August 11, 2017
by Madison Messinger

Summer Food Ignites Summer Smiles

August 11, 2017
by Madison Messinger

Summer Meal SiteHe tears through the cardboard box, pulling out a handmade “rooster” wrap, pico and a little baggie containing fresh, sliced tomato. The four-year-old looks up at me with wide eyes and exclaims, “Is this watermelon?!”

I explain the contents of the baggie, hoping his excitement doesn’t dwindle, but he takes the news in stride and starts to tear apart the plastic wrap with tiny, uncoordinated fingers. I have just arrived at a Kid’s Café site, where children receive free lunches and snacks all summer through the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

The North Texas Food Bank is sponsoring 36 SFSP sites this summer, serving between 25 and 150 lunches per day. Sites range from Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinics, Girls Inc. and Project Transformations, to YMCA programs, apartment complexes and schools. Some of the sites have been serving summer meals through NTFB for more than five years!

NTFB staff members Cindy Serrano and Dianna Rooney run the Kid’s Café program, but during the summer, the entire Child Programs Department chips in to help monitor the growing number of sites during the hungriest time of year. Without access to school lunches, many young children aged one to 18 would go hungry over the summer. Through NTFB’s SFSP sites, these children have access to breakfasts, lunches and afternoon snacks in addition to enriching activities and even nutrition education.

The Child Programs Team is tasked with monitoring each of the 36 sites, three to four times throughout the summer to ensure sites are distributing meals in accordance with TDA and Health Department policy and procedures. While we may be out in the field checking for hairnets and food temperature logs, we keep coming back for the relationships developed along the way—the site coordinators, the kids and the delivery drivers are all part of the culture and community of SFSP.

While visiting the WIC site, I also ran into Kenneth Knox, a beloved NTFB driver. Kenneth is no stranger to Child Programs and when he isn’t around, our sites usually ask about him. His warm smile and inviting manner are part of what makes SFSP a full experience.

In addition to distributing 2,500 lunches per day over the summer, NTFB also provides bonus items to summer feeding sites, including Food 4 Kids backpacks and fresh produce. Kenneth had stopped by to deliver both of these items, much to the surprise of the little kids who had already received lunch and were now lining up for a bag of ruby red apples and other weekend, kid-friendly snacks. Jittery hands extended as the children accept their goodies one by one, barely able to carry both back to curious parents seated in the waiting room.

Summer Meal Site 2This is our second year operating SFSP at WIC sites. After piloting the program with seven sites in 2016, they were brought back this year with 12 wonderful clinics. The WIC partnership is just another way SFSP draws connections between food and health. Our vendor of three years, 12 Oaks, meticulously prepares meals that meet all TDA health requirements, and then some! Meals always include milk, meat/meat alternate, whole grains, fruit and/or vegetables. I can tell you from experience they always look and smell better than the lunch I packed for myself!

It is not hard to see why Cindy and Dianna were awarded Silver and Gold Sponsor by the Texas Hunger Initiative, FRAC and United Way for Excellence in Summer Meals two years in a row. From quality of food to quality of service, NTFB’s Summer Food Service Program is filling bellies and igniting smiles across North Texas. Most importantly, we know the nutritious food is nourishing these children for their future.

While summer will eventually end, Kid’s Café runs year round, transitioning from SFSP to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). It is still nice knowing that kids like that little boy with his chicken wrap won’t be forgotten during the summer; He won’t go home hungry, and he might even learn the difference between a watermelon and a tomato along the way.


For more information about Summer Food Sites, text ‘FOODTX’ to 877-877 or visit the Summer Food website here to view locations.

Summer Meal SiteHe tears through the cardboard box, pulling out a handmade “rooster” wrap, pico and a little baggie containing fresh, sliced tomato. The four-year-old looks up at me with wide eyes and exclaims, “Is this watermelon?!”

I explain the contents of the baggie, hoping his excitement doesn’t dwindle, but he takes the news in stride and starts to tear apart the plastic wrap with tiny, uncoordinated fingers. I have just arrived at a Kid’s Café site, where children receive free lunches and snacks all summer through the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

The North Texas Food Bank is sponsoring 36 SFSP sites this summer, serving between 25 and 150 lunches per day. Sites range from Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinics, Girls Inc. and Project Transformations, to YMCA programs, apartment complexes and schools. Some of the sites have been serving summer meals through NTFB for more than five years!

NTFB staff members Cindy Serrano and Dianna Rooney run the Kid’s Café program, but during the summer, the entire Child Programs Department chips in to help monitor the growing number of sites during the hungriest time of year. Without access to school lunches, many young children aged one to 18 would go hungry over the summer. Through NTFB’s SFSP sites, these children have access to breakfasts, lunches and afternoon snacks in addition to enriching activities and even nutrition education.

The Child Programs Team is tasked with monitoring each of the 36 sites, three to four times throughout the summer to ensure sites are distributing meals in accordance with TDA and Health Department policy and procedures. While we may be out in the field checking for hairnets and food temperature logs, we keep coming back for the relationships developed along the way—the site coordinators, the kids and the delivery drivers are all part of the culture and community of SFSP.

While visiting the WIC site, I also ran into Kenneth Knox, a beloved NTFB driver. Kenneth is no stranger to Child Programs and when he isn’t around, our sites usually ask about him. His warm smile and inviting manner are part of what makes SFSP a full experience.

In addition to distributing 2,500 lunches per day over the summer, NTFB also provides bonus items to summer feeding sites, including Food 4 Kids backpacks and fresh produce. Kenneth had stopped by to deliver both of these items, much to the surprise of the little kids who had already received lunch and were now lining up for a bag of ruby red apples and other weekend, kid-friendly snacks. Jittery hands extended as the children accept their goodies one by one, barely able to carry both back to curious parents seated in the waiting room.

Summer Meal Site 2This is our second year operating SFSP at WIC sites. After piloting the program with seven sites in 2016, they were brought back this year with 12 wonderful clinics. The WIC partnership is just another way SFSP draws connections between food and health. Our vendor of three years, 12 Oaks, meticulously prepares meals that meet all TDA health requirements, and then some! Meals always include milk, meat/meat alternate, whole grains, fruit and/or vegetables. I can tell you from experience they always look and smell better than the lunch I packed for myself!

