NPO Spotlight: Impacting Change with Capital Area Food Bank
This article is part of the NPO Spotlight Series in which we highlight nonprofits who are doing excellent work.
Type the word “hunger” in a Google Image search and you’ll be bombarded with images of malnourished children in developing countries. Many of us associate the horrible reality of hunger with people living in 3rd world countries. While the international hunger epidemic is an ongoing crisis, many are unaware of the millions of Americans who face hunger every day.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 17.2% percent of Texas households were found to have experienced food insecurity between 2012 and 2014. This translates to approximately 1.7 million Texas households that were affected by food insecurity during those years. Food insecurity is the lack of reliable access to a sufficient amount of affordable, nutritious food. More info can be found on the USDA Texas State Fact Sheet.
Although hunger in America appears to be widely overlooked, there are organizations working diligently to find efficient, long lasting solutions to end hunger.
Capital Area Food Bank’s Unique and Effective Approach
Founded in 1981, the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas’ mission is to nourish hungry people and lead the community in ending hunger. The organization uses a 3-prong approach for putting healthy food within reach for Texans:
- Provide free food and education on healthy low-cost eating
- Connect families to life-enhancing resources
- Strengthen the community by making food affordable for charity and government partners
Food and Education
Capital Area Food Bank of Texas provides 26 million meals to families in need each year. In addition to providing free food, the charity also educates the community on healthy eating habits. Teaching families about healthy eating may help decrease obesity rates in Texas.
Obesity is a problem that paradoxically concurs with food insecurity in our nation. For instance, Texas has the 2nd highest rate of food insecurity in the nation and also has the 11th highest obesity rate in the nation, according to The State of Obesity. As a result, it is not enough to only provide free food to families in need. It is also important to educate Texans on the importance of making healthy eating decisions. The charity has implemented the CHOICES nutrition education program which helps individuals and families make smart choices during meals. The CHOICES program held 394 classes and served 2,439 individuals in 2015.
Obesity in our nation is a complex problem that will require a plethora of changes in our communities in order to work toward permanent solutions. However, educating families on nutritious food choices is a step in the right direction.
In addition to providing food and healthy eating education, Capital Areal Food Bank of Texas connects families with life-enhancing resources like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of families in America. Connecting families with federal assistance programs like SNAP can help end the cycle of food insecurity in our nation.
Strengthening the Community
Lastly, the charity strengthens the community by making food affordable for charity and government partners. These food donations allow organizations to stretch limited resources and enhance their programs. Capital Area Food Bank of Texas has nearly 300 charity partners that are impacting change in their communities by providing food and other resources to families in need.
YourCause had the honor of processing $763,046 in donations and grants to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas in 2015. These contributions provided 2,289,138 meals to families in North Texas!
To learn more about this organization, please visit their site to get involved.