Keep Austin Fed, a local nonprofit that tackles hunger and helps the environment by rescuing safe-to-eat food that would have otherwise ended up in the trash, has seen an uptick in need in the last two years, Executive Director Lisa Barden said.

The organization takes donations from grocery stores, catering companies and restaurants of good-quality food that would have otherwise been thrown away.

The organization does not give food directly to people in need, but it uses volunteers to get the food to partner organizations, such as local food banks.

Over the last two years she has seen an uptick in the number of families who need help. As the need has increased, the nonprofit has also had to be flexible as COVID-19 has caused shutdowns and supply chain issues.

“Our volunteers have been rock stars,” Barden said. “We have not suffered the way others have with volunteers not being available.”

Barden said one way individuals can get involved is by volunteering. Volunteers are needed to pick up food in their own vehicles and transport it to partner organizations.