- Donations needed to fill the gap in food supply for kids, seniors and families during period of extreme need
- Thanks to matching gift sponsors, every $1 donated during the campaign equals 8 meals
- Kickoff event includes unveiling of new mural by Creative Action’s Color Squad, in collaboration with The Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living
Austin, TX, June 14, 2017 – The Central Texas Food Bank officially kicked off its “Summer Meals that Matter” campaign today with a special event at its southeast Austin facility. The goal of the campaign is to provide 1 million meals to help nourish children, seniors and families during the tough summer months.
“Despite our best efforts, hunger continues to be a big problem in our 21 county service area, especially during the summer,” said Derrick Chubbs, President & CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank. “More Central Texas families face hunger during the summer than at any other time of year. Many kids don’t have access to free or reduced price meals at school and higher utility bills force families and seniors to make tough budget choices, making money for nutritious food hard to come by.”
Donations to the Food Bank during the crucial summer months will help provide meals to thousands of Central Texans facing hunger and help to close a “hunger gap” that leaves nearly 30 percent of our neighbors who are at risk of hunger without food assistance in their time of need. Thanks to the generosity of our summer matching gift donors, the Gates and Stumberg families, the Food Bank will be able to provide 8 meals for every dollar contributed, making every donation go even further.
During today’s kickoff event, a group of about 60 kids from local community center that is also one of the Food Bank’s summer meal sites participated in a program that included hands-on activities in fitness, nutrition, gardening and food preparation, followed by a nutritious lunch.
The kickoff program also included the formal dedication of a new “Let’s Feed Our Neighbors” mural created by teens from the Color Squad at Creative Action, featuring comments by leaders from Creative Action and the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health in Austin, who joined forces to provide the resources for the mural.
Color Squad is a collective of teen artists who work together to design and implement public and community artworks. “For our collaboration with the Central Texas Food Bank and the UT School of Public Health, we started by researching food systems and
why food shortages occur,” said Karen LaShelle, Executive Director, Creative Action. “Representatives from the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living briefed us on food insecurity rates across the state, then we hosted Food for Black Thought to lead a workshop on food justice, bringing all we learned together into this new mural that represents community, solidarity, and feeding our neighbors.”
“The Michael &Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living partnered with the Central Texas Food Bank and Creative Action to design and create this healthy living mural,” said Dr. Andrew Springer, Associate Professor of Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences, Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, UTHealth School of Public Health. “During the Center’s 10-year celebration, this service project perfectly embodies how the Center strives to be involved in the community while working towards its mission of youth-led community action to support healthy living.”
Donations to help the Food Bank raise one million meals this summer can be made at centraltexasfoodbank.org. The “Summer Meals that Matter” campaign runs through August 31.
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 250 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 CREATIVE ACTION
The mission of Creative Action is to spark and support the academic, social and emotional development of young people, and we do this through interactive classroom performances, after school arts residencies and community-based programs in Central Texas. We believe that when youth develop their creativity, compassion, confidence and critical thinking skills, and build meaningful connections with peers and positive role-models, they become successful adults who contribute to their communities and thrive in their careers and relationships.
ABOUT THE MICHAEL & SUSAN DELL CENTER FOR HEALTHY LIVING
The Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living (the Center) was formed in 2006 with a vision of ‘healthy children in a healthy world’ and a mission to advance health and healthy living for children and families through cutting-edge research, innovative community-based programs, and dissemination of evidence-based practices. We believe that children engage in health-promoting or health-compromising behaviors based on their personal characteristics and their environments. We believe a healthy child is better able to achieve academically and socially. The development of healthy childhood behaviors is an investment in the long-term productivity of our society. As part of The UT Health School of Public Health in Austin, the Center is comprised of scientists who specialize in behavior change, epidemiology, health economics, and biostatistics. These public health specialists and associated research support personnel are dedicated to new discoveries in child and family health, with current programmatic foci on obesity prevention, nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco use. The Center’s research portfolio includes funding from diverse sources such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and others. The Center’s activities include resources and support for research and development; translation of scientific studies into practice; and academic and community forums to disseminate research findings and evidence-based practices, such as through the Michael & Susan Dell Lectureship for Child Health each spring, Texas Obesity Awareness Week and Texas Health Champion Event each September. Moreover, other Center-led activities such as the Community Collaborative for Child Health, the Scientific Advisory Council, a Data and Methods Core, and a Communications Core complement these research and dissemination efforts. These events and activities provide venues to accelerate translation of scientific studies into practice and further our mission to advance health and healthy living for children and families through cutting-edge research, innovative community-based programs, and dissemination of evidence-based practices. www.msdcenter.org