In 2021, Hope provided groceries to 4509 households experiencing food insecurity. Over 6400 hours of volunteer time was devoted to delivering, sorting, stocking, preparing and distributing approximately 203,000 pounds — an equivalent of 169,166 meals — of produce and non-perishable grocery items.
Thanks to generous community financial support, we were able to continue to serve each household twice a month; to purchase sought after items such as meat and eggs as well as rice, beans and other basic staples; to provide 60 – $25 ($1500) gift cards each month to AISD families experiencing a crisis; to partner with Drive A Senior to deliver food to their more vulnerable members; and to hire a part time staff member.
Hope’s partnerships with the community are crucial to our success. The local food source partners, Church partners and the Austin community at large allow Hope volunteers to offer a wide variety of produce and staple items to the families who are shopping for their household. Our partners’ filled Hope’s shelves with approximately 71,700 pounds of food. Our newest food source partner, Cook’s Nook, supplies us with individual chef-prepared meals. Hope’s partnership with the Central Texas Food Bank helps to stretch the donation dollars for basic food items and gives Hope opportunities such as distributing 300 – $50 grocery store gift cards to assist families this past holiday season.
This past year prompted constant adjustments to Hope’s operations. During the first half of the year, we continued to respond to the ongoing pandemic by distributing prepared bags of food. Starting in July, we successfully switched to our preferred grocery store model, where shoppers choose their own items. We continued to modify the process, as needed, to ensure the health and safety of everyone. Towards the end of the year on November 1st, the pantry moved to operate under a fiduciary manager – Imagine for All EIN 47-1612380 – and a new cloud-based database system for financial and volunteer management.
Thank you for your support in helping to alleviate hunger in our community. On behalf of the many Austin families who seek our services — Thank you!
Report below spans from 2020 to August 2021
In in the midst of this unprecedented pandemic starting in March, Hope suspended its regular operations to allow us to serve more people than we thought possible. By teaming up with other nonprofits, Hope amplified our reach and our impact at a time when more people need food assistance than we’ve ever seen.
We directed an historic influx of donations to households who need them most by:
- Shifting to a curbside distribution model to safely hand out groceries.
- Teaming up with AISD Family Support Specialists to distribute HEB gift cards.
- Partnering with Drive-A-Senior to deliver groceries to homebound seniors.
- Collaborating with Good Apple to deliver to low-income neighbors.
In March of 2020, Hope Food Pantry Austin pivoted their distribution efforts to meet the COVID-19 crisis head on. Hope’s long tenure and deep relationships put the pantry in a strong position to help during these unprecedented and difficult times. In a moment when people were struggling and struggling to help, Hope expanded its services.
Hope initiated TWO types of distribution models to serve as many families as possible. The first was to immediately shift from our preferred choice method to pre-packed bags of staple and perishable food items. Volunteers distributed these pre-packed bags curbside during our regular days of distribution. Our second type of distribution was in collaboration with Good Apple, LLC and their Stay Home, Stay Healthy Initiative. Qualified families received these same pre-packed bags of food. The delivery food model focused on senior citizens (55+) and/or people at-risk of severe COVID-19 infection. This collaboration ran from mid-March to the end of June, 2020. At the end of 2020 Hope had served an unprecedented 1,296,926 pounds of food which is an equivalent to 1,080,771 meals to families in our community.
The collaboration with Good Apple inspired the launching of Hope’s first food delivery program. Hope is collaborating with Drive A Senior and Casa Marianella to deliver groceries to their respective members. We are also partnering with the AISD LMHP staff to distribute HEB gift cards to AISD families in crisis. These collaborations allow Hope to reach out to even more families challenged during these unabating times. In June, we switched from a pre-assembled bag distribution model to our preferred choice model where families can personally choose from the food options provided. Thus far in 2021 we have served 105,742 pounds of food which is an equivalent to 88,118 meals. In addition, the AISD LMHP staff distributed a total of $12,000 HEB gift cards to AISD families in crisis, allowing them to connect and help 1,237 individuals!
The pantry is in the midst of a transition. As of October 23, the pantry is operating under the umbrella of Imagine for All EIN 47-1612380. Hope has been fortunate to add a Pantry Coordinator, Betsy Clubine, who joins our team with a wealth of experience from the University of Texas’ Dana Center.
Appreciative client:: “I want to thank you all. I really needed the extra help in this trying time. Thank you and may God bless you”
Testimonial from Vedria M, AISD LMSW: The HEB gift card helped open the door for support of an elementary child who had not been consistently engaged in school for a couple of weeks. The school had been unsuccessful in contacting the parent after numerous attempts. Knowing the family has a history of challenges requiring service coordination and support with basic needs, a home visit was conducted as another intervention to make contact and engage the family. As a result of that home visit and attempt to take the parent an HEB gift card, it was revealed the family is no longer residing at that residence due to a recent eviction. However, the campus was successful in contacting the mother the next day, via email, after letting her know we wanted to give her an HEB gift card and provide support. During receipt of the gift card, we learned of many hardships the family had been experiencing to include a loss of wages, recent eviction, current homeless status, and multiple family deaths. I am now working with the student and family to support them with housing resources, aiding with coordinating school transportation needs and referring to counseling. The mother was so thankful to receive the gift card as was the campus pleased to have it to offer to this parent.