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April is more than just springtime—it's Volunteer Appreciation Month! This is the perfect time to recognize and celebrate our dedicated volunteers who selflessly give their time and energy to support our community. I’m going to share a little bit about volunteering in our food pantry and introduce you to Tammy & Steve who have been volunteering with us for a couple of years.

HCCM is open 5 days a week, Monday through Friday. We have a morning shift (9 am–noon), afternoon shift (1-3 pm), and on Thursdays only, we have 2 additional shifts (3-5 pm, 5-7 pm). We rely on 6-8 volunteers for every shift. Many volunteers work multiple shifts per week. The pantry volunteers do a variety of tasks. Their priority is serving our clients by filling their pantry orders. Our clients come in on an appointment basis so that we can take the time to help each family individually and specifically. They are given a preference sheet where they can identify items they may or may not want or need from our master list. Then our volunteers will collect and bag each order. The clients are given many choices, such as types of cereals, produce, meats, etc. They are also able to choose breads and pastries that they prefer. Hygiene products and cleaning supplies are usually available as well.

The morning crews also help to receive the retail donations that come in every morning and prepare those for distribution in the pantry and Community Cupboard. Sometimes produce will need to be sorted for quality control. Decisions will be made to determine where donations will go – whether to the pantry clients or the cupboard customers.

Volunteers have many tasks to keep them busy in between clients, too! They will work on stocking shelves, and refilling bread, pastry and produce supplies. They also will fill bottles of detergent and dish soap for distribution.

One couple who are faithful food pantry volunteers is Steve and Tammy Knutson. They have been volunteering at HCCM for almost 2 years and work 2 shifts per week. Steve and Tammy have been married for almost 44 years, are retired, and enjoy traveling around the world! When they are not volunteering, they enjoy gardening, knitting (Tammy), coaching their granddaughter’s lacrosse team (Steve), and are avid Texas Stars hockey fans!!

What they say about volunteering at HCCM

Volunteering at HCCM Food Bank gets us out of the house and gives us a chance to enjoy working with our “second family” of volunteers and staff, to provide food and personal items to families in need. We feel it really makes a difference for people, and when someone thanks us for all we are doing for them, it feels extra good! We have had people ask us if they could hug us, boy does that move our hearts!

Though most of our pantry shifts are filled with regular volunteers, there are a few shifts that could use another person or two. Volunteers are able to choose a regular recurring shift (weekly), or they can simply choose shifts as they are available.

If you are looking for a volunteer position that would allow you to help for a couple hours in the morning once a week, please complete a volunteer application here: https://www.volgistics.com/appform/809266279 or reach out to Kandy Chimento at kandy.chimento@hccm.org.

Hi my name is Corbin Sherman, I was born and Austin and spent most of my life living in the Leander area. I have always loved sports and being active. Football is by far my favorite sport watch and play. My other interests include watching movies, eating, and working out.

In a world where economic disparities persist, innovative solutions are crucial to break the cycle of poverty. Recognizing this urgent need, HCCM has created a new program, Pathways, has emerged to offer clients in-depth assistance, support, and resources to overcome poverty. 

I was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley.  In 2009, I moved to Austin to earn a B.A. at the University of Texas at Austin.   I love the area so much that I decided to stay.  In 2017, I moved to Leander, where I would meet my other half later.  I enjoy spending my days with my 3-year-old son Desmond, playing softball, and hanging with our fur babies.   Before working at HCCM Thrift Store, I served as an educator and coach for 10 years.

National Nutrition Month ® is an annual campaign established in 1973 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, everyone is invited to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.

Meet Cindy, a down-to-earth team member originally from Taylor, TX, who made her way to Houston in 1981 and proudly graduated from Cy Fair High School. Currently residing in Leander, she's loving life. Cindy's got a 6 ½ year old Chi-Weenie named Chapo, and outside of work, you can catch her refinishing old furniture and diving into redecorating projects. Her easygoing nature and creative pursuits add a wonderful touch to our team dynamic.

Did you know, we are more than just a food pantry? We serve about 4500 families, about 13,600 individuals a month. We offer Thrift Store voucher cards, vision vouchers, incontinence supplies, diapers, hygiene products, and pet food when you become a full-service client. We provide nutritious meals to clients during the holidays as well. We do case management, where we provide extra help with other resources such as finding a job, filling out a SNAP application,
referrals to other community resources, finding a health clinic, & more.

