AUSTIN (KXAN) — City of Austin leaders are focused on tackling the next major wave in the aftermath of the winter storms: Food insecurity.
In a news conference Monday, city leaders gathered to discuss the latest on the impact of the storms, and that included how they plan to address the ongoing problem. At the time, the city’s Food Policy Manager Edwin Marty said the city had secured 30,000 emergency meals in the last 24 hours along with bottled waters to distribute.
“We’re anticipating to have thousands of community members be able to access emergency food and water at the site,” Marty said.
This comes after the days-long power outage the community experienced last week wiped out freezers full of food and grocery store shoppers face empty shelves. In a letter from four city council members — Natasha Harper-Madison, Sabino “Pio” Renteria, Vanessa Fuentes and Greg Casar — to City Manager Spencer Cronk they pointed out additional concerns stating many people had lost a week of wages and with rent due next week many are having to make choices between paying rent and putting food on the table.
The winter storms also impacted agencies that help provide meals by shutting many of the organizations down. City leaders said Tuesday’s distribution is just a drop in the bucket compared to the need.
Marty also said these meals will help those who are still without power.
“The meals that are going to be provided are MREs, or meals ready to eat, that can be consumed without the need for cooking or heating,” Marty said. “I feel like this is an appropriate response given the number of community members who are still not able to sufficiently use their kitchens or heating resources.”
The distribution will take place Tuesday from 1-6 p.m. at the Millennium Youth Complex in east Austin located at 1156 Hargrave St.
“This is intended for a drive-through pick up however if you do not have a vehicle and you can make it to the Millennium Youth Complex you’re welcome to walk up and be provided with water meals and as much water as you need to carry,” Marty said.