Our 4,200-square foot kitchen gives us the ability to offer scratch on-site meal preparation for multiple programs, culinary job training, and volunteer opportunities for individuals and organizations.
Our Culinary Education Training Program uses an integrated, full-circle approach to meal preparation and job training to improve employment options and reduce problems that lead to hunger. Last year the Food Bank taught 2 Culinary Education Training Program series. Following graduation, 75% of students found a job.
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The Food Bank garden pairs food production for hunger relief with educational programming. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, classes transitioned from in-person to a virtual format.
Last year the garden conducted 35 gardening classes reaching 469. It also produced 14,762 pounds of organic produce to be distributed to clients through our programs.
Focusing on specific public policy priorities, we inform decision makers at every level of government about hunger in their community and their role in ending hunger. For a real and lasting impact in the fight against hunger, we need your voice.Learn more about ways to take action on our Advocacy page.
Fresh Food For Families
Fresh Food For Families provides free monthly distributions of fruits, vegetables and other fresh foods to low-income families. These distributions supplement existing grocery budgets with much-needed nutritious foods.
Last year, the Fresh Food for Families program provided more than 900,000 pounds of fresh produce to an average of 6,877 individuals each month across 18 partner sites.
Healthy Options Program for the Elderly and Commodity Supplemental Food Program
The mission of the Healthy Options for the Elderly (HOPE) is to reduce hunger among low-income seniors age 55 or older by providing them with free monthly distributions of healthy, shelf-stable foods. Each month, HOPE clients receive a 15- to 20-pound bag of non-perishable groceries as nutritious additions to their existing diets. Items include canned fruits and vegetables, canned protein, cereal and pasta.
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) provides each participating low-income senior age 60 or older with a free monthly box groceries. Every box includes 25-30 pounds of staples including cereals, juices, proteins, milk, grain, cheese, and canned fruits and vegetables.
Last year, HOPE and CSFP distributed more than 1.8 million pounds of food at 80 HOPE and CSFP sites to an average of 6,245 seniors each month.
Kids Cafe serves as a direct partnership between the Food Bank and existing after-school programs to provide nutritious meals to low-income children who may not otherwise have access to healthy and balanced nutrition outside of school.
Kids Cafes are safe, nurturing places where neighborhood children can go after school to receive a free meal and participate in programs such as homework assistance, physical activities and more.
An official program of Feeding America, Kids Cafe provided more than 80,000 nutritious after-school meals to children at 49 sites across Central Texas. Last year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kids Cafe® transitioned to distributing weekly meal packs.
Summer Food Service Program
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides nutritious lunches and snacks to children of low-income families who lack a dependable source of nutritious meals during summer breaks.
Last year, In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SFSP transitioned to distributing weekly meal packs. Last summer we provided nearly 83,000 summer meals to children at 12 sites.
BackPack is designed to meet weekend meal needs for children in low-income families. At the end of each week, participating children receive bags of healthy, nutritious, non-perishable meals that they take home with them and eat during the weekend. Each BackPack contains approximately four meals.
Last year the Food Bank provided more than 15,000 weekend BackPacks to children at 37 sites during the school year.
Mobile Food Pantry
By taking the food directly to clients, our mobile food pantries fill geographic and service gaps in emergency food assistance by providing Central Texans in need with basic staples, fruits and vegetables, and frozen foods where local food assistance services cannot keep up with demand.
Mobile Pantry provided more than 8.6 million pounds of nutritious food to an average of 12,367 households per month, including 45 mass distributions held in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CHOICES Nutrition Education
CHOICES is a nutrition education program that helps individuals and families make smart choices at mealtime. The classes help people eligible for SNAP (food stamps) make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose active lifestyles. All classes are free and open to qualified individuals.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, classes transitioned from in-person to a virtual format. In 2020, the CHOICES program conducted more than 246 nutrition education classes and cooking demonstrations, reaching more than 2,416 individuals.
When the unthinkable happens, the Food Bank is prepared to respond. We work with Feeding America, the American Red Cross, federal and state agencies and other partners to provide direct food and water assistance, transportation of emergency supplies to affected areas and more.
In addition to meeting increased demand through Partner Agencies and programs, we conducted several special disaster distributions that together provided over 743,000 pounds of food.
For example, in partnership with Capital Metro, the Help at Home Kits program provided more than 2,000 households in Travis County with over 283,000 pounds of food delivered directly to their door.
Eat Apart Together, another special partnership with the City of Austin and other area organizations, provided more than 193,000 pounds of food to people experiencing homelessness across the city.
Regional Food Delivery
Our regional food delivery program delivers fresh and packaged foods to centrally-located drop sites in outlying areas that are easily accessible for more remote Partner Agencies serving rural populations.
Regional food delivery allows Partner Agencies to focus more of their time and resources on the populations they serve, allowing them to provide a larger variety of nutritious food. All food that is distributed to agencies outside Travis County, excluding Food Bank direct distribution, is delivered through regional food delivery.
Regional food delivery operates five days a week, delivering items to roughly 260 Food Bank Partner Agencies in our 21 county service area.
The Food Bank collects millions of pounds of wholesome, nutritious food—food that would otherwise be discarded—from local and national grocery store chains, manufacturers, distributors and farms and distributes it to low-income families.
Last year, our food rescue efforts kept nearly 19 million pounds of food from ending up in landfills.
Agency Retail Pickup
Agency retail pickup is one of the many ways we’re working to reduce food waste and ensure the families we serve have access to the fresh, healthy foods they need to thrive. This initiative saves time and resources by empowering Partner Agencies to pick up food donations directly from retailers near them.
In addition to providing affordable food and services, we work closely with the dedicated folks who run the roughly 260 Partner Agencies we work with, to help them maximize their impact in the community.
We bring more than three decades of experience and hunger-fighting expertise and offer capacity building grants, funding advancements like additional cold storage space to help agencies provide more fresh, healthy food to their neighbors in need.
Social Services and Education
The Social Services team provides one-on-one application assistance to individuals who may qualify for federal nutrition programs and other benefits that will help stabilize their lives.
Last year, the Social Services team submitted more than 1,629 SNAP (food stamp) applications, resulting in more than 1.5 million meals provided to individuals.