Austin’s Creative home is just that- YOUR home for all things performing arts. We are constantly looking to give back and help fellow Austinities, especially during the holiday season. Once again, the Long Center has teamed up with Caritas for the the Food Drive Challenge to collect items for the Caritas Pantry as we approach Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week on November 15-23.
Did you know more than a third (36%) of Travis County residents are considered low income, and 18% of people live in food insecure homes? Food insecurity is defined as a lack of consistent, reliable access to adequate, nutritious food. This accounts for 25% of our local children.
Oftentimes, this means families and individuals have to decide between buying groceries and turning on their air conditioning; paying rent or putting gas in their car. Poverty forces people to make difficult choices, and nutritious, adequate food is not always the priority.
Caritas of Austin serves families experiencing poverty and homelessness and works with each one to secure stable housing and employment, and also offers education classes and food assistance. The families we serve can make 10-12 trips to the Caritas Pantry for weekly groceries as they transition toward stability and self-sufficiency.
According to last year’s United Way 2-1-1 Community Report, food assistance was the top call need, with a 58% increase in food-related calls over the prior year. While hunger is not a standalone issue, it is a critical aspect of poverty that must be addressed. Food is one of our most basic needs, and the community plays an important role in ending hunger.
Each week, Caritas of Austin distributes over 1,800 pounds of food to families and individuals in need. Just this year, we have seen a 16% increase in the demand for food from our Pantry.
We rely on community partners like the Long Center to keep our Pantry filled throughout the year. The donations received from these drives provide the majority of the food and in-kind donations we can provide to the people we serve.
We are not able to do our work without your support – thank you for helping to end hunger in Austin!
Learn more or view our full Pantry Wish List at www.caritasofaustin.org.
Thank you for helping us keep Austin happy and healthy all season LONG!
Lindsey Dickson | Communications Coordinator
Caritas of Austin