Amy Bell follows her passion for community by giving with ACF.
Amy Bell, CEO of The Cook’s Nook, has dedicated her professional and personal life to promoting and advancing food access, equity, security, and sustainability. When she moved to Austin in 2016, there was no doubt in her mind about who she wanted to work with for her philanthropic giving—she opened a donor-advised fund with Austin Community Foundation almost immediately.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Bell about her journey with philanthropy and the causes that are dear to her heart. She explained how community and its relationship to food systems—how we make our food and how it becomes accessible—have always spoken to her.
“There’s such a joy in being able to share a meal with other people, and that’s something that speaks to family and community in a way that resonates very deeply on a personal level for me.”
Bell also spoke on her commitment to empowering and investing in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, a goal she sees as inseparable from food equity. In Central Texas, communities of color disproportionately reside in areas that are considered food deserts—places where it’s difficult to access fresh, nutritious foods. Acting as a reviewer for Women’s Fund grant applications has given her a window into ACF’s commitment to equitable grantmaking and the expanse of work made possible by grants from ACF.
Bell noted that one of the greatest benefits of working with ACF is maximizing your local impact as a donor because ACF grows your reach by making connections with smaller organizations that may otherwise be overlooked or unknown at larger charitable giving accounts. Many of these nonprofits are led and/or staffed by community members with first-hand experience that informs their work, making them best equipped to serve their community.
“[Austin Community Foundation] empowers the community as part of its decision–making.”
Amy Bell’s passion for helping her community through both time and donations is an inspiration, and an example of how giving with ACF can fulfill individual giving goals on a deeper level by maximizing the impact a donor can have throughout their community.