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.
It uses an integrated, full-circle approach to meal preparation and job training that allows us to serve healthier food more efficiently while providing training to improve employment options and reduce problems that lead to hunger. In 2018 the kitchen produced more than 169,585 meals and 28,000 snacks for summer and after school programming
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The Food Bank garden pairs food production for hunger relief with educational programming to promote healthy food choices and physically active lifestyles.
This year, the garden grew 36 different crops and harvested 7,534 pounds of fresh produce that was distributed to food insecure clients. We also continued our adult gardening classes, teaching community members how to grow and harvest their own food to supplement their diet, and piloted a new summer gardening field trip for kids receiving SFSP meals.
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 1.3 million pounds of fresh produce to an average of 11,882 clients each month across 25 sites..
Healthy Options Program for the Elderly
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.
Last year, the HOPE program distributed more than 919,447 pounds of non-perishable food through 27 sites to an average of 4,207 low-income seniors each month.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program
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.
The Central Texas Food Bank launched CSFP in 2017. In 2018, CSFP distributed more than 27,000 grocery boxes, totaling more than 831,810 pounds of food, to seniors across 45 sites. Every box includes 25-30 pounds of staples including cereals, juices, proteins, milk, grain, cheese, and canned fruits and vegetables.
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 feeds hundreds of Central Texas children each day. In 2018, the program served more than 134,500 nutritious after-school meals to children at 51 Kids Cafe® sites across Travis, Williamson, Hays and Bastrop counties.
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.
SFSP is a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2018, the Central Texas Food Bank served nearly 73,000 nutritious meals and more than 28,000 healthy snacks to children at 86 sites across Central Texas.
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 program provided more than 30,000 weekend BackPacks to children at 35 sites during the school year and more than 14,000 BackPacks at 60 sites over the summer. Our BackPacks ensure kids have the nutrition they need over the weekend.
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 program provided more than 3.1 million pounds of staple foods, fresh produce and meats to an average of 16,216 individuals per month.
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 2017-2018, the CHOICES program conducted 529 nutrition education classes and cooking demonstrations, reaching nearly 3,500 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. Read about how we responded to disasters in Onion Creek, West and Bastrop, and for Hurricanes Sandy and Ike.
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.
The Social Services team submitted more than 2,100 SNAP (food stamps) applications, resulting in more than 2 million meals provided to individuals.