With food prices surging, more Austinites need support meeting their daily nutritional needs.
In recent months, the Community Kitchen at Caritas of Austin has seen its largest-average daily increase since the start of the pandemic, now serving nearly 200 people lunch each day.
Because of your support, Caritas of Austin provides free, nutritious lunch Monday through Friday, no questions asked. For some, lunch at our Community Kitchen may be the only meal they eat that day. For others, it’s a supplemental meal for those feeling the economic pinch of rising food prices and economic uncertainty.
“We’ve got a lot of new faces coming through the line,” says Joe Green, Chef at Caritas of Austin’s Community Kitchen. “Some people are not in a position to make ends meet.”
“And then there are our regulars who come five days a week,” he added.
Inflation has hit its highest level since 1982, exacerbating food insecurity for many in the city. Prices of breakfast meat, bread, milk, and many other household staples have seen a significant rise in the last year.
Those who patronize our Kitchen range from people who have experienced homelessness for more than two decades to those who are employed but still experiencing hunger, according to our 2021 Annual Quality of Service Evaluation.
Your support of Caritas of Austin’s Food programs – our Community Kitchen and two Pantry locations – meets a foundational and critical need for hundreds of neighbors each year. Also, our lunch service is often the first point of connection people make with Caritas of Austin as they being the work of moving out of homelessness and rebuild well-being in their lives.
Your generosity has been critical in our ability to weather the challenges of the pandemic over the past two years and ensure our daily meal service continues. Our dining room, which regularly served nearly 300 people onsite daily, has been closed since April 2020. But thanks to our dedicated staff and regular volunteers, diners can still count on see smiling faces as they pick up their to-go lunch each day.
Thank you for joining us in our work to end hunger and homelessness in Austin. If you are interested in specific ways you can support our Community Kitchen, email Sydney Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.