Central Texas Food Bank Launches FACT, an Innovative New Strategic Planning Tool for Helping End Hunger

  • FACT (Food Access Convening Tool) uses real-time data to identify service gaps
  • Provides a strategic and targeted response to Central Texans experiencing food insecurity
  • Shows impact of intervention techniques beyond food distribution in ending hunger

Austin, TX (September 22, 2022) – The Central Texas Food Bank (CTFB) has a powerful new tool in its arsenal to help end hunger. Named FACT, for Food Access Convening Tool, it identifies areas where our neighbors face food insecurity and uses real-time data to map gaps in services within the organization’s 21-county service area. It also allows the Food Bank to better embed equity in its planning processes by providing key demographic data and shows the impact of strategies beyond food distribution—such as SNAP assistance and workforce development—that reduce food access gaps, giving an even more accurate picture of need and how to meet it.

“As the Central Texas Food Bank moves into a new era of innovation and addressing the root causes of hunger and poverty, FACT gives us an innovative, strategic and inclusive tool for helping us execute our mission of ending hunger in Central Texas,” said Sari Vatske, president and CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank. “FACT provides a powerful, game-changing analysis that helps us realize our holistic vision of breaking the cycle of hunger and poverty, thereby improving household stability and empowering communities.”

Developed in collaboration with Feeding South Florida, Ryder and Howard University, FACT is a planning and convening tool for mobilizing communities and resources. It analyzes food insecurity rates based on the latest census tracts and the Food Bank’s distribution reach to demonstrate the impact of the Food Bank’s efforts, serving as a dashboard for gauging how CTFB, its network of partner agencies, and ultimately other community organizations are doing at meeting the food access needs in Central Texas. It also serves as a road map by providing a better understanding of existing gaps in food access and helps CTFB plan where to focus its time, efforts and resources through partnership development and progressive community growth.

FACT can also demonstrate how initiatives in addition to food distribution can help those in need. By utilizing “levers” that can be turned on and off to show how different efforts can augment food assistance, it provides a more holistic view of the effect community-wide efforts to end hunger can have. The tool is currently able to factor in workforce training and SNAP assistance and has the flexibility to add more factors in the future.

Some of the Food Bank’s community partners who have previewed FACT have positive things to say about the tool’s potential impact:

“This is one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in my years working with the city. It’s exactly what our community needs.”—Edwin Marty, Food Policy Manager, City of Austin Office of Sustainability

“As a longtime supporter of the Food Bank, this tool really resonates with our corporate focus on optimizing data fluency. The amount and kind of information it will provide to community partners will have a huge impact.”—Stacey Claessens, Global Employee Empowerment Manager, 3M

Remember to “Go Orange” for Hunger Action Day, Friday, September 23rd! 

For media: Visual assets can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/home/FACT%20B-Roll


Now in its 40th year of serving those in need, the mission of Central Texas Food Bank is to nourish hungry people and lead the community in the fight against hunger. The Food Bank provides food and grocery products through a network of nearly 300 Partner Agencies and nutrition programs, serving more than 60,000 people every week. Headquartered in Austin, the Food Bank serves 21 counties in Central Texas, an area about twice the size of Massachusetts.