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AUSTIN – Last October when the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas announced its 10x10 Campaign for a Hunger-Free Community to raise the remaining $10 million needed to build a new 135,000 square foot facility capable of distributing 60 million pounds of food per year, it did so with major support from the community. Today the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation added their support by issuing the Capital Area Food Bank a $500,000 Challenge Grant to raise the remaining funds needed to complete the 10x10 campaign.
In order to receive the Challenge Grant funds, the Capital Area Food Bank has one year to close the gap needed between its current raised amount and the $21 million needed to build the new facility.
“Through the generous support of businesses, foundations and individual donors, we are 70 percent of the way to raising the $21 million it will take to build a new facility. We’re close, but we still need the community’s help,” said Hank Perret, President and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank. “We delivered a record 31 million pounds of food in 2014 but still fell short of meeting demand by 30 percent because we did not have enough space to store and distribute food. The new facility will make it possible for us to distribute 60 million pounds of food per year, and that will help close the ever-widening hunger gap in Central Texas.”
The current 60,000 square foot Capital Area Food Bank facility was built in 1997, and designed for a city of half a million people. Now in 2015, more than a million people live in the Austin area, the Capital Area Food Bank serves a 21-county region, and the percentage of Central Texans who are hungry, or at risk of hunger, is growing at nearly double the rate of the overall population.
“Hunger is a serious problem in Central Texas. It’s one that affects the entire community, and we need the support of the entire community to meet the Challenge Grant,” said Mike Tomsu, Chairman of the Food Bank’s Capital Campaign Committee. “When we close the fundraising gap we need in order to meet the requirements of the challenge grant, we’re on the way to closing the hunger gap in our community.”
Features of the new facility:
- More than double the square footage of the current facility.
- Double the warehouse space for shelf-stable foods.
- Five times the refrigeration and freezer capacity – nearly 30 percent of the food distributed by the Food Bank in 2013 was fresh, nutritious produce.
- A commercial production kitchen to cook meals and freeze produce, reducing food waste.
- 15 loading docks, compared to the current facility’s two loading docks.
Who is hungry in Central Texas?
Your neighbors: 1 in 6 people in our community is hungry or at risk of hunger.
Our kids: 1 in 4 local children don’t know the next time they’ll have a nutritious meal.
The most vulnerable: 40 percent of the people the Food Bank serves are children or elderly.
People who work: There is at least one employed adult in two-thirds of the households the Food Bank serves.
People with homes: 93 percent of the people the Food Bank serves are not homeless.
The percentage of Central Texans who are hungry, or at risk of hunger, is growing at nearly double the growth rate of the overall population.
For more information on the 10x10 Campaign for a Hunger-Free Community, including ways to contribute, visit www.CAFB10x10.com.
About the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas
The mission of Capital Area Food Bank of Texas (CAFB) is to nourish hungry people and lead the community in ending hunger. Founded in 1981, CAFB provides food and grocery products through a network of 300 Partner Agencies and nutrition programs, serving nearly 46,000 people every week. Headquartered in Austin, CAFB serves 21 counties in Central Texas, an area about twice the size of Massachusetts. For more information on CAFB and its programs, visit www.austinfoodbank.org.