It is not hard to see why Cindy and Dianna were awarded Silver and Gold Sponsor by the Texas Hunger Initiative, FRAC and United Way for Excellence in Summer Meals two years in a row. From quality of food to quality of service, NTFB’s Summer Food Service Program is filling bellies and igniting smiles across North Texas. Most importantly, we know the nutritious food is nourishing these children for their future.

While summer will eventually end, Kid’s Café runs year round, transitioning from SFSP to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). It is still nice knowing that kids like that little boy with his chicken wrap won’t be forgotten during the summer; He won’t go home hungry, and he might even learn the difference between a watermelon and a tomato along the way.


For more information about Summer Food Sites, text ‘FOODTX’ to 877-877 or visit the Summer Food website here to view locations.


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May 31, 2017
by Hannah Wood

Harvest Happenings: Teens Fighting Hunger

May 31, 2017
by Hannah Wood

By Hannah Wood, Founding Member, Harvest Teen Council

IMG_8596I joined the Harvest Teen Council (HTC) to help make a difference in my community. Being a part of the HTC has helped me to help others by doing things I enjoy. When we started the HTC earlier this year, we elected officers—President, Vice-President and Secretary. When wanting to run for these offices every candidate made a speech on why they felt they would be good for this job. After the speeches, all the members voted on who they thought would be best. Our 2017 President is Jaxon Rait, Vice- President is Hunter Parris, and Secretary is Allison Long.

Being a part of the HTC allows us to plan events in our community that we want to do as well as give back to the North Texas Food Bank. We have done a teen scary movie night, teen glow-in-the-dark capture the flag, and laser tag. Our first big fundraiser was in March it was a Hoops for Hunger 3 on 3 Basketball tournament. We met twice before the event to make sure we knew how we were going to run the event and how we were going to promote the event. We sent out emails and posted it all over Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to make sure everyone knew about the event. The night before the tournament the HTC had a work party where we organized the brackets, made signs, and signed up for work stations. While Page Austin, our Lifestyle Manager, supported and helped us, she really let us run and own the event which was awesome.

IMG_8427The HTC as well as other teens worked together to create a fun event for the community. Even the Northlake Police participated in the tournament! There were more than 20 teams that played and more than 100 people spectating! We raised $270 for the North Texas Food Bank, which means the HTC fed 810 people! I was surprised to learn that $1 feeds 3 people. It felt so great to give back.

“It makes you feel good to know that you made a difference in someone’s life. It’s so cool that we were able to feed 810 people just from a community basketball tournament,” said Parker Weitzer, a founding member of the HTC and emcee for the tournament.

The Harvest Teen Council looks forward to doing more events like this to help benefit the community and the North Texas Food Bank.


Hannah is a freshman at Argyle High School. She recently won first place in News Reporting for the Dallas Morning News 26th Annual High School Journalism Day competition. She is also the only freshman to play varsity golf for Argyle High School. When she isn’t practicing golf or doing school work, Hannah enjoys photography, babysitting Harvest kiddos, and hanging with friends.

By Hannah Wood, Founding Member, Harvest Teen Council

IMG_8596I joined the Harvest Teen Council (HTC) to help make a difference in my community. Being a part of the HTC has helped me to help others by doing things I enjoy. When we started the HTC earlier this year, we elected officers—President, Vice-President and Secretary. When wanting to run for these offices every candidate made a speech on why they felt they would be good for this job. After the speeches, all the members voted on who they thought would be best. Our 2017 President is Jaxon Rait, Vice- President is Hunter Parris, and Secretary is Allison Long.

Being a part of the HTC allows us to plan events in our community that we want to do as well as give back to the North Texas Food Bank. We have done a teen scary movie night, teen glow-in-the-dark capture the flag, and laser tag. Our first big fundraiser was in March it was a Hoops for Hunger 3 on 3 Basketball tournament. We met twice before the event to make sure we knew how we were going to run the event and how we were going to promote the event. We sent out emails and posted it all over Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to make sure everyone knew about the event. The night before the tournament the HTC had a work party where we organized the brackets, made signs, and signed up for work stations. While Page Austin, our Lifestyle Manager, supported and helped us, she really let us run and own the event which was awesome.

IMG_8427The HTC as well as other teens worked together to create a fun event for the community. Even the Northlake Police participated in the tournament! There were more than 20 teams that played and more than 100 people spectating! We raised $270 for the North Texas Food Bank, which means the HTC fed 810 people! I was surprised to learn that $1 feeds 3 people. It felt so great to give back.

“It makes you feel good to know that you made a difference in someone’s life. It’s so cool that we were able to feed 810 people just from a community basketball tournament,” said Parker Weitzer, a founding member of the HTC and emcee for the tournament.

The Harvest Teen Council looks forward to doing more events like this to help benefit the community and the North Texas Food Bank.


Hannah is a freshman at Argyle High School. She recently won first place in News Reporting for the Dallas Morning News 26th Annual High School Journalism Day competition. She is also the only freshman to play varsity golf for Argyle High School. When she isn’t practicing golf or doing school work, Hannah enjoys photography, babysitting Harvest kiddos, and hanging with friends.


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May 25, 2017
by Diana Carranza

Summer is the Hungriest Season for Kids

May 25, 2017
by Diana Carranza

The summer can be a trying time for the families and children who are facing food insecurity. Many low-income children qualify for free and reduced school lunch and breakfast, but when school is out for the summer, these meals can become less accessible. Fortunately, the North Texas Food Bank partners with the USDA, the Texas Department of Agriculture, and local organizations like St. Philip’s Community Center to provide access to breakfast and lunch for children in need over the summer. You can join us by making a donation today. $1 = 3 meals. 


Each year, St. Philip’s Community Center serves between 100 and 150 kids through its after-school program. Attendance is highest during the summer when many of these boys and girls lose all access to free or reduced-priced meals at their schools.

