NCJW Luncheon Features Keep Austin Fed
Lisa Barden, Keep Austin Fed executive director, will speak at NCJW’s luncheon April 2. Courtesy of Keep Austin Fed.
By Bettie Forman
The next National Council of Jewish Women luncheon will be held Tuesday, April 2, at the Gan Yaniv outdoor garden on the Dell Jewish Community Campus, 7300 Hart Lane. The event will feature guest speaker Lisa Barden, executive director of Keep Austin Fed. Keep Austin Fed is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization that gathers wholesome surplus food from commercial kitchens and distributes it to area charities that serve people in need.
Barden moved to Austin after earning a math degree for a career in information technology at the University of Texas at Austin. After 22 years, she decided she wanted more, so she left to pursue her desire to start a business encouraging fitness for everyone.
Life made another right turn when Barden started volunteering with Keep Austin Fed after watching the documentary “Just Eat It” in May 2015. Astounded by facts on the prevalence of food insecurity and the vast amount of perfectly good food that gets thrown away, she immediately signed up to be a part of the solution.
Barden says she is “humbly energized” by the appreciation in the faces and voices of food recipients. Her passion and dedication to the cause, which started with just a few hours a week, have led to her current role as Keep Austin Fed’s executive director.
Randy Rosens founded Keep Austin Fed in 2004, when he saved high quality catered food that was headed to the dumpster after an event at Laguna Gloria. The food fed a group of women and children living at a shelter in South Austin.
One in seven people in Austin do not know where their next meal will come from. Keep Austin Fed volunteers rescue thousands of meals each month, feeding hundreds of the people living with food insecurity. In addition, the organization is starting to put a dent in the approximately 30 percent of food in the United States that ends up in a landfill and produces methane gas.
Central Market will provide food at the NCJW luncheon. Networking time will begin at 11:15 a.m., and the program will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost for lunch is $20. ■