A New Way to Take On Hunger in Austin

September 15, 2019 10:39 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- A new way to fight hunger is coming to Austin.

“It’s overwhelming to see the fire behind this, the fire behind the volunteers, the fire behind the enthusiasm that yes, this is something that we need,” said Ann Maxfield, site coordinator for Ruby’s Pantry Austin.


Something to take on a problem the community of Austin, like so many other communities across the state and country, is facing.

“In our community people are going hungry,” Maxfield said.

The community’s need makes Austin a prime spot for a Ruby’s Pantry pop-up.

“Ruby’s Pantry is not a food shelf and there are no income or resident requirements, so anyone that has an interest with a $20 cash donation and some tubs and baskets is welcome,” said bob Rosel, promotion media coordinator for Ruby’s Pantry Austin.

Ruby’s Pantry is a food redistribution program that began in Wisconsin and has spread to Minnesota, with 82 pop-up pantries.

“Manufacturers donate this food, it’s taken then by Ruby’s Pantry, put out to the pop-up pantries,” Maxfield said.

“There is such a food insufficiency in our community and we may not see it, we may not know about it, but our next door neighbor could be in that situation, it could be, you know, our own family members, we just don’t know,” said Cheryl Corey, volunteer coordinator for Ruby’s Pantry Austin.

Each guest who visits the pantry gets two big baskets of food.

“About $150 to $180 dollars [worth], 18 to 20 different items, always a meat, a protein, a dairy, a bread is included in these items for a mere $20 donation,” Maxfield said.

Most of the $20 donation goes towards shipping costs, and once the pop-up is up on its feet, what’s left over will go back into the community.

“Ruby’s Pantry is not a handout. It’s an opportunity, with dignity, to participate in a program and keep it going,” Maxfield said.

“We all know how tight it can be for people to go paycheck to paycheck. The idea here is to help people stretch their income,” Rosel said.

Ruby’s Pantry in Austin will be open every third Thursday of the month at Grace Lutheran Church in Austin, located at 2001 6th St. SE.

The first date is this upcoming Thursday, Sep. 19th.

Registration starts at 4 p.m. and distribution begins at 5 p.m.


Alice Keefe

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