At the Center, children engage in a variety of fun activities — including basketball and football. LaSheryl Walker, the community outreach coordinator at St. Philip’s, says kids often come for the sports and stay for the meals. For LaSheryl, this partnership with the Food Bank is a win-win.

“[When] we’re able to provide a meal for [the kids], they can find out about some of the other activities we have, as well,” says LaSheryl.

In her time serving at St. Philip’s, LaSheryl has seen the impact your gifts make on the community. She says most parents work hard and still don’t make enough money to feed their children every day. But with your help, boys and girls who would otherwise go hungry have full stomachs when their parents pick them up at the end of the day.

According to LaSheryl, the meals provide a time for structure where the kids can sit down, focus and be still. By practicing these important skills during the summer, they’re likely to have fewer behavioral problems during the new school year.

“You have no idea what it means for the kids to receive these meals,” she says. “Thank you for your generosity and compassion.”

Give Now

 

 

The summer can be a trying time for the families and children who are facing food insecurity. Many low-income children qualify for free and reduced school lunch and breakfast, but when school is out for the summer, these meals can become less accessible. Fortunately, the North Texas Food Bank partners with the USDA, the Texas Department of Agriculture, and local organizations like St. Philip’s Community Center to provide access to breakfast and lunch for children in need over the summer. You can join us by making a donation today. $1 = 3 meals. 


Each year, St. Philip’s Community Center serves between 100 and 150 kids through its after-school program. Attendance is highest during the summer when many of these boys and girls lose all access to free or reduced-priced meals at their schools.

At the Center, children engage in a variety of fun activities — including basketball and football. LaSheryl Walker, the community outreach coordinator at St. Philip’s, says kids often come for the sports and stay for the meals. For LaSheryl, this partnership with the Food Bank is a win-win.

“[When] we’re able to provide a meal for [the kids], they can find out about some of the other activities we have, as well,” says LaSheryl.

In her time serving at St. Philip’s, LaSheryl has seen the impact your gifts make on the community. She says most parents work hard and still don’t make enough money to feed their children every day. But with your help, boys and girls who would otherwise go hungry have full stomachs when their parents pick them up at the end of the day.

According to LaSheryl, the meals provide a time for structure where the kids can sit down, focus and be still. By practicing these important skills during the summer, they’re likely to have fewer behavioral problems during the new school year.

“You have no idea what it means for the kids to receive these meals,” she says. “Thank you for your generosity and compassion.”

Give Now

 

 


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May 18, 2017
by Liana Solis

NTFB Delivers Meals and Smiles to Hungry Seniors

May 18, 2017
by Liana Solis

From small snacks to full dishes, meal delivery is a very popular concept in today’s day and age. However, what might this look like for a home-bound senior who is struggling with food insecurity?


 

As the older American population is growing, so is the amount of seniors living with food insecurity. Many seniors have trouble getting around, and for those experiencing food insecurity, it can be particularly difficult to access food assistance themselves. Ms. Dorothy is a client of the Nourishing Neighbors program at the North Texas Food Bank that currently helps more than 200 seniors in difficult situations such as this.Dorothy-10

Ms. Dorothy has been in the program for two years, and expressed that it is not only difficult for her to move around, but because her children work so often, it makes it hard for her to find any way to get to a grocery store.

“That’s really how this program helped me,” she said. “You all don’t realize how much you are really helping the elderly with everything you are doing.”

Ms. Dorothy will be 88 years old in June and has lived in the same apartment for the past 40 years. Many of her neighbors are also in the program, and they all look out for each other, noting that she will even sometimes share her food with her neighbors who need it.

Ms. Dorothy is very close with Amanda, who volunteers to deliver her food every two weeks, and even calls her “my angel.” She and the other patrons of the apartment also look out for Amanda when she delivers food because she means so much to them.

While Ms. Dorothy has experienced some trials in her life, she is never one to complain.

“Life is good here,” she said. “It’s what you make of it; you can choose to make life good or you can choose to make life bad.”

CoDorothy-1oking the food she receives in each Nourishing Neighbors box is one of her favorite things to do. She cooks all of her meals every single day, that way she knows they will be cooked just the way she likes them.

Although it is harder for her to move around, she prefers being active over sitting at home. She said she worked until she was 70 years old and would still be working now if her body allowed it.

“Many elderly feel like once they get to 60 or 70 that their life is gone,” Ms. Dorothy said. “I just don’t want to live that way. I still have so much that I want to do.”

To find out more about the Nourishing Neighbors program or how you can sign up for your own Nourishing Neighbors route, visit our website here. Seniors just like Ms. Dorothy are waiting for their “angels” to visit them today!

From small snacks to full dishes, meal delivery is a very popular concept in today’s day and age. However, what might this look like for a home-bound senior who is struggling with food insecurity?


 

As the older American population is growing, so is the amount of seniors living with food insecurity. Many seniors have trouble getting around, and for those experiencing food insecurity, it can be particularly difficult to access food assistance themselves. Ms. Dorothy is a client of the Nourishing Neighbors program at the North Texas Food Bank that currently helps more than 200 seniors in difficult situations such as this.Dorothy-10

Ms. Dorothy has been in the program for two years, and expressed that it is not only difficult for her to move around, but because her children work so often, it makes it hard for her to find any way to get to a grocery store.

“That’s really how this program helped me,” she said. “You all don’t realize how much you are really helping the elderly with everything you are doing.”

Ms. Dorothy will be 88 years old in June and has lived in the same apartment for the past 40 years. Many of her neighbors are also in the program, and they all look out for each other, noting that she will even sometimes share her food with her neighbors who need it.

Ms. Dorothy is very close with Amanda, who volunteers to deliver her food every two weeks, and even calls her “my angel.” She and the other patrons of the apartment also look out for Amanda when she delivers food because she means so much to them.

While Ms. Dorothy has experienced some trials in her life, she is never one to complain.

“Life is good here,” she said. “It’s what you make of it; you can choose to make life good or you can choose to make life bad.”

CoDorothy-1oking the food she receives in each Nourishing Neighbors box is one of her favorite things to do. She cooks all of her meals every single day, that way she knows they will be cooked just the way she likes them.

