“Celebrating forty years is a wonderful achievement for any agency, and we are very proud,” Jennifer Landers, executive director of the community assistance center, stated. “However ... families right here in our community are making tough decisions to pay rent, or keep the heat on with these colder temperatures, or to put food on the table.”
In 2020, the center served 39,347 individuals by assisting with expenses such as rent and mortgage, food and utility assistance, according to the news release. Additionally, the center's food pantry distributed groceries to more than 29,000 county residents during a time when roughly 31% of Texans are food insecure. And in 2020, the center served 1,241 new families in Montgomery County who had never used assistance services before.
Food pantries like the one at the community assistance center receive support through local distribution partners, which receive food allotted to them by the states from The Emergency Food Assistance Program, which is a federal program, according to the newsletter. TEFAP's funds are used to purchase surplus commodities from U.S. producers, which are then distributed to the states to help predominately low-income families and seniors.
Between the Families First Coronavirus Response and the CARES Act, Congress appropriated $850 million in additional funds for TEFAP purchases nationwide, according to the news release. However, the most recent stimulus package was a 50% decrease in federal funding for TEFAP, so local food pantries—like the one at the community assistance center—must rely on community support.
The community assistance center is accepting food donations Monday through Friday, and there are volunteer opportunities available on a weekly basis. For more information, visit www.cac-mctx.org.