help accessing food or benefits assistance? Our staff can help connect you to available resources. Click here for more information.

Our Work Continues

For the Food Bank, the safety of our employees, volunteers and those we serve is a top priority. We pride ourselves in providing essential services to our neighbors in need and our goal is always to provide food to the neighbors that need it most. We know that disruptions from work or school can cause strain on low-income families, making our services that much more critical.

Check out our news page to learn more about how our caring community is coming together.

To our employees, volunteers, partners and supporters in the community:

  • All staff, volunteers, vendors and visitors are required to wear a mask on-site at the Central Texas Food Bank and at all food distributions.
  • If you feel ill, stay home and avoid exposing others
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands)

We are committed to serving our Central Texas community.

We remain open and our work continues. We will regularly monitor for additional guidance and guidelines and will provide regular updates to the public. Should things change we will alert volunteer groups, post on social media and add information to our website, www.centraltexasfoodbank.org

For additional information and resources please visit the CDC website or call the Texas Department of State Health Services hotline: 1-877-570-9779 with hours: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Thank you for your continued support of the Food Bank. As we serve those in need in our community, we look forward to working with you.