Although it is harder for her to move around, she prefers being active over sitting at home. She said she worked until she was 70 years old and would still be working now if her body allowed it.

“Many elderly feel like once they get to 60 or 70 that their life is gone,” Ms. Dorothy said. “I just don’t want to live that way. I still have so much that I want to do.”

To find out more about the Nourishing Neighbors program or how you can sign up for your own Nourishing Neighbors route, visit our website here. Seniors just like Ms. Dorothy are waiting for their “angels” to visit them today!


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April 24, 2017
by Liana Solis

Honoring Robert McQuarrie

April 24, 2017
by Liana Solis

April is National Volunteer Month, and we wanted to honor a special volunteer who is very dear in all the hearts of the North Texas Food Bank staff members – Robert McQuarrie.Bob McQuarrie

Before his passing in January, Bob volunteered for more than 2 years with our Philanthropy Operations Team entering volunteer registration forms into our system. Volunteering every Tuesday and Thursday, he completed more than 700 hours of volunteer work and entered more than 80,000 registration forms for the Food Bank.

When asked why he chose to volunteer with us, Bob admitted he wanted to help fight hunger because he was hungry at one point in his life and knows what it is like for our food insecure clients. He said he had seen hunger all over the world and wanted to fight so that no child, family or senior was hungry. The NTFB staff members who worked closest with him praised Bob for his sense of humor, his gratitude towards others, and his caring nature.

His generosity extended to everyone he knew. Angela McCoy, NTFB Philanthropy Operations Manager, shared a story about a time Bob was personally generous toward her. When Angela informed Bob about a trip to Italy she had planned, he began speaking to her in Italian, but Angela informed him for that she did not speak the language. Two days later, he returned to the Food Bank with book for Angela on how to learn Italian quickly and with ease. Bob said he wanted to at least make sure she knew the basics of the language before her trip.

Recently, Bob was awarded the Mike Snider Volunteer of the Year Award for his dedication to NTFB. The award is given every year to a volunteer who goes above and beyond to help the Food Bank in its effort to pursue a hunger-free community. We miss Bob dearly, and we will always be grateful for the dedication to helping us fight hunger in North Texas.


If you are interested in volunteering with NTFB, visit ntfb.org/volunteer for information on opportunities and to view available shifts.

April is National Volunteer Month, and we wanted to honor a special volunteer who is very dear in all the hearts of the North Texas Food Bank staff members – Robert McQuarrie.Bob McQuarrie

Before his passing in January, Bob volunteered for more than 2 years with our Philanthropy Operations Team entering volunteer registration forms into our system. Volunteering every Tuesday and Thursday, he completed more than 700 hours of volunteer work and entered more than 80,000 registration forms for the Food Bank.

When asked why he chose to volunteer with us, Bob admitted he wanted to help fight hunger because he was hungry at one point in his life and knows what it is like for our food insecure clients. He said he had seen hunger all over the world and wanted to fight so that no child, family or senior was hungry. The NTFB staff members who worked closest with him praised Bob for his sense of humor, his gratitude towards others, and his caring nature.

His generosity extended to everyone he knew. Angela McCoy, NTFB Philanthropy Operations Manager, shared a story about a time Bob was personally generous toward her. When Angela informed Bob about a trip to Italy she had planned, he began speaking to her in Italian, but Angela informed him for that she did not speak the language. Two days later, he returned to the Food Bank with book for Angela on how to learn Italian quickly and with ease. Bob said he wanted to at least make sure she knew the basics of the language before her trip.

Recently, Bob was awarded the Mike Snider Volunteer of the Year Award for his dedication to NTFB. The award is given every year to a volunteer who goes above and beyond to help the Food Bank in its effort to pursue a hunger-free community. We miss Bob dearly, and we will always be grateful for the dedication to helping us fight hunger in North Texas.


If you are interested in volunteering with NTFB, visit ntfb.org/volunteer for information on opportunities and to view available shifts.


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March 31, 2017
by Andrew R. for NTFB

A Local Food Pantry Client Thanks You

March 31, 2017
by Andrew R. for NTFB

Margaret Ramirez - Sharing Life Community Outreach (2)When we met Margaret last winter, she was so happy to have found Sharing Life Community Outreach, a North Texas Food Bank Partner Agency in Mesquite. Before she started coming here, she had been eating a lot of beans and rice — but little else.

Margaret describes herself as semi-retired. As her health has declined over the years, she has taken on a lighter schedule at her job resulting in less pay. She described to us what this arrangement has done to her finances.

“When I’m working, my income pays for rent, but the rest you’ve just got to make do,” Margaret said.

She recalls how she ended up making her first visit to Sharing Life Community Outreach: facing a particularly difficult month, she decided to ask for help. Not sure where to begin, she dialed 211, which provided her with information about the pantry.

For Margaret, accepting help from the Sharing Life was one of the best decisions she has made. Now, whenever food and funds are running low, she knows she has somewhere to go to pick up groceries that will last until the end of the month.

As a North Texas Food Bank supporter, you have done so much to help neighbors like Margaret access the ingredients for nourishing meals.

Reflecting on your kindness, Margaret expressed her deep gratitude: “Thank you,” she said. “I appreciate y’all helping me when you can. I’d like to offer something when I get back on my feet.”

 


Around the Table - Spring 2017This article originally appeared in NTFB’s Spring Edition of Around the Table. Read the entire newsletter by visiting ntfb.org/AroundTheTable.

Margaret Ramirez - Sharing Life Community Outreach (2)When we met Margaret last winter, she was so happy to have found Sharing Life Community Outreach, a North Texas Food Bank Partner Agency in Mesquite. Before she started coming here, she had been eating a lot of beans and rice — but little else.

Margaret describes herself as semi-retired. As her health has declined over the years, she has taken on a lighter schedule at her job resulting in less pay. She described to us what this arrangement has done to her finances.

“When I’m working, my income pays for rent, but the rest you’ve just got to make do,” Margaret said.

She recalls how she ended up making her first visit to Sharing Life Community Outreach: facing a particularly difficult month, she decided to ask for help. Not sure where to begin, she dialed 211, which provided her with information about the pantry.

