By Kierra Pixler, Managing Editor
There’s a large-scale charity movement about to take hold in Central Texas and The Central Texas Food Bank needs your help in feeding families. Nearly one in six Central Texans and one in four Central Texas children are at risk of hunger and it’s a problem that isn’t going away. Last year, the Food Bank distributed nearly 38 million pounds of food, but still fell short of meeting demand by 30 percent.
The Central Texas Food Bank is having their 5th Annual Summer Meals That Matter campaign and are seeking help in raising 1 million meals to feed families. The campaign means a lot to Paul Gaither ,who is the Marketing and Communications Director for The Central Texas Food Bank.
“I started at the Food Bank a little over three years ago after a career in higher education and high-tech,” said Gaither. “After surviving a bout with cancer I wanted to do something more rewarding and meaningful. When an opportunity to work for the Food Bank came along, it seemed like a good fit.”
Through the generosity of their matching gift sponsors, they can turn around every $1 donated during the campaign into eight meals for Central Texans facing hunger. They have been awarded Charity Navigator’s highest rating, and 96 percent of your gift goes directly to support our programs.
“For me, it means helping out neighbors in need at a crucial time,” said Gaither. “More Central Texas families face hunger during the summer than at any other time of the year. This is because 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.”
Helping Hands Ministry, one of the Central Texas Food Banks partner agencies has been working with them for quite some time now. The both of them make a big difference in the surrounding communities.
“The Central Texas Food Bank has been a great partner with us,” said Brittany Duncan, Associate Director at Helping Hands Ministry in Belton. “In addition to receiving food orders from them each week, we also participate in several programs with the Food Bank, including Agency Retail Pickup, which allows us to rescue food from our local grocery stores for our clients, and the Healthy Pantry Initiative, which focuses on providing more fresh produce to our clients. The goal and mission of the Central Texas Food Bank align very well with Helping Hands and we are so glad to be one of their Partner Agencies.”
Their most requested food items are peanut butter, canned chicken breast or tuna, canned low sodium vegetables, canned fruit in its own juice (no sugar added), dry pinto beans, brown rice, non-fat dry milk powder and 100 percent whole grain grain cereal. They are always looking for volunteers to help prepare food donations for distributors, assist with delivering food at a Mobile Food Pantry, or lend a hand in their kitchen or garden. Visit www.centraltexasfoodbank.org/volunteer to check out the opportunities or to donate, please visit centraltexasfoodbank.org.