Want to build a community? Look at Austin.



Courtesy of Capital Area Food Bank of Texas "Hunger is Unacceptable" Campaign

Ed Nicholson

I’ve previously mentioned two online spaces that do a marvelous job of giving residents in their communities an accurate and compelling image of the face of hunger:  Food for Thought and Invisible–the frontlines of hunger in Colorado.

This week, I was made aware of the online community-building being done by the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas in Austin.  Extraordinary work.  Lisa Goddard, advocacy and online marketing manager, is the architect of the food bank’s online outreach, which supplements a very well-designed website with a wide variety of social media tools, the center of which is the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas Weblog .  

The blog, up since June, was originally launched provide an account of food bank CEO and President David Davenport’s experiences with the Food Stamp Challenge.  It does a superb job of just that, with compelling insight from David, brought to life with helpful links and embedded YouTube and Google video. But Lisa has now taken it much further. 

David’s blogging generated the phrase around which the food bank’s latest effort was built,  an incredibly-creative Flickr-focused campaign called "Hunger is Unacceptable."  People are encouraged to upload their photos containing the message "Hunger is Unacceptable" to a Flickr group, where the photos are aggregated online.  It gets visitors actively engaged, allows them to make a personal statement about hunger, and provides a reason to re-visit the site.    You’ll need to visit the site to see how they’ve made participation easy.

In addition to their blog and Flickr account, the food bank is using all of the most popular social media tools to build community, including a Facebook group and a LinkedIn organizational profile

In the ultimate social media activity, the food bank is working with the extremely active social media community in Austin, including Social Media Club Austin     and 501 Tech Club  on a HAM-up (Tweetup), mobilizing the well-connected community to a food drive via Twitter. Thanks to the outreach of  David Neff,  director of web and interactive strategy for the American Cancer Society, and highly connected and kinetic Ausitinite, Tyson Foods will be supporting this event in a unique way. 

Stay tuned here next week for more details early next week.  You  have a potential role in this. These guys in Austin have it going on,   having recently organized a highly successful blood drive Tweetup.

We’ll be using this space to talk more about hunger in Austin, and specifically about the good work of the food bank.

Until then, go see what Capital Area Food Bank of Texas is doing.  It’s definitely the most effective use of social media community building I’ve seen among hunger relief organizations. 

If you’re aware of other online hunger relief efforts, let me know and we’ll do our best to create awareness of them.

4 Replies to “Want to build a community? Look at Austin.”

  1. Milly Davison

    Please provide information for help. Our Food Bank does not receive

    very much and therefore our Food Pantry is unable to keep up with the

    high demand that is ever increasing.

    Martha’s Place @ Solid Rock


    Milly Davison

  2. Milly Davison

    Martha’s Place Harnett County North Carolina

    We are serving approx. 2400 individuals each month

    and we are in dire need of help for our food pantry.

    How can I get Kraft to help us ?

    Thank You

    Milly Davison

    Martha’s Place

  3. David Davenport

    First of all a huge THANK YOU to Tyson Foods for their extraordinary commitment to hunger relief. The gifts of food and support provided annually by Tyson Foods feeds many of our hungry neighbors not only here in Austin but across the nation.

    THANK YOU as well for all the kind words. At the risk of making my entire staff team jealous I’d like to echo your comments about Lisa and her efforts. I am not shy about saying she’s the best at what she does in the America‘s Second Harvest/Feeding America Network. For the record she’s not going anywhere – She’s ours!!

    I have been impressed with the following that the ‘Hunger is Unacceptable’ campaign has gathered in the short time it has been public. The passion, imagination and commitment of those that have let their voice be heard has been an inspiration to me and to our Capital Area Food Bank family.

    Thanks to the many that have agreed to be a part of thisimportant effort – together we can turn the firm belief that ‘Hunger is Unacceptable’ into the reality that hunger no longer exists.




  4. Mike Chapman

    This is a great effort for a great cause. We all need to update our twitter avatars and profile pics to follow David Neff’s example. The Social Media Club is ready to do its part.

Comments are closed.