For Margaret, accepting help from the Sharing Life was one of the best decisions she has made. Now, whenever food and funds are running low, she knows she has somewhere to go to pick up groceries that will last until the end of the month.

As a North Texas Food Bank supporter, you have done so much to help neighbors like Margaret access the ingredients for nourishing meals.

Reflecting on your kindness, Margaret expressed her deep gratitude: “Thank you,” she said. “I appreciate y’all helping me when you can. I’d like to offer something when I get back on my feet.”

 


Around the Table - Spring 2017This article originally appeared in NTFB’s Spring Edition of Around the Table. Read the entire newsletter by visiting ntfb.org/AroundTheTable.


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March 23, 2017
by Diana Carranza

Happy Birthday and Thank You, Jan!

March 23, 2017
by Diana Carranza

Jan Pruitt, our longtime CEO who passed away in January, made an enormous impact across North Texas and beyond, to say the least.

We are forever grateful to Jan – not only for her sincere passion to serve others, but also for her kindness, her leadership and her innovative thinking that inspired countless NTFB staff, supporters, and so many others.

On her birthday this year we want to share some of the great tributes that have come in that begin to demonstrate the magnitude of Jan’s legacy!

 


“Jan Pruitt was a great leader and a dear friend to our family. Her extraordinary vision and the amazing team she developed will serve to continue her legacy far into the future of our great city.” The Perot Family

 

“It is with deep sadness that we express our condolences to Mrs. Pruitt’s family and NTFB colleagues. We will honor and promote her legacy through our continued efforts to improve access to healthy food for all in Dallas County.” Dallas Coalition for Hunger Solutions

 

“Jan Pruitt was a great leader, loved her calling and helped untold numbers. Dallas was blessed to have her.” Mayor Mike Rawlings

 

“The Rotary Club of Park Cities worked with Jan and her team to raise the money to buy the first mobile food pantry for Dallas. We were inspired by her vision for attacking hunger, her emphasis on providing nutritional meals, her optimistic “can do” attitude, and also her friendship throughout the process.” – Karen Farris, Rotary Club of Park Cities

 

“The entire DFW community and beyond benefited from Jan’s leadership. It was a pleasure working with her to develop the Mass Care Task Force. This was but just one example of her visionary leadership. Her contributions will benefit our great community far into the future.” – Scott Landry 

 

“She will be dearly missed by all, but her legacy of ensuring that no one goes hungry will live on through the work of the team at the NTFB, the Feeding America Network and her loved ones.” – Matt Gassen

 

“The Greater Chicago Food Bank family sends our condolences and love to the Pruitt family and the NTFB team. Jan was an inspirational leader for all of us food bankers. We will miss her wisdom, laughter, and amazing courage. Jan, you rocked, and we are privileged to have known you.” – Greater Chicago Food Depository

 

“One of the qualities I most admired in Jan was that she was so generous in helping other food banks in Texas and across the country.  As CEOs it can be tempting to think of our group efforts only or at least primarily in terms of how they will benefit our own organizational goals.  Jan was consistently willing to think and act much bigger. She was a true leader.” – Brian Greene, CEO of the Houston Food Bank 

 

Jan Pruitt made – and kept – a promise to feed hungry North Texans – article by Robert Wilonsky, City Columnist at the Dallas Morning News

 

From 11 million meals to 70 million: Jan Pruitt changed the North Texas Food Bank forever – article by Courtney Collins at KERA

 


To learn more about Jan’s legacy, or to read additional tributes, please visit ntfb.org/janpruitt.

Jan Pruitt, our longtime CEO who passed away in January, made an enormous impact across North Texas and beyond, to say the least.

We are forever grateful to Jan – not only for her sincere passion to serve others, but also for her kindness, her leadership and her innovative thinking that inspired countless NTFB staff, supporters, and so many others.

On her birthday this year we want to share some of the great tributes that have come in that begin to demonstrate the magnitude of Jan’s legacy!

 


“Jan Pruitt was a great leader and a dear friend to our family. Her extraordinary vision and the amazing team she developed will serve to continue her legacy far into the future of our great city.” The Perot Family

 

“It is with deep sadness that we express our condolences to Mrs. Pruitt’s family and NTFB colleagues. We will honor and promote her legacy through our continued efforts to improve access to healthy food for all in Dallas County.” Dallas Coalition for Hunger Solutions

 

“Jan Pruitt was a great leader, loved her calling and helped untold numbers. Dallas was blessed to have her.” Mayor Mike Rawlings

 

“The Rotary Club of Park Cities worked with Jan and her team to raise the money to buy the first mobile food pantry for Dallas. We were inspired by her vision for attacking hunger, her emphasis on providing nutritional meals, her optimistic “can do” attitude, and also her friendship throughout the process.” – Karen Farris, Rotary Club of Park Cities

 

“The entire DFW community and beyond benefited from Jan’s leadership. It was a pleasure working with her to develop the Mass Care Task Force. This was but just one example of her visionary leadership. Her contributions will benefit our great community far into the future.” – Scott Landry 

 

“She will be dearly missed by all, but her legacy of ensuring that no one goes hungry will live on through the work of the team at the NTFB, the Feeding America Network and her loved ones.” – Matt Gassen

 

“The Greater Chicago Food Bank family sends our condolences and love to the Pruitt family and the NTFB team. Jan was an inspirational leader for all of us food bankers. We will miss her wisdom, laughter, and amazing courage. Jan, you rocked, and we are privileged to have known you.” – Greater Chicago Food Depository

 

“One of the qualities I most admired in Jan was that she was so generous in helping other food banks in Texas and across the country.  As CEOs it can be tempting to think of our group efforts only or at least primarily in terms of how they will benefit our own organizational goals.  Jan was consistently willing to think and act much bigger. She was a true leader.” – Brian Greene, CEO of the Houston Food Bank 

 

Jan Pruitt made – and kept – a promise to feed hungry North Texans – article by Robert Wilonsky, City Columnist at the Dallas Morning News

 

From 11 million meals to 70 million: Jan Pruitt changed the North Texas Food Bank forever – article by Courtney Collins at KERA

 


To learn more about Jan’s legacy, or to read additional tributes, please visit ntfb.org/janpruitt.


