Crisis Network needs summer food drive donations, volunteers
The Highland Lakes Crisis Network is asking for food donations and additional volunteers as it prepares for its fourth annual summer food drive. Families that signed up for the food drive will receive deliveries of weekly care packages of food after Marble Falls Independent School District campuses let out for the summer.
HLCN needs snack foods like granola bars, crackers, pretzels, and fruit snacks for kids.
“We’re just trying to provide some easy snacks, easy lunches, and easy breakfasts that (kids) can make themselves,” said Rachel Naumann, the network’s operations director.
The summer snack drive will run in conjunction with the nonprofit’s freezer meal ministry, a program that feeds families in need and victims of house fires and other crises. For the first time, those signed up for the nonprofit’s summer meal program will receive weekly, home-cooked casseroles to help feed their families.
“We’ve been typically giving out the casseroles to any family in need,” Naumann said. “We’re just trying to project how many we might need this summer. We’re thinking we might need up to 300 casseroles, if not more.”
The nonprofit will also enlist the help of area churches to bolster resources available to local families.
“We are sending specific food items like macaroni, ravioli, and oatmeal to churches, and churches are going to do really large drives for us so we can get really large quantities of all of these items,” Naumann said.
The Crisis Network relies on MFISD to identify families in need of food during the summer. Because of this, the program is only open to families with students in the district.
“The only verification we do is make sure they attend Marble Falls ISD because those are the kids we help supplement,” Naumann said.
While MFISD does offer a summer feeding program, students with busy families sometimes struggle to find transportation to meal sites.
“They offer meal sites at usually two of their campuses, so if kids can get to the sites, they can get breakfast and lunch there,” Naumann said. “We’re targeting the kids that can’t get to the site.”
Naumann anticipates the drive will help feed about 100 families, nearly twice as many as the drive served in 2022.
“Every year we’ve done this, I’ve seen the need grow,” she said. “I’m shocked because I feel like this is a ‘hidden crisis.’ A lot of people don’t realize the need, but this is a real need. This isn’t someone putting their hand out. We’ve been to these houses and seen these kids, home alone, taking care of their little siblings and just trying to feed them while their parents are out working.”
To drop off snacks, visit the Highland Lakes Crisis Network, 700 Avenue T in Marble Falls. If you’d like to donate casseroles, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The nonprofit also needs volunteers, including delivery drivers. Sign up online. To join the food drive’s list of households, call 325-423-3662.