Austin chef whips up special meal for summer feeding program kids


by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News and photojournalist JOHN FISHER

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Posted on June 26, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 26 at 6:41 PM

AUSTIN -- According to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas, one in four children could go to bed hungry.  More than 60 percent of Austin Independent School District students are economically disadvantaged. When school's out for summer, regular meals are often missed. It's why the Capital Area Food Bank kicked off it's Summer Food Service program.

Just about every kid is familiar with "Ratatouille" the movie, but kids at El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission got to see and taste the real thing Wednesday.

"Today we're serving ratatouille with a poached egg and pasta Parmesan," said David Bull, the executive chef of Congress and Second Bar & Kitchen.

It's the third year Bull's taken part in the Capital Area Food Bank's summer feeding program.

"I have five children myself," he said. "They're fortunate to have a full fridge most of the time. I think the awareness factor for children who don't have an opportunity to have a meal provided for them during the summer is a crucial."

"When school lets out, hunger doesn't take a vacation," said Hank Perret, the president and CEO of Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. "Kids need to eat."

Perret says it will distribute close to 50,000 meals this summer over a 10-week period.

"About 4,000 kids will get fed every week with this program," said Perret.  

The children will receive a full lunch and a snack in the afternoon. The food bank will deliver those meals to 15 more locations than it did last year, but the demand is also up.

"We are going to distribute this year across the food bank 20 percent more than we did last year, but we're still not meeting the need," said Perret.

That's why celebrity servers like Travis County Commissioner Margaret Gomez wanted to take part.

"I want to see that the children are beginning to get the education they need for healthy living," said Gomez. "It's good to see that it's finally filtering down to the young people, so they can grow up knowing how to eat a little healthier."

The food program runs through August 23. All the meals are provided to children free of charge.