“Our Mission Is To Feed Hungry People.” The Hays County Area Food Bank has followed through with their mission statement since 1984.A Food Bank brochure states that “Since 1984, the Food Bank has been on the front lines helping to feed the elderly, families with children, the sick and disabled, the homeless, and others suffering from hard times.” With distribution sites set up in Hays County and surrounding communities Monday through Friday, over 2,600 families are helped each month.
Each week day, Food Bank vans go to the two local HEBs in San Marcos and the HEB in Kyle/Buda to pick up donations and take them to the Food Bank. Volunteers and staff members then sort through the donations and forward them to distribution centers.
This year the Food Bank is hosting its second annual “Turkeys Tackling Hunger” fund event, which began October 5th and runs through November 24th. Donations are used to help buy a turkey box dinner for a family on Thanksgiving. Food Bank Executive Director Jerry Gracy said, “twenty dollars will buy a turkey and trimmings” for the Turkey Box Dinner. On “Turkey Work Day” or November 15th, staff, volunteers, and board members will work in putting all the boxes together in time for Thanksgiving.
Activities Coordinator Katie Shaw said the Food Bank “gave over 1,100 turkey boxes to needy families [last year], and this year we are projecting to give about 1400 turkey boxes; so about a twenty percent increase from last year”. The “Turkey Tackling Hunger” donation envelopes can be picked up at Kyle City Hall, Broadway Bank in Wimberley, the HEB in Buda, or one can donate online at www.TurkeysTacklingHunger.org.
The Hays County Area Food Bank helps people not only during the holiday season, but throughout the entire year. Gracy said volunteers at the Food Bank are a “tremendous help and, without the volunteers, we couldn’t do it.” Volunteers do everything from loading and sorting food, cleaning, to performing clerical tasks. “Last year, the volunteers donated over 18,000 hours,” said Shaw.
Gracy has been the Executive Director of the Food Bank since May 5th, 2008, and says he enjoys “challenging people to give their best and watch them grow.” He added that working with the Food Bank is “an instant reward in helping people.” Other Food Bank staff members include, Operations Manager Albert Garcia, Operations Assistant Jennifer Cooper, Administrative Assistant Becky Bradley, and Community Relations Coordinator Pat Tessaro. Gracy said he “couldn’t ask for a better group of people” and added that the Board of Directors is “extremely supportive and involved.” Officers of the Board of Directors include: President Jane Hughson, Vice President Kirk Sedberry, Secretary Joel Williams and Treasurer Liz Strand,
To view the Public Food Distribution Schedule or for more information on the organization, including volunteerism and monetary donations, visit the Food Bank’s website at, www.HaysFoodBank.org or call the Hays County Area Food Bank at (512) 392- 8300.
“There are two ways to donate money to the Food Bank:
1. Mail your donation to: Hays County Area Food Bank, 220 Herndon Street, San Marcos, TX 78666.
2. Donate online using our secure donation system with PayPal,” states the website.
A Food Bank brochure highlights the impact a small donation can make. “A $10 donation buys 83 lbs. of food enough to help a family of four for a whole week,” stated the brochure.
by Lindsey Bland