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AUSTIN – Last October 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 $22.5 million, 135,000 square foot facility capable of distributing 60 million pounds of food per year. Eight months into the campaign the Food Bank is only $3.5 million away, with recent major gifts from individuals and a $225,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation.
In addition to private donations and the Walmart Foundation grant, the Food Bank has also received $1.1 million from H-E-B, $1.3 million from the Moody Foundation, $500,000 from Applied Materials, and a $500,000 Mabee Challenge Grant in support of the campaign. Earlier this spring, the City of Austin declared April 1 as ‘April Food Day’ to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new facility.
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.
“We are incredibly thankful to have the support of businesses, foundations and individual donors to build the new facility our community so desperately needs. Hunger is growing at an incredible rate in Central Texas and we aren’t able to meet the demand because we don’t have enough space to store and distribute food,” said Hank Perret, President and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank. “We are $3.5 million away from reaching our goal and changing the game in the fight against hunger. 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 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 2014 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.