May 24, 2019
by Liana Solis

Meet NTFB’s Resident Farm Gal – Vanessa!

May 24, 2019
by Liana Solis

The North Texas Food Bank focuses on providing nutritious meals to our hungry neighbors. Our Garden Coordinator, Vanessa Bailey, works in our community garden every day helping to produce healthy foods and teaching healthy living. Learn more about how she helps NTFB in this Q&A!:

Q: What brought you to the North Texas Food Bank?

A: I like to joke that my journey to the NTFB began organically. My background as a Mental Health Social Worker for the state of Texas opened my eyes to the incredible need for identifying and breaking down barriers to access to care. For me, the two biggest issues I felt were contributing to poor patient outcomes was a lack of access to fresh, responsibly grown produce and limited ability to feel plugged into the community.  I started the first community garden in Flower Mound, Texas, called Common Ground Community Garden to address those needs right in the same small town I grew up in.

Before I knew it, we were growing so much food that we joined the Partner Garden program at the NTFB. This incredible program supports community and school gardens by providing resources to gardens that agree to donate 10% of their harvest to a local food pantry in their neighborhood.

After five years of growing for the Food Bank, I answered the call to help grow the garden program for the NTFB and I cannot wait to share the wonderful work that will be accomplished here to support our community. Our garden seeks to equip and educate others to grow food in abundance for their tables and the tables of those in need.  We host weekly volunteer opportunities every Wednesday; come grow with us!

Q: Describe your role.

A: I wear a few hats around here. As a former Social Worker turned Environmental Educator, Master Composter and Permaculturalist, my role is to create curriculum and programs which will help empower others to reliably and sustainably grow food in abundance in their own backyards or community gardens.  

That said, growing food is just the tip of the iceberg (lettuce). The NTFB is deeply committed to stewarding our resources and supporting local agriculture. To accomplish this, I created the Green Waste Recovery Program for the NTFB. This monthly pick up opportunity provides local area farmers and gardeners with bulk green waste for use as a livestock fodder or compost. By recovering our green waste, we hope to set a new standard for waste recovery. In the garden world, trash is treasure!

Q: How can gardening impact food insecurity?

A: As a Social Worker, I saw firsthand how multifaceted the lifecycle issues of food insecurity are. The hard reality for many of our clients is that they are sacrificing something daily to make it work. For some of our clients, they will sacrifice medication to make sure their children eat. No one should have to make the choice to pay for milk or medicine. That’s not okay and it’s time we look to our own backyards for answers to fill the food gap.

Did you know that just one 2ft planter can provide a family of four with lettuce throughout the entire growing season? Gardening is something that everyone can do in any space they have. Live in an apartment and only have a patio? There’s a patio tomato that will work for that! Have an abundance in your backyard and are tired of paying to water it? Come volunteer at Jan’s Garden and I will teach you permaculture methods to sustainably grow food instead of grass. When we cultivate our community, we grow BIG things — like ending hunger for all North Texans. 

Q: Any quick tips to share?

A: You bet! If you are just starting out in your veggie garden, consider planting the smallest cultivar of the vegetable you wish to grow. This looks like growing a cherry tomato instead of a giant slicer or growing fairy eggplant instead of the larger Italian varieties. Dwarf plants will come into maturity faster which means less time on the vine exposed to our crazy weather and critters. You’ll enjoy a more productive harvest and earn the confidence to take on the larger cultivars later on.

A:  As we approach our long hot summer, our garden friends will be looking at your fields for hydration. If you are seeing a lot of peck marks in your tomatoes, put out a birdbath near your veggie patch. The birds will drink from the bird bath and leave your tomatoes alone. 

A: Save your eggs shells to use in the garden. Eggs shells are full of calcium and can be used as a natural slow release calcium top dressing by simply spreading crushed eggshells over your garden beds. As the shells break down they release calcium into the soil and also act as a slug deterrent.

For volunteer opportunities in Jan’s Garden with Vanessa, visit our website.


Caroline Madel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.

The North Texas Food Bank focuses on providing nutritious meals to our hungry neighbors. Our Garden Coordinator, Vanessa Bailey, works in our community garden every day helping to produce healthy foods and teaching healthy living. Learn more about how she helps NTFB in this Q&A!:

Q: What brought you to the North Texas Food Bank?