Although the Fresh Food For All (FFFA) food distributions started in 2016, many people are still yet to learn about them. FFFA is a mobile food distribution focusing on produce and fresh food options completely free to all members of the community. Usually, depending on the season and food availability, FFFA delivers about 15-20 fresh food options for each household. FFFA happens ten times every month throughout Williamson and Northwest Travis counties.

For years, I have wanted to create fundraising events that are FUN and different from what most people do. This past Saturday night was Hill Country Community Ministries' 5th gala…. The HCCM Mardi Gras Bash…. And I am 100% sure we did this. We did something different. It was FUN, and it was MAGICAL!!! It FELT GOOD to be there.

Welcome to the first installment of a series unveiling the diverse array of volunteer opportunities available at HCCM. In today's spotlight, we shine a light on the dynamic world of Retail Donation Pickup – a crucial mission that makes a significant impact.

As a ministry primarily devoted to food distribution, we frequently get asked where the food comes from. Three main sources are helping us feed so many people: The Central Texas Food Bank, local stores like HEB, Target, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, and Randal’s, and donations from generous and caring individuals and organizations.

Never in a million years did I think we would see the numbers we did last year. Boy, I was wrong!!! I may have shared how shocked I was in 2022, providing food to 30,255 families (91,037 individuals). YET, in 2023, HCCM provided food to 46,685 families. That is 136,243 individuals. We provided food to OVER 100,000 people. 1.3 MILLION pounds of food was distributed. Nearly 960 families received thrift store vouchers. HCCM gave away FREE clothing, coats, shoes, blankets, housewares, linens, and so much more to our families in need or who have faced a crisis. This was to the tune of over $33,000 thrift store pricing… all for FREE.

Embarking on a journey toward a healthier lifestyle often involves making changes to our dietary habits. While the idea of incorporating nutritious foods into our daily meals sounds appealing, the reality can be challenging, especially when faced with foods we don't particularly enjoy. However, learning to like these healthy options is not only possible but can also be a rewarding and transformative experience. This article explores strategies to help you develop a taste for nutritious foods that might not appeal to your taste buds initially.

In a world where the cost of living seems to be ever-increasing, maintaining a nutritious diet on a budget can be a real challenge. However, with some strategic planning and savvy shopping, it's entirely possible to prioritize your health without breaking the bank. In this article, we'll explore practical tips and tricks for achieving a balanced and healthy diet on a budget.

Today, we will discuss some of the benefits and uses of a few popular, nutrient-rich vegetables of this fast-approaching winter season that offer a diverse range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

There is a lot of activity here this month. We are currently distributing our holiday meals to our clients. This includes a turkey, stuffing, instant potatoes, gravy, Jello, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, cream soup, peaches, pie filling, and pie crust. Several churches and organizations have been instrumental in collecting the food for this project, including Peace Lutheran, Victory Baptist, and the Leander Area Republican Women, among others.

HCCM partners with AGE of Central Texas to supply medical equipment for our clients and the public. Equipment, such as walkers, canes, wheelchairs, shower chairs, crutches and toilet chairs are made available on request and free of charge. AGE will sanitize and inspect every item to make sure everything is in pristine condition.

Our 50% off Black Friday Sale at the Thrift Store might have been the busiest day we have ever had at the thrift store, and we want to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the outstanding team that played a pivotal role in its success – our dedicated staff, selfless volunteers, and our incredible customers.

Hello HCCM Fans and HAPPY Thanksgiving!!! As I type those words, I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness and, yet, all the while….HOPE! For those who are experiencing hardship, sadness, and despair, we hear you. We see you. We are HERE for you!!! Sadly, this is happening more often than not to our family
and friends this year.

Hi! Hola! Hallo! Oi! Pryvit! Salut! Or Namaste! In the realm of nonprofit organizations, communication is the lifeblood that sustains the mission and keeps things moving, propelling volunteers, donors, staff, and the communities they serve toward a brighter future. From the daily communication that enables us to
operate, to learning new bits of a foreign language, to sharing new ideas and providing feedback, every bit plays an essential role in shaping who we are as an organization and what we will become.

Ryan is a proud Army veteran with a heart for helping people. He believes life is for the living and the most important thing anyone can do is help others to live. Some of Ryan’s favorite activities are exercising, spending time with his beautiful wife, studying the Holy Scriptures, giving people hope, and making people smile. If you ask Ryan how he feels about working at HCCM, you will only hear thanksgiving and praise for God.

Hello, I’m Jess Godina, and I’m the Front Desk Intake Coordinator. I recently joined the HCCM on September 14th. I was born and raised in the vibrant city of Laredo, TX.

As the holiday season approaches, our Christmastime meal distribution program aims to bring warmth and joy to our clients in need.

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