Monthly food distribution program is part of ongoing partnership with Feeding America® and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
AUSTIN and WACO – August 30, 2018 – The Central Texas Food Bank, a member of Feeding America, has partnered with the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System to implement its third mobile food pantry site specifically for veterans. The new food distribution site is located at the Doris Miller Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Waco, Texas, and will take place on the first Wednesday of each month from 9:00-11:00 A.M.
This further expansion of the Food Bank’s mobile pantry service for veterans is part of the Veterans Pantry Pilot (VPP) program from Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The program provides food assistance to veterans onsite at VA Medical Centers.
By taking food directly to clients, the Food Bank’s mobile food pantries fill geographic and service gaps in food assistance by providing those in need with basic staples, fruits and vegetables. Last year, the Central Texas Food Bank’s mobile pantry program provided a total of 2,655,276 pounds of food to 55,609 households throughout its 21 county service area.
Nationally, 20 percent of the households supported by Feeding America have a member who is a veteran or has served in the U.S. military. An estimated 25 percent of households served by the Central Texas Food Bank report that someone in their household has served in the US Armed Forces or as a member of the military Reserve or National Guard.
“We are happy to be able to further expand our services so we can serve even more of America’s veterans,” said Derrick Chubbs, President & CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank. “We’re honored to be able to give back to those who have given so much to this country. Thanks to Feeding America and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for helping us establish our third mobile food pantry specifically for veterans.”
The Feeding America network of 200 food banks provides food assistance to every county in the U.S. Through VPP, local food banks will partner with VA Medical Centers to establish onsite pantries, if space allows, or coordinate mobile pantry distributions.
Feeding America has been coordinating with the VA since 2016 to develop and advance the VPP. The Central Texas Food Bank’s first VPP mobile pantry food distribution began at the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System’s Austin VA Outpatient Clinic in August of 2017 and its second began operations at the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System’s Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center in Temple in December of 2017. The Food Bank is now serving an average of 464 people each month at the Austin VA (92% of those are veteran households) and an average of 563 people each month at the Temple VA (96% of those are veterans households), distributing a combined total of 168,167 pounds of food (equivalent to 140,139 meals) to date.
“We can’t thank the Food Bank enough for improving the food security of our nation’s veterans and their families,” said Christopher Sandles, Director of Central Texas Veterans Health Care System. “VA is committed to serving veterans and helping them with access to healthy food through community partnerships.”
To build capacity and ensure success of the VPP program, Feeding America and the VA host joint meetings with all VPP participants to support local partnerships and gather key learnings. Additionally, individualized technical assistance has been provided for VPP sites, upon request.
The Central Texas Food Bank’s VPP mobile food pantry for veterans in Waco will be held the first Wednesday of each month, from 9:00 to 11:00 A.M. at 4800 Memorial Drive in Waco. The first food distribution is scheduled for Wednesday, September 5, in the semi-circle drive of Building 6.
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 260 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 Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
About Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs runs programs benefiting veterans and members of their families. It offers education opportunities and rehabilitation services and provides compensation payments for disabilities or death, related to military service, home loan guaranties, pensions, burials, and health care, which includes the services of nursing homes, clinics and medical centers.
Central Texas Veterans Health Care System