Caldwell County Christian Ministries Food Bank adjusts to increased service needs
By Wesley Gardner
The Caldwell County Christian Ministries Food Bank has seen a recent surge in the number families it’s serving due to the influx of individuals in the county who have either lost their jobs or have seen reduced incomes due the outbreak of COVID-19.
The nonprofit — which provides families with healthy, free food options, in addition to several other programs aimed at providing assistance – provided its services to about 750 families in need prior to the outbreak, according to Executive Director Meredith Jakovich.
In April, that number jumped to 1,069.
“Every day since the beginning of April, our distribution has been up considerably,” said Jakovich. “We’ve been fortunate in the respect that we have not had to decrease the amount of goods that we’re giving families.
“Our supply channels are still going. We have still been able to give folks the good products that we have been giving.”
Jakovich noted that every month, each family is eligible to receive a 50-pound food basket filled with an assortment of goods. In addition, the food pantry has bins of produce that are available to people every day, regardless of whether they’ve already received their baskets.
Because the food bank runs almost entirely off of donations, Jakovich said those funds are more important than ever to allow it to keep offering residents the same amount of goods.
“We’ve had some generous folks who have helped us with donations,” said Jakovich. “We’re going to need that so that we can keep those levels up.”
While Jakovich says canned food drives and other similar donations are wonderful for the nonprofit, she noted cash can actually go a lot further because of the food bank’s ability to buy food at a discounted rate of 16 cents per pound from the Central Texas Food Bank.
In March, the food bank transitioned to drive-through distribution in an effort to keep staff members and clients safe from the potential spread of COVID-19.
Jakovich said that while the transition to drive-through distribution has gone well, it’s increased the number of volunteers needed to help distribute items from about five or six individuals to 11 to 12.
“We have a really great core group of volunteers that has been here every day since all of this happened,” said Jakovich. “They might get tired at some point, so we’re always wanting to know if there are others who are interested in volunteering.”
In particular, Jakovich said the nonprofit could use someone who would be willing to answer phones and respond to messages while the rest of the volunteers are assisting clients.
“We want to make sure that were hearing from people – that nobody is falling through the cracks,” she said.
Jakovich noted those interested in donating have several options available.
Checks are preferred, she said, and can be made out to the Caldwell County Christian Ministries Food Bank, however, cash is also accepted. Those interested in donating can send their donations to the food bank — Bois D’Arc St., Lockhart, 78644 — or bring them to the food bank in person. Donations can also be made by visiting
Toiletry and personal care items are also accepted and administered when available.
According to Jakovich, everything the food pantry does and provides wouldn’t be possible without the support of the community.
“I just want to thank everybody in the community who’s been so helpful and supportive,” Jakovich said. “I, on a personal level, am touched every single day by the things people say and do.
“We’re going to be here as long as we can, and it takes everybody to make that happen.”