New Refrigerated Truck and Walk-In Coolers Will Help Food Bank Partner Agencies in Killeen and Leander Distribute More Healthy Produce
AUSTIN, TX – The Central Texas Food Bank today announced two $75,000 grants from the Walmart Foundation to help fund its mobile pantry program and make infrastructure purchases that will help the Food Bank’s Partner Agencies secure and distribute more nutritious food to Central Texas families in need.
One $75,000 grant will go to support the Food Bank’s mobile food pantries, which provide Central Texans in need with basic staples, fruits and vegetables, and frozen foods where local food assistance services cannot keep up with demand. Last year, the program served 2,495,248 pounds of food (the equivalent of nearly 2.1 million meals) to 56,191 households.
The other grant, from the Walmart Foundation through Feeding America, will support the purchase of a 16-foot refrigerated box truck and a large walk-in cooler to be used by Destiny Food Pantry in Killeen, and a similar walk-in cooler for Hill Country Community Ministries in Leander. Both agencies participate in the Food Bank’s “agency retail pickup” program, which lets them pick up donated food directly from retailers, instead of the food first coming to the Food Bank for redistribution.
This approach reduces waste and gets food to those in need much more quickly. The refrigerated truck will allow Destiny Food Pantry to pick up more produce in fewer trips. And with their new coolers, both agencies will be able to store and distribute more fresh, perishable food and reduce the amount of food they have to throw away due to spoilage. Both agencies currently rely on a patchwork of older, smaller, and less efficient refrigerators to store their perishable food. It is anticipated that the new truck and coolers will allow the two agencies to pick up and distribute an additional 130,000 pounds of food per year, which translates into more than 108,000 meals.
“One in six people struggle with hunger in Central Texas; for children that figure is one in four,” said Derrick Chubbs, President and CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank. “We are thankful to the Walmart Foundation and Feeding America for helping to ensure that people who struggle with hunger have access to fresh, nutritious food. These grants will go a long way in helping the Food Bank and our Partner Agencies serve our neighbors in need here in Central Texas.
The Walmart Foundation has been instrumental in helping food banks rescue and distribute more perishable food from retailers across the United States in a sustainable, cost-effective way. These grants are part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s ongoing commitment to helping families who struggle with hunger by providing four billion meals to people in need in the U.S. by 2020.
Since 2009, the Walmart Foundation has been a leading supporter of infrastructure grants to Feeding America food banks and their member agencies. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide donations of both food and funds to the Feeding America nationwide network of 200 food banks. Locally, The Central Texas Food Bank has received a total of $902,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation over the past ten years, helping to grow our programs, purchase trucks and build its new facility.
With food insecurity remaining high throughout the country, the ability to distribute more food is critical for food banks. According to the USDA, more than 42 million people nationwide are food insecure, which means that they may not know where they will find their next meal. In Central Texas, nearly 460,000 people are food insecure. To learn more about what the Central Texas Food Bank is doing to fight hunger and how you can help, visit centraltexasfoodbank.org.
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.