Austin nonprofit gives away turkeys, side dishes to residents ahead of holiday

With less than a week to go before Thanksgiving, local nonprofits teamed up to make sure Austin’s most vulnerable do not have to worry about putting food on the table.

Cars rolled into the East Austin Neighborhood Center for Sendero Health Plan’s third annual turkey fest.

"I believe that this is very much in the spirit of giving back, serving our community and hopefully getting others to pass it along," said Rudy Ybarra, with Sendero Health Plans.

Sendero Health Plans, a nonprofit medical insurance company, passed out 1,000 turkeys and side dishes to Austin's medically vulnerable residents, so they do not have to worry about the Thanksgiving holiday.

"It becomes something beyond just thinking about how I am going to eat today and everything, but also being able to take part in this tradition that everybody else is experiencing and just feel like you're part of that community," said Ybarra.

Sendero teamed up with the Central Texas Food Bank to make this happen. The food bank hosted their own holiday meal campaign 15 minutes away in South Austin at the Veterans Clinic passing out even more turkeys.


"Nobody should ever go hungry, especially during the holidays," said Beth Corbett with the Central Texas Food Bank.

In response to the rising food insecurity rates in Central Texas, the food bank ramped up distribution efforts for this upcoming holiday. By Thanksgiving, the Central Texas Food Bank will have distributed 17,000 turkeys to families in need in 21 counties.

"There's a saying that when you share your food, you share your heart, and so we want to make sure families can share their heart this Thanksgiving holiday," said Sari Vatske, President and CEO of Central Texas Food Bank.