Common Threads provides hunger relief with a dash of healthy cooking tips this holiday season in Austin & Pittsburgh

Written By: Mimi Chacin

To help address unprecedented hunger and food insecurity that families continue to face as a result of COVID-19, Common Threads teamed up with its partners in Austin and Pittsburgh to provide food distribution just in time for the holidays.


In Austin, Common Threads partnered with Farmhouse Delivery and the Austin Parks & Recreation department for a true day of holiday giving. 

On Dec. 11,  Austin-based families drove through a distribution site at Gus Garcia Recreation Center in Austin where they were welcomed by Santa Claus himself along with a crew of elves, who helped hand out 125 reusable Farmhouse Delivery bags of fresh local produce, a paper sack with shelf stable items donated by Austin Voices, Common Threads recipes, a box of PPE and children’s toys. Visitors were even able to take a socially-distanced selfie with Santa, too!

The event was part of Farmhouse Delivery’s Donate a Box campaign, which supports community-based organizations that provide at-risk and food insecure youth in Central Texas who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the food distribution nourished bodies and spirits this holiday season.

“It was wonderful to see so many organizations come together to support our community,” said Andrew Stiver, senior chef instructor for Common Threads.


Common Threads teamed up with the City of Pittsburgh’s Citiparks department, Giant Eagle and PitShop to distribute meal kits for up to 100 families on Dec. 18.

Families received groceries purchased with gift cards donated by Giant Eagle and packaged by PitShop, to create four nutritious and delicious meals using Common Threads’ 4321 Meals Plan along with a shopping and planning guide, just in time for the holidays.

The 4-3-2-1 meal package simplifies planning and preparing healthy meals including 4 dinners and 3 lunches for 2 people using 1 base recipe. In addition to receiving groceries to prepare the tasty 4-3-2-1 recipes inspired by global flavors, families were invited to participate in a free virtual cooking demo in which a trained Common Threads chef instructor led families through the steps on how to shop and prepare the 4-3-2-1 recipes.

“Citiparks is grateful to have a partner like Common Threads that is committed to supporting childhood nutrition during this time. We are particularly excited about this outreach effort because it also provides families with a hands-on activity and an opportunity to learn more about the nutrition value of their food,” noted Kathryn Vargas, assistant director, Community Recreation, Dept. of Parks and Recreation.

Common Threads looks forward to additional food distribution events with Citiparks in 2021.


Common Threads is a national nonprofit that provides children and families cooking and nutrition education to encourage healthy habits that contribute to wellness. We equip under-resourced communities with information to make affordable, nutritious and appealing food choices wherever they live, work, learn and play. We know that food is rooted in culture and tradition, so we promote diversity in our lessons and recipes, encouraging our participants to celebrate the world around them. To learn more, visit or on social media by searching for #CookingForLife.