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March 03, 2017
by Diana Carranza

Things to do in Dallas this March to help Fight Hunger!

March 03, 2017
by Diana Carranza

the best
We’re excited about all the fun things to do in Dallas this March, especially those that are helping us fight hunger! From Krewe de Etoiles this weekend to the Big Texas Beer Fest that starts March 31, we’re sure you can find some great things to do in our community that will also allow you to give back to those in need!


Krewe de Etoiles – Saturday, March 4

Krewe de Etoiles Gala Masquerade Ball will feature Dallas Cowboys icon Drew Pearson as King, the reigning “Miss Texas,” Caroline Carothers as Queen. The 2017 Royal Court will appear in full regalia depicting the chosen theme, “Mardi Gras Dallas, Old Hollywood Glamour.” With many special guests attending, and proceeds going toward two Dallas non-profit organizations, the North Texas Food Bank and Love for Kids, this Gala is sure to parallel the majesty of the seasons authentic Balls of New Orleans. To purchase tickets or to learn more information, please visit: http://www.krewedeetoiles.com

 

Frye Give Back Shopping Night – Thursday, March 9 

Let’s give hunger the boot! Celebrate 154 years of quality and craft at the Frye Company with a shopping night benefiting the North Texas Food Bank.  Join us Thursday, March 9 from 6-8 p.m. at NorthPark Center. 20% of proceeds from the night will be donated to NTFB.

 

 

NTFB SIGNATURE EVENT
Empty Bowls, presented by Kroger – Friday, March 10

Guests will enjoy lunch at the Meyerson Symphony Center, while supporting NTFB. In addition to soup and other bowl-friendly fare from more than 20 area restaurants, attendees can select a handcrafted bowl from some of Texas’ finest artists as a memento of the day. Get your tickets to Empty Bowls at ntfb.org/emptybowls

Featured Restaurants: Asian Mint | Blue Bell Creameries | Blue Mesa Grill | Carso Mediterranean Grill | Celebration Market and Restaurant | Dining at the Meyerson | Empire Baking Co. | Low Country Quisine | McAlister’s Deli | Meso Maya | Mozzarella Company | Norma’s Cafe | Paradise Bakery & Café | Royal Cup Coffee | Shake Shack | Snappy Salads | SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza | Tejano Brothers | Tortaco | True Food Kitchen | Urban Crust

 

Run Project’s Dash Down Greenville – Saturday, March 11

Join the sea of green and start your St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville. ‘Twill be a fine morning to celebrate, even if you’re only Irish for the day. We expect a record number of people to don their green gear and run (or walk) the 5K with us down Greenville Avenue right before the big parade. There will be beer, food, live music, cash prizes, and more fun than you can imagine. You’re registration will help NTFB, the event’s annual beneficiary. Register for Dash Down Greenville here.

We are also still in need of volunteers for this event! (For every volunteer we bring, Run Project will make an additional donation to NTFB!) Register to volunteer for Dash Down Greenville here.

 

Stuff the Trolley – Saturday, March 25 – Sunday, March 26

Join the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority at the Trolley Turntable at the West Village as we work to stuff the trolley with nutritious food for those in need! The event is in memory of NTFB’s longtime CEO Jan Pruitt who passed away earlier this year and spent so many years working tirelessly to fight hunger. In addition to visiting in person on March 25-26, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., you can also donate online here.

 

The Color Run – Saturday, March 25

The Color Run is coming to Dallas’ Fair Park on March 25, with an all-new Cloud Foam Zone on the course, whimsical Dream Tunnel, inspirational Dream Wall, and giant unicorns!  To receive a $5 discount on your registration, enter the code “NTFB” at checkout. When this discount code is used, $2 from the transaction will be donated to the North Texas Food Bank. Register or learn more about the Color Run here.

To sign-up to volunteer at the Color Run, click here. When registering to volunteer, please make sure to specify you are signing up as a NTFB volunteer!

 

Big Texas Beer Fest – Friday, March 31- Saturday, April 1

The Big Texas Beer Fest is Dallas’ 6th Annual original beer festival, featuring over 120 breweries, and benefiting the North Texas Food Bank. BTBF is well-known as the festival to go to for exclusive and rare beers, one-offs and special firkins as well as live music and food. Grab your tickets now, as they have always sold out in advance. http://www.bigtexasbeerfest.com


Stay up to date on other events that benefit NTFB by following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

 

the best
We’re excited about all the fun things to do in Dallas this March, especially those that are helping us fight hunger! From Krewe de Etoiles this weekend to the Big Texas Beer Fest that starts March 31, we’re sure you can find some great things to do in our community that will also allow you to give back to those in need!


Krewe de Etoiles – Saturday, March 4

Krewe de Etoiles Gala Masquerade Ball will feature Dallas Cowboys icon Drew Pearson as King, the reigning “Miss Texas,” Caroline Carothers as Queen. The 2017 Royal Court will appear in full regalia depicting the chosen theme, “Mardi Gras Dallas, Old Hollywood Glamour.” With many special guests attending, and proceeds going toward two Dallas non-profit organizations, the North Texas Food Bank and Love for Kids, this Gala is sure to parallel the majesty of the seasons authentic Balls of New Orleans. To purchase tickets or to learn more information, please visit: http://www.krewedeetoiles.com

 

Frye Give Back Shopping Night – Thursday, March 9 

Let’s give hunger the boot! Celebrate 154 years of quality and craft at the Frye Company with a shopping night benefiting the North Texas Food Bank.  Join us Thursday, March 9 from 6-8 p.m. at NorthPark Center. 20% of proceeds from the night will be donated to NTFB.

