Round Rock Edition | June 2022



Hundreds of cars come to Circle of Hope during operational hours.

A Circle of Hope volunteer helps ll a food order.



MOST NEEDED ITEMS The Lees have compiled a list of most needed items, available on their website, that is regularly updated with new information to guide food donations. As of May, the most needed items were:

• canned vegetables • peanut butter • spaghetti pasta • spaghetti sauce • mac and cheese • jelly

• boxes of cereal • rice (1 lb. bags) • canned fruit • soups • oatmeal • beans (1 lb. bags)

Circle of Hope Operations Manager Shannon Johst helps load a car with food.

Several volunteers help at Circle of Hope.



Circle of Hope Community Center Area nonprot helps feed residents of Pugerville and beyond O n Mondays and Fridays, anyone in need of food donations may go to Circle of Hope Community Center, a food pantry that has

Circle of Hope Community Center 2900 W. Pecan St., Pugerville 512-692-8001 Hours: Mon. and Fri. 10 a.m.-noon GET INVOLVED On May 2, Circle of Hope announced patrons may only come once a week on Monday or Friday due to growing need throughout the community. Due to the growth, the nonprot is seeking more volunteers, and they must be 16 and up, or between the ages of 10 and 15 with parent permission and a signed liability waiver. Ways to help include: • monetary donations • food donations • volunteering: requires standing, lifting and being outdoors for entire shift • trac control • donation sorting • lling boxes • putting donation boxes into trunks • retail pickup • intake

sees an uptick in demand over the summer. To meet the additional need, the community center is seeking as many volunteers as possible to assist with packing donations for distribution, sorting donations, trac control, doing intake and conducting retail pickup from local partners, including HEB and Target. Volunteers age 16 and up may get involved without parent permission, but those ages 10-15 will need parent permission. The rst Circle of Hope distribution took place in 2017 due largely to assistance from Point of Grace Church in Pugerville. Tina said the eort saw more than 5,000 pounds of food go to area resi- dents, but it almost did not happen. Circle of Hope, a registered 501(c)(3) and partner agency of the Central Texas Food Bank, had been slated to receive donations from the food bank but did not receive them in time for its rst planned distribution. Fortunately, Tina said Point of Grace came through with enough food from previous drives to give to Circle of Hope. “It was right on time,” Tina said. “That food is how we were able to start our distribution.” Derek said Circle of Hope has long enjoyed community support from adjacent businesses, such as Three Points Plaza, where overow food dona- tion recipients park, to nearby Bualo Framing and Truss. Tina said at one point Bualo Framing and Truss used forklifts to move pallets of donations for the food pantry as a kindness. “Without them we would have never been where we are today,” Derek said.

been serving area residents since 2017. Founded by spouses Tina and Derek Lee, Circle of Hope provides food, clothing and other essentials to anyone in need, regardless of where they live. Tina said she and Derek created Circle of Hope to address a growing need for food donations she observed in Pugerville. “A lot of people have a misconception that there’s no hunger here—that people aren’t hurting,” Tina said. “People really started seeing the dierence once COVID-19 hit.” The Lees estimate the number of people serviced by Circle of Hope, both as a food pantry and as a community resource center, increased from around 300 families per month pre-pandemic to more than 2,000 families per month. Before the pandemic, those receiving food donations could come to the facility and shop for their own groceries; however, Tina said the onset of COVID-19 social distancing protocols shifted the nonprot to the distribution model. Now, volunteers distribute food to car trunks via a drive-thru format. “We turned into a mobile distribution very quickly, and it’s been successful ever since,” Tina said. As a general need for services have grown, the Lees said they are gearing up for the summer, when fami- lies relying on free meals provided by their childrens’ schools need additional support. While some local schools have programs over the summer to provide meals via pickup, the Lees said Circle of Hope still




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