The Capital Area Food Bank of Texas has taken another step in leading the way to a healthier community by implementing a tobacco-free campus policy at its facility on South Congress Avenue in Austin. The move makes the Food Bank one of the largest non-profit organizations in Central Texas to adopt such a policy and extends its long-standing commitment to the well-being of Central Texans by eliminating a significant potential risk to the health of its employees, volunteers and visitors.
To become a tobacco-free campus, beginning on September 1, all Food Bank owned property, grounds and vehicles officially became tobacco-free zones. Food Bank leaders worked with the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department (HHSD) to implement the program, which bans the use of all forms of tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes. And while the policy does not mandate that employees quit using tobacco, the Food Bank has teamed up with the Seton Tobacco Education Resource Center to offer free tobacco education and cessation classes to help employees who do wish to quit.
“The Food Bank is dedicated to providing a healthy, comfortable, and productive work environment,” said Hank Perret, President and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. “Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States. It is not only harmful for the person using the product, but also for nonsmokers and other people in the environment. This tobacco-free policy, coupled with the cessation resources we are offering to employees, will support those who are trying to quit and protect all from exposure to second-hand smoke.”
The Food Bank employs 80 full-time staff and hosts nearly 19,000 volunteers annually at its South Austin facility.
About Capital Area Food Bank of Texas: The mission of Capital Area Food Bank of Texas (CAFB) is to nourish hungry people and lead the community in ending hunger. Founded in 1981, CAFB provides food and grocery products through a network of 300 Partner Agencies and nutrition programs, serving 48,000 people every week. Headquartered in Austin, CAFB serves 21 counties in Central Texas, an area about twice the size of Massachusetts. For more information on CAFB and its programs, visit www.austinfoodbank.org.