Central Texas Food Bank in need of intake volunteers

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Central Texas Food Bank will host its first distribution for the month of July at Nelson Field in northeast Austin Thursday.

“We’re firing on all cylinders and serving many more people than we were before the COVID-19 crisis,” Amelia Long, the food bank’s director of community engagement, said.

It’s that kind of continuous demand that is sparking a call for volunteers after food bank leaders noticed a slight drop in the number of people signing up to help in June.

“I think because of the spike or reopening and people going back to work,” she said. “We don’t really know.”

They need volunteers to help in the warehouse and distributions, but they’re specifically looking for intake volunteers.

“We need people who are comfortable talking to clients, maybe who have some customer service or client services background,” Long explained.

A Central Texas Food Bank Intake Volunteers helps check-in hundreds of families in need of food. (KXAN Photo)

At distributions, intake volunteers help check-in those in need of food. In order to qualify, volunteers must take a civil rights training and be conversational in Spanish.

“A lot of the people that are coming out to those distributions are speaking Spanish,” she said.

In May, the Latinx community made up nearly 40% of the households served by the food bank.

The Central Texas Food Bank’s latest client ethnicity numbers for the month of May.
A long line of families await the opening of the Central Texas Food Bank’s food distribution event Wednesday at LBJ Early College High School. (KXAN photo/Todd Bailey)

Despite the economy continuing to reopen the need persists. The food bank experienced a 220% spike in first-time families turning to the food bank during the pandemic. That’s why Long said they will continue to need volunteers to help keep up with the demand in the coming months.

“At the beginning of August, we’re going to have an empty calendar and will need all those volunteer spots filled up,” she said.

For the month of July, there are a couple of spots left to fill for all volunteer positions including intake volunteer positions. People interested in signing up can email the food bank at volunteer@centraltexasfoodbank.org.

Thursday’s drive-through distribution event at Nelson Field in Austin starts at 8 a.m. For people in Hays County, the food bank will host a food distribution event on Saturday starting at 8 a.m. at the Smile Direct building across from Home Depot in Kyle.

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