With the help of volunteers, Central Texas Food Bank distributed almost 54 million meals last year. | Photo via Central Texas Food Bank
Thanksgiving may be all about the food, but it’s also the season of giving.
Texas is the second-most food insecure state in the nation, with ~15.5% of households reporting lack of access to affordable and healthy food from 2020-2022. According to data from Feeding America, one in six Texan children faces hunger.
The Central Texas Food Bank reports that 34% of its clients are children and teens. The City of Austin estimates that 39% of food insecure Austinites are ineligible for most federal nutrition programs.
Those numbers are daunting, but fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help those experiencing food insecurity locally. From mobile markets to food banks, here are four organizations you can support this holiday season.
Meals on Wheels Central Texas This organization, dedicated to serving hearty meals to 5,000+ older adults in the area, is in need of meal delivery drivers.
Central Texas Food Bank From assembling food packages, cooking meals, and distributing food at mobile pantries, there’s a wide range of ways you can contribute to providing meals for food-insecure Texans. (Pro tip: If you have a green thumb, you can also volunteer to assist in the nonprofit’s garden.)
Keep Austin Fed This organization takes excess food from grocery stores, hotels, restaurants, and schools and takes it to local partner organizations for distribution. Sign up to be a food rescue runner and one hour of your time will help feed ~160 people.
Sustainable Food Center The Sustainable Food Center supports local farmers, while also providing local fruits and vegetables for people enrolled in federal nutrition programs.
Looking for more ways to give back this season? Click the button below to read our list of 30+ other nonprofits supporting Austinites.
Morgan Wallen | Thursday, Nov. 16 | 7 p.m. | The Moody Center, 2001 Robert Dedman Dr., Austin | $300-$2,500 | The country music star will be joined by Bailey Zimmerman and Nate Smith for his “One Night at a Time” world tour.
Beaujolais Nouveau Day | Thursday, Nov. 16 | 7 p.m. | Wanderlust Wine Co. East, 702 Shady Lane, Austin | Free | Celebrate the end of the grape harvest with food, drinks, live music and contests.
Concacaf Nations League Quarterfinal | Thursday, Nov. 16 | 8 p.m. | Q2 Stadium, 10414 McKalla Pl., Austin | $45-$375 | The U.S. Men’s National Team will compete against Trinidad & Tobago to move on to the 2024 Copa America.
Friday, Nov. 17
“A Christmas Carol” | Friday, Nov. 17-Sunday, Dec. 31 | Times vary | ZACH Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin | $25-$120 | The annual rendition of the Dickens classic returns for weeks of family-friendly fun.
Leyendas Legendarias | Friday, Nov. 17 | 8 p.m. | The Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave., Austin | $40-$50 | This Spanish-language performance brings the true crime podcast to life onstage.
Saturday, Nov. 18
2023 Austin Foodie Fest | Saturday, Nov. 18 | 2-10 p.m. | Republic Square, 422 Guadalupe St., Austin | $7 | Get ready to dig into local food, participate in games, and take in live music — bring your own chair for a guaranteed seat.
Burna Boy | Saturday, Nov. 18 | 7:30 p.m. | The Moody Center, 2001 Robert Dedman Dr., Austin | $50-$500 | The “I Told Them” tour will stop in Austin for one night.
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The family that owns Terry Black’s Barbecue plans to open a club in south Austin with a restaurant, pool, and boutique hotel. The property at 700 Dawson Rd. previously housed the Elks Lodge from 1958 to 2013. (Austin American-Statesman)
New York-based bakery Milk Bar will serve pastries, cakes, and other treats at the Loren at Lady Bird Lake throughout the month of December. The pop-up will benefit sustainability efforts through the Loren Roots Imperative. (Eater Austin)
Austin Pickle Ranch — a pickleball facility with eight rooftop courts — is now open Downtown, complete with rentable paddles and drinks + snacks for purchase. Check out the new space on the fourth floor at 1717 W. 6th St. (Community Impact Austin)
Developers plan to construct a 708-unit apartment complex in southeast Austin, near the airport and Tesla Gigafactory. The project from River City Capital Partners is expected to occupy six acres at 6610 E. Riverside Dr. and include a 10,000-sqft retail plaza. (Austin Business Journal)
Austin ranked the No. 19 worst city in the US for traffic in a new list from 24/7 Wall St. The analysis estimated that the average Austin driver lost ~53 hours to their commute in 2022.
Do you want fries with that sweater? Whataburger released its newest holiday garb, complete with patterned socks, sweaters, and pajama sets. Personally, we’re partial to these french fly slippers.
Free Lunch ATX works to provide communities in need with healthy, free food. | Photo by Jade Skye Hammer, provided by Free Lunch ATX
It may not be Thanksgiving yet, but holiday bells are already ringing in Austin.
Free Lunch ATX — a local organization dedicated to providing meals to communities in need, advocating for food access, and stocking Austin’s “Free Fridges” — announced its “12 Days of Free Lunch” initiative.
Kicking off on Friday, Dec. 1, the 12-day event will partner with local restaurants in an attempt to raise $12,000 for food insecurity programs. To participate, simply purchase an item from the following participating locations: