Austin, TX, June 5, 2023–The Central Texas Food Bank (CTFB) and Central Health & Sendero Health celebrated the launch of CTFB’s citywide summer meals program to ensure children will have access to nutritious food all summer long. In partnership with the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Food Bank’s Summer Food Service Program runs from June 5 through August 11 this year. Children ages 18 and younger can get free, nutritious breakfasts, lunches and snacks at 60 sites in the Austin area to ensure they have the nourishment they need to build bright futures.
Central Health is one of 14 partners at 60 sites throughout the Austin area that distribute the Food Bank’s summer meals. Sari Vatske, CTFB President & CEO and Central Health’s Perla Cavazos both shared remarks at today’s event; Senator Sarah Eckhardt, State Representative Lulu Flores, Councilmember José Velásquez and representatives from Mayor Watson’s Office and Judge Andy Brown’s Office were also in attendance. The Food Bank distributed 2,880 pounds of produce to families in attendance, including carrots, cabbage, squash, mango, lettuce, sweet potatoes, watermelons and limes. 150 kids’ meals and 100 adult meals were handed out to attendees during the event, which also included a family fun fair, resource fair, and COVID vaccinations.
"We're not just treating you; we're here to support you in making the healthiest choices possible throughout our life," Central Health's Perla Cavazos said. "Our focus right now is on creating a high-performing safety net healthcare system that works for Austin and Travis County. To make that happen, we need to take advantage of every opportunity to collaborate with other partners in the community."
Summer is one of the most challenging times for families with children facing food insecurity in Central Texas. Without access to free or reduced-price meals at school, 1 in 5 children in the Food Bank’s service territory will face hunger. The added costs of childcare and increased utility bills place a heavier strain on parents’ already stretched budgets.
“Collaboration is at the heart of our mission, so we’re happy to launch our summer meals program at Central Health today. Summer is an incredibly difficult time for many families across Central Texas. The Food Bank is committed to closing the meal gap so our children can access the nutritious food necessary to thrive this summer," CTFB President and CEO Sari Vatske said.
Today’s special kickoff event raises awareness for the summer meal program and the launch of CTFB’s campaign to raise critical summer funding and recruit volunteers needed to support summer programming efforts. More information on the Food Bank’s summer meal program can be found at centraltexasfoodbank.org/SFSP.
ABOUT THE CENTRAL TEXAS FOOD BANK
The mission of Central Texas Food Bank is to nourish hungry people and lead the community in the fight against hunger. Founded in 1981, the Food Bank provides food and grocery products through a network of nearly 300 Partner Agencies and nutrition programs, serving nearly 46,000 people every week. Headquartered in Austin, the Food Bank serves 21 counties in Central Texas, an area about twice the size of Massachusetts. For more information on the Food Bank and its programs, visit centraltexasfoodbank.org.
ABOUT CENTRAL HEALTH
Created by voters in 2004 as Travis County's hospital district, Central Health's mission is to improve the health of the community by caring for those who need it most. We are empowering communities by building a high-performance safety-net healthcare system. Central Health serves about one in nine Travis County residents. The Central Health system's core objective is to provide high quality, equitable healthcare for Travis County residents with low income.
Photos from the event can be found here.