This year, the Central Texas community came together to show its overwhelming support for the fifth annual Stuff the Bus food drive. Donations in both food and cash set a new record for the campaign, with enough collected to equal 175,633 meals, far exceeding the goal of 50,000 meals. All donations benefit the Central Texas Food Bank.
The Stuff the Bus food drive collected nonperishable food items, along with cash donations, at all five Austin-area Whole Foods Market locations Dec.1-14. Food donations filled the interiors of two Capital Metro buses parked at The Domain and Downtown Whole Foods Market locations the weekend of Dec. 9-11.
KIND bar, a Whole Foods Market supplier, donated 5,000 bars to the Food Bank, and volunteers also handed out bars to people who donated at The Domain and Downtown Whole Foods Markets.
“This was our most successful Stuff the Bus food drive ever,” said Capital Metro President/CEO Linda Watson. “We set the bar high and the community responded by coming together and surpassing our goal. I can’t thank everyone enough for the outpouring of support given to families in need during this holiday season.”
“The Food Bank couldn’t do what we do to fight hunger in Central Texas without the help of events like Stuff the Bus, and great community partners like Capital Metro and Whole Foods,” said Derrick Chubbs, president and CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank. “Beating our goal of 50,000 meals by such a huge amount speaks volumes about the hard work everyone put in to make the event a success, and about the compassionate nature of this great community. Words cannot adequately express how grateful we are.”
“Whole Foods Market is thrilled by the generosity shown over the 2016 Stuff the Bus campaign,” said Amara Lopez, marketing and community relations for Whole Foods Market Southwest Region. “We are proud to surpass our campaign goal and support the Central Texas Food Bank in such a big way this year. Thank you to Capital Metro for its partnership, to Central Texas Food Bank for all they do in our community, and to everyone that came out to donate at our Austin stores this month.”
The food donations collected throughout the weekend have already been transferred into the Food Bank inventory to be distributed to community service sites across 21 Central Texas counties, including nearly 250 partner agencies.