In conjunction with the global charitable organization Rise Against Hunger, more than 35,000 meals were packaged on Sunday with the assistance of more than 200 volunteers from the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Austin.
Providing Meals to Alleviate Hunger, Food Insecurity
As reported by KXAN, the meals will assist in feeding people who are dealing with hunger and food insecurity all around the world. At least 250 people were anticipated to take part in the packaging push on Sunday.
Since 2014, the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd has worked in conjunction with Rise Against Hunger to organize and host a number of activities that involve the packaging of meals. Since the church first began working with the charitable organization eight years ago, they have collaborated on the packaging and delivery of more than 190,000 meals.
Rise Against Hunger is a non-profit organization that works to alleviate hunger on a global scale and coordinates the packaging and delivery of food and other supplies to people living in countries that are still establishing their economies.
According to the organization's website, Rise Against Hunger places a high value on fostering self-determination among individuals and achieving excellence for both the partners and customers they serve.
Food Insecurity in Austin
The price of food consistently goes up from one year to the next, leaving some people concerned about where they will get their next meal.
According to Jess Palmer, the program director for Keep Austin Fed, around 175,000 people, or 15% of the total population of the city, are at risk of experiencing food insecurity and hunger.
Many people in Central Texas continue to struggle with not having enough money to buy food due to the growing cost of groceries and other essentials.
KVUE reported that because so much food is lost or thrown away every year, reducing the amount of wasted food is one of Keep Austin Fed's top priorities. The organization collaborates with local organizations to achieve this goal.
The charitable organization maintains coolers and storage areas all across the city where food can be kept. Their purpose is to make use of any excess food that is donated by partners such as Trader Joe's, restaurants, and other stores, while also ensuring that they have fresh things available for those who are in need.
Meanwhile, the Government of Texas revealed on its website that 14.7% of Austin residents struggle to put food on the table most nights.
The City of Austin recognizes the importance of providing low-income neighborhoods with access to healthy food and is working to do so by expanding the number of grocery stores that sell inexpensive but nutritious options.
The website also showed that recent forecasts made by Feeding America indicate that the entire number of people in Austin who are suffering from food insecurity would amount to 177,300 in the year 2021.
Also, there is 32.9% of that population, or 58,360 people, live within close proximity to a fresh food access point that is supported by the city.