 

 

NTFB SIGNATURE EVENT
Empty Bowls, presented by Kroger – Friday, March 10

Guests will enjoy lunch at the Meyerson Symphony Center, while supporting NTFB. In addition to soup and other bowl-friendly fare from more than 20 area restaurants, attendees can select a handcrafted bowl from some of Texas’ finest artists as a memento of the day. Get your tickets to Empty Bowls at ntfb.org/emptybowls

Featured Restaurants: Asian Mint | Blue Bell Creameries | Blue Mesa Grill | Carso Mediterranean Grill | Celebration Market and Restaurant | Dining at the Meyerson | Empire Baking Co. | Low Country Quisine | McAlister’s Deli | Meso Maya | Mozzarella Company | Norma’s Cafe | Paradise Bakery & Café | Royal Cup Coffee | Shake Shack | Snappy Salads | SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza | Tejano Brothers | Tortaco | True Food Kitchen | Urban Crust

 

Run Project’s Dash Down Greenville – Saturday, March 11

Join the sea of green and start your St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville. ‘Twill be a fine morning to celebrate, even if you’re only Irish for the day. We expect a record number of people to don their green gear and run (or walk) the 5K with us down Greenville Avenue right before the big parade. There will be beer, food, live music, cash prizes, and more fun than you can imagine. You’re registration will help NTFB, the event’s annual beneficiary. Register for Dash Down Greenville here.

We are also still in need of volunteers for this event! (For every volunteer we bring, Run Project will make an additional donation to NTFB!) Register to volunteer for Dash Down Greenville here.

 

Stuff the Trolley – Saturday, March 25 – Sunday, March 26

Join the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority at the Trolley Turntable at the West Village as we work to stuff the trolley with nutritious food for those in need! The event is in memory of NTFB’s longtime CEO Jan Pruitt who passed away earlier this year and spent so many years working tirelessly to fight hunger. In addition to visiting in person on March 25-26, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., you can also donate online here.

 

The Color Run – Saturday, March 25

The Color Run is coming to Dallas’ Fair Park on March 25, with an all-new Cloud Foam Zone on the course, whimsical Dream Tunnel, inspirational Dream Wall, and giant unicorns!  To receive a $5 discount on your registration, enter the code “NTFB” at checkout. When this discount code is used, $2 from the transaction will be donated to the North Texas Food Bank. Register or learn more about the Color Run here.

To sign-up to volunteer at the Color Run, click here. When registering to volunteer, please make sure to specify you are signing up as a NTFB volunteer!

 

Big Texas Beer Fest – Friday, March 31- Saturday, April 1

The Big Texas Beer Fest is Dallas’ 6th Annual original beer festival, featuring over 120 breweries, and benefiting the North Texas Food Bank. BTBF is well-known as the festival to go to for exclusive and rare beers, one-offs and special firkins as well as live music and food. Grab your tickets now, as they have always sold out in advance. http://www.bigtexasbeerfest.com


Stay up to date on other events that benefit NTFB by following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

 


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February 03, 2017
by Doyle Carnahan

February is Canned Food Month!

February 03, 2017
by Doyle Carnahan

We’re always excited when February rolls around, because it is National Canned Food Month! This is a great opportunity for you to host a canned food drive benefiting the North Texas Food Bank. What Should I donate to a food drive?Hosting your own food drive for NTFB isn’t difficult – but, you will want to make sure you have a strategy before jumping in and we’re here to help with that!

The first step is to determine where in the community you want to host the drive. Maybe it’s at your office, at your place of worship, or at a community event — any location where you know many people may be interested in participating will work (but do make sure to check with the appropriate people at that location first). Next, determine your team; you can take on hosting the drive on your own, or ask friend, family or co-workers to join you in planning.

Now that you have your foundation set, you are ready to register your drive with us via our online form, then it’s time to start collecting! So how can you make sure people know about your food drive and what foods to bring? We suggest:

  • Hosting a canned food drive kick-off event to get the public excited about your drive
  • Hanging our customizable food drive posters anywhere you think people might see them (your office, school, apartment, etc…)
  • Taking photos and post on social media about the progress of your drive (make sure to tag the Food Bank in your posts as well!)

Often people want to know what foods we most need. When choosing items to donate or suggesting to others what they should bring, it is important to keep nutrition in mind. Currently, 87 percent of the food items distributed by NTFB are identified as “nutritious”; while that is high, we are working diligently to make that 100% and we’ll need your help. The food items we consistently need more of include: low-sodium canned vegetables, canned fruit (in-juice), canned chicken or tuna, dry or canned beans, whole-grain pasta or brown rice, and peanut butter.

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So you have come to the end of your fun-filled food drive, but what’s next? How your donations arrive at NTFB will depend on the amount of food your team collects. If your canned food drive collected fewer than 250 items, we ask that you drop off your donations directly at the Food Bank or a partner agency. This will save NTFB limited time and resources and will get that needed food to those in need faster. If your drive collected 250 items or more, you can submit a request for one of our staff members to come to your location and retrieve your boxes of items.

And if a canned food drive is not something you think you want to take on, you may also want to consider hosting a Virtual Food Drive. Through the NTFB website, individuals or teams can shop in a virtual grocery store for the items they wish to donate. It’s quick, easy, and also saves resources for the Food Bank!

This can take some effort, but it is a small price to pay for people who need help! One out of every six people in North Texas is food insecure, which includes one out of every four children. Hosting a canned food drive is one of the many ways you can help us close the hunger gap in North Texas and give back to those who are food insecure.

For more information on how you can get started on your canned food drive, visit our website here. Be sure to review the online video and Canned Food Drive handbook for more details and planning ideas.

Remember, one meal makes a difference!


For more information or to express your interest in our upcoming Canned Food Drive Workshop, contact: Doyle Carnahan, Retail Support Specialist at doylec@ntfb.org or 214-270-1996.

We’re always excited when February rolls around, because it is National Canned Food Month! This is a great opportunity for you to host a canned food drive benefiting the North Texas Food Bank. What Should I donate to a food drive?Hosting your own food drive for NTFB isn’t difficult – but, you will want to make sure you have a strategy before jumping in and we’re here to help with that!

The first step is to determine where in the community you want to host the drive. Maybe it’s at your office, at your place of worship, or at a community event — any location where you know many people may be interested in participating will work (but do make sure to check with the appropriate people at that location first). Next, determine your team; you can take on hosting the drive on your own, or ask friend, family or co-workers to join you in planning.

