The Inaugural Del Valle ISD School Pantry Offers Nutritious Food, Education, and Benefits Assistance to Families in Need of Food Assistance
Austin, TX (Jan. 24, 2024) — Central Texas Food Bank (CTFB) launched its first school pantry location at Creedmoor Elementary School in Del Valle as part of its Feeding Futures School Pantry Program. This program focuses on providing not only the non-perishable pantry stables but also fresh fruit, vegetables, protein, and dairy to children and their families in the Del Valle community. Additionally, the program offers nutrition education and benefits assistance.
The Feeding Futures Program ensures that children and their families have access to meals beyond school hours, including weekends, summer break, after-school periods, and holiday intervals. Fueled by the belief that we must meet people where they are, this efficient and effective program is designed to support the community by providing convenient access to nutritious food and wrap around services within their community.
“Our Feeding Futures School Pantry Program provides immediate and equitable access to nutritious food and services in a familiar environment while also encouraging family involvement in their child’s education,” said Sari Vatske, President and CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank. “Proper nutrition in the earliest years of life supports the success of students in the classroom today and lays the foundation for a future of possibilities.”
The goal is to serve at least half of the student body at each school participating in the Feeding Futures Program. With the generous support of funders, including H-E-B, The Food Bank can provide enough food for 30 meals per student, per month, based on student enrollment. Participating schools are Title I, primarily elementary schools, and have at least 90 percent of students enrolled in free/reduced meal programs.
“H-E-B has a deep commitment to support hunger relief efforts across Texas, and we believe that no child should go hungry,” said Danny Flores, Senior Manager of Public Affairs at H-E-B. “As a longtime partner of the Central Texas Food Bank, we’re proud to support their Feeding Futures Program at Creedmoor Elementary School, and we hope that this food pantry will make a significant impact in the Del Valle community.”
The Food Bank aims to close the meal gap not only by providing immediate access to food but also by providing the resources necessary for Central Texans to access food on their own. Through insights gleaned from the Food Bank’s 2023 Food Access Community Needs Assessment, Del Valle was selected as the first of many school districts that The Food Bank is engaging in. CTFB is unique among food banks in its commitment to research and data assessment. Currently, Community Needs Assessments are underway for Hays County, Williamson County, and Waco with the goal of assessing the entire 21-county service areas.
About 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 nonprofit community partners and nutrition programs, serving about 70,000 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.
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