Caldwell County Food Bank receives Innovation Award
Caldwell County Food Bank
Caldwell County Food Bank was recognized by Central Texas Food Bank and Texas Senator Judith Zaffirini at the Central Texas Food Bank Partner Agency Conference on Aug. 11. Among the 250 partner agencies in the region, CCFB was one of four recognized for strategic and successful programming to better serve the food insecure population in Caldwell County while managing significant growth.
In 2019, under new leadership, the organization improved the two existing grocery basket and HOPE programs to include better quality food at higher quantities with increased access to client families. In the fall of 2019, CCFB launched the backpack program in partnership with Lockhart Junior High distributing 24 bags per month. Since that time, the backpack program has grown to include all Caldwell County schools and provides over 500 bags monthly.
In 2020, CCFB added the garden program designed to increase healthy options for client families. The garden provides 100 percent organic produce to be included in grocery basket distribution. In 2021, seeing a need in the Lockhart community, CCFB created the Feeding Lockhart community meals program. Currently, the community meals program has grown to include two locations in Lockhart and added a Luling location in April of 2022 and renamed the program Feeding Caldwell County. In partnership with local churches the program provides access to free hot meals three times per week. Currently, Feeding Caldwell County serves over 2,000 meals monthly.
In November 2022, CCFB took over management of the Caldwell County mobile pantries program from Central Texas Food Bank to provide monthly onsite distributions in Dale and Luling. On-site market distributions are held at Alma Brewer Strawn Elementary in Dale and Zedler Mill in Luling offering a mix of produce, non-perishable items, and frozen proteins.
Over the last five years, CCFB has experienced tremendous growth and need for client assistance. In 2018, the food bank provided 6225 grocery baskets to client families followed by 7896 in 2019. During the Covid pandemic, years 2020 and 2021, client demand increased to 9296 annually. 2022 was a record year with 14,782 baskets distributed. During the first eight months of 2023 service totals are just under 13,000.
Caldwell County Food Bank operates six food assistance programs to provide solutions for those individuals and families experiencing food insecurity in Caldwell County. In 2022, CCFB distributed 1.1 million pounds of food to Caldwell County residents.
Caldwell County Food Bank is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and operates entirely on donations and grant/foundation funding. Donations are tax deductible and can be made via the website, www.caldwellfoodpantry.com or by check mailed to CCFB, POB 1258, Lockhart, TX 78644. For every $1 donated, CCFB can provide 3 meals to its neighbors in need. CCFB has a volunteer team of over 125 members. To join the volunteer team, applications can be found on the website or by visiting the food bank at 901 Bois D’Arc. If you or someone you know are in need of food resources, please visit the food bank during operating hours Monday through Thursday to learn more.