Now that you have your foundation set, you are ready to register your drive with us via our online form, then it’s time to start collecting! So how can you make sure people know about your food drive and what foods to bring? We suggest:

  • Hosting a canned food drive kick-off event to get the public excited about your drive
  • Hanging our customizable food drive posters anywhere you think people might see them (your office, school, apartment, etc…)
  • Taking photos and post on social media about the progress of your drive (make sure to tag the Food Bank in your posts as well!)

Often people want to know what foods we most need. When choosing items to donate or suggesting to others what they should bring, it is important to keep nutrition in mind. Currently, 87 percent of the food items distributed by NTFB are identified as “nutritious”; while that is high, we are working diligently to make that 100% and we’ll need your help. The food items we consistently need more of include: low-sodium canned vegetables, canned fruit (in-juice), canned chicken or tuna, dry or canned beans, whole-grain pasta or brown rice, and peanut butter.

CzqfBHZUcAAxw69 (1)

So you have come to the end of your fun-filled food drive, but what’s next? How your donations arrive at NTFB will depend on the amount of food your team collects. If your canned food drive collected fewer than 250 items, we ask that you drop off your donations directly at the Food Bank or a partner agency. This will save NTFB limited time and resources and will get that needed food to those in need faster. If your drive collected 250 items or more, you can submit a request for one of our staff members to come to your location and retrieve your boxes of items.

And if a canned food drive is not something you think you want to take on, you may also want to consider hosting a Virtual Food Drive. Through the NTFB website, individuals or teams can shop in a virtual grocery store for the items they wish to donate. It’s quick, easy, and also saves resources for the Food Bank!

This can take some effort, but it is a small price to pay for people who need help! One out of every six people in North Texas is food insecure, which includes one out of every four children. Hosting a canned food drive is one of the many ways you can help us close the hunger gap in North Texas and give back to those who are food insecure.

For more information on how you can get started on your canned food drive, visit our website here. Be sure to review the online video and Canned Food Drive handbook for more details and planning ideas.

Remember, one meal makes a difference!


For more information or to express your interest in our upcoming Canned Food Drive Workshop, contact: Doyle Carnahan, Retail Support Specialist at doylec@ntfb.org or 214-270-1996.


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January 16, 2017
by Alicia Farhat

Brighter Bites Delivers Nearly 2 Million Lbs. of Produce in 2016

January 16, 2017
by Alicia Farhat

NTFB Operations Staff

2016 was the busiest year yet for the Brighter Bites team in Dallas! Over the course of the entire year, we distributed nearly 2,000,000 pounds of produce to almost 8,000 families in need.

With such a productive year, we could not be prouder of our team or more grateful for the support we have received from each school and summer camp we served this year. The parent and community volunteers, faculty, and administration at all of our sites have embraced our mission to create communities of health in Dallas and consistently work to help us achieve our goals at their sites. I, along with Program Coordinators Jacqueline Noyola, Magaly Solis, and Catherine Miller and Program Associates Meredith Spence, Jamie Carrillo, Dallas Ruggieri, Maryann Aguinaga, and Stephanie Wells, truly appreciate all the volunteers and their enthusiasm for Brighter Bites.

Our programming would also not be possible without the unwavering support of the operations staff at NTFB. The warehouse, transportation, and procurement teams at NTFB work in tandem with Brighter Bites Dallas to ensure that families receive a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every week that we provide programming. We cannot thank them enough for their partnership. Vince Rhinehart, Marcus Moss, Jerrye Hall, and Joe Crawford, among many other NTFB team members, are the people who help to ensure there is a steady supply of produce arriving at our schools and summer camps all year long.

Finally, we want to thank FreshPoint Dallas for organizing produce donations from various suppliers this fall semester, and to everyone else who has donated their time and resources to ensure the success of Brighter Bites in Dallas.

Your support of our mission is a testament to the success of Brighter Bites!


As a partner program of the North Texas Food Bank, Brighter Bites mission is to create communities of health through fresh food. Brighter Bites delivers fresh fruits and vegetables directly to kids, while also teaching them how to make healthier food choices. Each week during the 24-week program, qualified students take home 30 pounds of fresh produce from school, along with a healthy helping of in-class lessons and parent educational materials to get the whole family involved in healthier eating habits.

NTFB Operations Staff

2016 was the busiest year yet for the Brighter Bites team in Dallas! Over the course of the entire year, we distributed nearly 2,000,000 pounds of produce to almost 8,000 families in need.

With such a productive year, we could not be prouder of our team or more grateful for the support we have received from each school and summer camp we served this year. The parent and community volunteers, faculty, and administration at all of our sites have embraced our mission to create communities of health in Dallas and consistently work to help us achieve our goals at their sites. I, along with Program Coordinators Jacqueline Noyola, Magaly Solis, and Catherine Miller and Program Associates Meredith Spence, Jamie Carrillo, Dallas Ruggieri, Maryann Aguinaga, and Stephanie Wells, truly appreciate all the volunteers and their enthusiasm for Brighter Bites.

Our programming would also not be possible without the unwavering support of the operations staff at NTFB. The warehouse, transportation, and procurement teams at NTFB work in tandem with Brighter Bites Dallas to ensure that families receive a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every week that we provide programming. We cannot thank them enough for their partnership. Vince Rhinehart, Marcus Moss, Jerrye Hall, and Joe Crawford, among many other NTFB team members, are the people who help to ensure there is a steady supply of produce arriving at our schools and summer camps all year long.

Finally, we want to thank FreshPoint Dallas for organizing produce donations from various suppliers this fall semester, and to everyone else who has donated their time and resources to ensure the success of Brighter Bites in Dallas.

Your support of our mission is a testament to the success of Brighter Bites!


As a partner program of the North Texas Food Bank, Brighter Bites mission is to create communities of health through fresh food. Brighter Bites delivers fresh fruits and vegetables directly to kids, while also teaching them how to make healthier food choices. Each week during the 24-week program, qualified students take home 30 pounds of fresh produce from school, along with a healthy helping of in-class lessons and parent educational materials to get the whole family involved in healthier eating habits.


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