Inside look: Clients at East Austin Service Center

August 27, 2009 § 2 Comments

Karla CantuKarla Cantu
Agency Relations Director

On Wednesday, we served 221 households/908 individuals at CAFB East Austin Service Center (EASC). The line was long, which gave me some time to talk with the clients waiting patiently to receive food. Here’s a glimpse into what some of our neighbors in Austin are experiencing:

  • Linda relies on STS (Capital Metro’s Special Transit Service) to get to the food pantry. Due to limited service, she takes the 5:30 a.m. bus to come to the food pantry (which opens at 8 a.m.).  She was given a cab voucher to get a ride home.
  • EASC2Mary’s been looking for a job since February. She has one child and says she is thankful school started because her daughter gets free breakfast and lunch at school. When I asked how they made it through the summer with the extra food expense, she simply said they ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly.
  • Juanita, a senior living on a fixed income, experienced a hard summer. Although she has no additional money coming in, she’s been helping her daughter financially who is on medical (maternity) leave.  As of today, they have six diapers left with no money available until next month’s pension check.  Juanita said her check is usually gone by the second week of the month.
  • Jack walks three miles to get to the food pantry because he doesn’t have transportation. (Side note – you can call United Way’s First Call for Help (211) to find out which agencies offer bus vouchers.)
  • Brenda’s a widow raising her 12, 9 and 3-year-old grandchildren, plus her 10-year-old daughter. She takes 10 city buses a day getting the children to-and-from school. The total cost for weekly transportation is $42. Brenda says she hopes the children will receive monthly student bus passes from CAFB Partner Agency, Communities in Schools .   

Wow, what a day, and these are only five stories out of the 221 households served today. 

Click here to volunteer at EASC.

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§ 2 Responses to Inside look: Clients at East Austin Service Center

  • Noris says:

    Karla,
    Could you please put me and my wife in contact with some of the families that you noticed could really use a helping hand. I am touched by the people you described in your article and I feel that there must be something I can do to help them.
    I know that many do not want others to know of their circumstances, but I feel that were are placed on this planet to help our fellow man/woman.
    Thank you and God bless, you are truly an inspiration to us all for the work you do!

    • Karla Cantu says:

      Dear touched,
      Thank you for your reply. It is the clients we serve and kind-hearted people like yourself that keep me inspired on a daily basis. I love what I do and I love that you were touched by the stories of these families. Please contact me at the Capital Area Food Bank, 512-282-2111 to discuss reaching out to these families. I also invite you and all our readers to visit and/or volunteer at the CAFB East Austin Service Center in Austin or the Reaching Out Center in Pflugerville. Visit our volunteer page on the Capital Area Food Bank website at http://www.austinfoodbank.org/volunteer
      I look forward to your call.
      Karla

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