The Austin Chronicle

Central Texas Food Bank Needs Community Support More Than Ever Before

By Jessi Cape, March 20, 2020, Food

The struggle for food security was already very real for many Central Texans, but after Mayor Adler's Tuesday, March 17, necessary mandate that closed all restaurant dining rooms and bars, and with the long list of other COVID-19-related changes in the city, thousands more of our neighbors are facing unprecedented financial situations. For decades, the local community has depended on Central Texas Food Bank for help.

Derrick Chubbs, CTFB president & CEO, said, "The Central Texas Food Bank has a long history of responding to emergencies and disasters, each of which is different. So we have the organizational agility to respond to things, depending on how they play out. There are a lot of variables in play, but what we do know is that we will experience a dramatic increase in need for our services in the coming weeks and months."

As the situation is fluid and rapidly developing, Chubbs said he and his team are "working around the clock to plan for several contingencies. However those contingencies play out, one thing is certain: The Food Bank is going to have to make changes to our operations model. That could mean everything from purchasing additional or special categories of food to doing special food distributions."

He added, "All of that takes money."

Donating money to CTFB is the most efficient way for help to reach those in need, because with a monetary gift they are more able to distribute fresh produce. The donated cash (or yes, a card) expands the efforts by stretching every dollar to its freshest full potential: Every $1 equals four meals; every $5 amounts to a whopping 20 meals. And if you've ever tried to feed 20 people with $5 – especially with healthy fruits and vegetables – you know how incredible this feat really is. Another option in these times of streaming everything and social distancing is raising money via a virtual food drive.

On the same day the announcement about closures was made, and on the heels of announcing a $1.2 million investment to Feeding Texas, H-E-B delivered a trailer of food (and 15 truckloads across the state) to the Central Texas Food Bank to continue supporting communities.

On the homepage of the CTFB website, there's a big "Donate" button, a big "Volunteer" button, and a big "Find Food Now" button, which leads to a food finder that allows folks to find the food distribution nearest to them. For now, their mobile food pantries at AISD and most other locations are still scheduled, as are food distributions at most of the agencies in the distribution network, but please see their website ( for the latest information.

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