Central Texas Food Bank Opens First Onsite Pantry To Help Texas Residents

The Central Texas Food Bank (CTFB ) opens its first onsite food pantry located in South Austin at 6500 Metropolis Drive.  This program aims to address the growing need for fresh food.

The Central Texas Food Bank launched its first onsite pantry as a way of helping Texas residents access nutritious foods. (Photo: CBS Austin)

According to a published article in KVUE ABC, the food pantry will be stocked with fresh shelf-stable food which is own-grown by Central Texas Food Bank. This means that some of the fresh food displayed in the pantry will come from the food bank’s own garden. Residents who need food will have options to pick the food type that basically meets their needs.

Sari Vatske, the food bank’s president and CEO said that they plan to serve a hundred people every week through the pantry. “With inflation, cost of living, and particularly during the ice storm, we saw people may be relying on our support,” Vatske said. According to a published article in KUT 90.5, the food bank recently had more first-time visitors than usual which is caused by the ice storm earlier this month. Central Texas Food Bank launched this program as an additional service after seeing the increasing number of first-time visitors.

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The pantry will have a staff to educate and support visitors about additional services available. This is the Central Food Bank’s first onsite pantry which will also serve as a space for residents to connect with caseworkers so they can receive food benefits or verify their qualifications for federal nutrition programs like SNAP.

Free Food Help

According to the official website of the Central Texas Food Bank, those who access their pantry will surely experience a dignified shopping experience because there is a staff who will educate and support them about the available services that best meet their needs.  The food bank provided a website for food assistance which contains addresses and directions where to get food. Central Texas Food Bank believes the budget shouldn’t be a hindrance to eating right which is the reason why they have Free Food Help whether it’s applying for government programs, nutrition education classes, or accessing healthy food.

The onsite food pantry is accessible Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Residents in need of support can call 855-366-3401 for an appointment with their Benefits and Emergency Services.

Austin City Council Member Vanessa Fuentes said that it has long been a priority in her district to have increased food access, and the community needs more services like this food pantry initiated by the Central Texas Food Bank. She represents the neighborhood near the new food pantry such as Del Valle, Dove Springs, and Pleasant Hill. Fuentes mentioned that it is never okay that Austin, being a rich city, has families struggling to put food on their table, unable to pay for their health care or not having a fund for emergencies. She made it clear that they have to do better for their community and that no family should go hungry in their city.

READ ALSO: SNAP Fraud Costs Taxpayers Millions: Stolen Food Stamps on the Rise