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AUSTIN – August 24, 2015 – Today the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas is announcing a major milestone in its Campaign for a Hunger-Free Community: it’s more than 90 percent of the way to meeting its goal of raising $22.5 million to build the new 135,000 square foot facility capable of distributing up to 60 million pounds of food per year–doubling its current amount of food distributed. Through major gifts and grants from individuals, corporations and organizations, the Food Bank now only has $1.8 million left to raise to meet the $500,000 Mabee Foundation Challenge Grant it was awarded earlier this year to build the facility.
On April 1, the City of Austin declared it ‘April Food Day’ as the Food Bank broke ground on the new facility. The Food Bank announced the public phase of the campaign to raise the remaining funds needed to build the new facility in October 2014 and expects to open the facility for operation in the summer of 2016. If the Food Bank does not raise the funds in its entirety it will not receive the $500,000 Mabee Foundation Challenge Grant.
“We have been incredibly fortunate to receive the support of individuals, businesses and organizations throughout Texas since we announced our plan to build the new facility, which will change the way we fight hunger in Central Texas,” said Hank Perret, President and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank. “We have less than $1.8 million left to raise to meet the $500,000 Mabee Foundation Challenge Grant. Every dollar helps us get closer to the final goal, which is to make Central Texas a hunger-free community.”
The current 60,000 square foot Capital Area Food Bank facility was built in 1997, and designed for a city of half a million people. Now in 2015, more than a million people live in the Austin area, the Food Bank serves a 21-county region, and the percentage of Central Texans who are hungry, or at risk of hunger, is growing at nearly double the rate of the overall population.
Features of the new facility:
- More than double the square footage of the current facility.
- Capable of distributing up to 60 million pounds of food per year.
- Double the warehouse space for shelf-stable foods.
- Five times the refrigeration and freezer capacity – nearly 30 percent of the food distributed by the Food Bank in 2014 was fresh, nutritious produce.
- A commercial production kitchen to cook meals and freeze produce, reducing food waste.
- 15 loading docks, compared to the current facility’s two loading docks.
Who is hungry in Central Texas?
- Your neighbors: 1 in 6 people in our community is hungry or at risk of hunger.
- Our kids: 1 in 4 local children don’t know the next time they’ll have a nutritious meal.
- The most vulnerable: 40 percent of the people the Food Bank serves are children or elderly.
- People who work: There is at least one employed adult in two-thirds of the households the Food Bank serves.
- People with homes: 93 percent of the people the Food Bank serves are not homeless.
- The percentage of Central Texans who are hungry, or at risk of hunger, is growing at nearly double the growth rate of the overall population.
For more information on the Campaign for a Hunger-Free Community, including ways to contribute, visit http://www.austinfoodbank.org/campaign.
About the 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 nearly 46,000 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 http://www.austinfoodbank.org.