Karen Crosby Legend

Karen Crosby

A longtime instructor of the service learning model at Williamson County Juvenile Justice Center, Karen organizes student-led community service projects like The Locker, where homeless and needy Georgetown ISD students can discreetly pick up essentials like soap and fresh fruit.

Julie stumbled across Keep Austin Fed while reading the Austin American-Statesman five years ago, eagerly clipping out the article knowing it was something she wanted to pursue. Her parents grew up during the Great Depression and her mother never let any food go to waste. Even her grandfather would drive his truck around bakeries to pick up day-old bread for the Salvation Army to use in their soup kitchen. An organization that embodied the same principles her family selflessly practiced was a perfect match.

Keep Austin Fed’s mission is to reduce hunger and help the environment by connecting surplus food with our neighbors in need. Approximately 30% of food in America ends up in a landfill – volunteers like Julie help prevent that. To date, she has completed over 900 food runs and “rescued” over 144,500 pounds of food, the equivalent of more than 120,000 meals! Julie doesn’t just do it herself – she trains others as well. She’s considered a “multiplier,” training many volunteers and bringing in whoever she can to help the cause.

It goes further than eliminating waste for Julie. “My belief is that health begins with excellent nutrition,” she says. “Hungry children and adults have diminished capacity for cognition, creativity, and physical effort, not to mention the negative impact on quality of life. I’m so proud that Keep Austin Fed is not just recovering food, but preserving high-quality food and sharing it with folks who might not otherwise have access to such nutritionally dense sustenance.”

On top of being a powerhouse at Keep Austin Fed, Julie is also a volunteer manager for the Author Transportation Crew at the Texas Book Festival, volunteers with KLRU’s Austin City Limits and Overheard with Evan Smith, she is the treasurer at her church and part of the “Homeless Breakfast” crews. Her generosity and energy are constantly put into these organizations and touching thousands of lives through many different scopes in Austin.

Update: KEYE-TV featured Karen during a newscast in August 2015 – check it out here!

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