A: I like to joke that my journey to the NTFB began organically. My background as a Mental Health Social Worker for the state of Texas opened my eyes to the incredible need for identifying and breaking down barriers to access to care. For me, the two biggest issues I felt were contributing to poor patient outcomes was a lack of access to fresh, responsibly grown produce and limited ability to feel plugged into the community.  I started the first community garden in Flower Mound, Texas, called Common Ground Community Garden to address those needs right in the same small town I grew up in.

Before I knew it, we were growing so much food that we joined the Partner Garden program at the NTFB. This incredible program supports community and school gardens by providing resources to gardens that agree to donate 10% of their harvest to a local food pantry in their neighborhood.

After five years of growing for the Food Bank, I answered the call to help grow the garden program for the NTFB and I cannot wait to share the wonderful work that will be accomplished here to support our community. Our garden seeks to equip and educate others to grow food in abundance for their tables and the tables of those in need.  We host weekly volunteer opportunities every Wednesday; come grow with us!

Q: Describe your role.

A: I wear a few hats around here. As a former Social Worker turned Environmental Educator, Master Composter and Permaculturalist, my role is to create curriculum and programs which will help empower others to reliably and sustainably grow food in abundance in their own backyards or community gardens.  

That said, growing food is just the tip of the iceberg (lettuce). The NTFB is deeply committed to stewarding our resources and supporting local agriculture. To accomplish this, I created the Green Waste Recovery Program for the NTFB. This monthly pick up opportunity provides local area farmers and gardeners with bulk green waste for use as a livestock fodder or compost. By recovering our green waste, we hope to set a new standard for waste recovery. In the garden world, trash is treasure!

Q: How can gardening impact food insecurity?

A: As a Social Worker, I saw firsthand how multifaceted the lifecycle issues of food insecurity are. The hard reality for many of our clients is that they are sacrificing something daily to make it work. For some of our clients, they will sacrifice medication to make sure their children eat. No one should have to make the choice to pay for milk or medicine. That’s not okay and it’s time we look to our own backyards for answers to fill the food gap.

Did you know that just one 2ft planter can provide a family of four with lettuce throughout the entire growing season? Gardening is something that everyone can do in any space they have. Live in an apartment and only have a patio? There’s a patio tomato that will work for that! Have an abundance in your backyard and are tired of paying to water it? Come volunteer at Jan’s Garden and I will teach you permaculture methods to sustainably grow food instead of grass. When we cultivate our community, we grow BIG things — like ending hunger for all North Texans. 

Q: Any quick tips to share?

A: You bet! If you are just starting out in your veggie garden, consider planting the smallest cultivar of the vegetable you wish to grow. This looks like growing a cherry tomato instead of a giant slicer or growing fairy eggplant instead of the larger Italian varieties. Dwarf plants will come into maturity faster which means less time on the vine exposed to our crazy weather and critters. You’ll enjoy a more productive harvest and earn the confidence to take on the larger cultivars later on.

A:  As we approach our long hot summer, our garden friends will be looking at your fields for hydration. If you are seeing a lot of peck marks in your tomatoes, put out a birdbath near your veggie patch. The birds will drink from the bird bath and leave your tomatoes alone. 

A: Save your eggs shells to use in the garden. Eggs shells are full of calcium and can be used as a natural slow release calcium top dressing by simply spreading crushed eggshells over your garden beds. As the shells break down they release calcium into the soil and also act as a slug deterrent.

For volunteer opportunities in Jan’s Garden with Vanessa, visit our website.


Caroline Madel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.


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May 15, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

Sharing Stories of Summer Hunger: NTFB’s Summer Newsletter

May 15, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

Throughout North Texas, countless students depend on a healthy breakfast and lunch provided at school for critical nourishment. On Friday afternoons, many students are also given a backpack of nutritious food for weekend meals. But in just a few weeks when school is out for the summer holiday – these students will not only have a break from homework but a break from school-provided meals.

Here’s your summer reading assignment: Around the Table, the North Texas Food Bank’s quarterly print and online newsletter, and within this issue, you’ll learn how you can help fill the summer meal gap for students from food-insecure households. Students like four-year-old Korilynn, who attends pre-kindergarten and eats a healthy breakfast every morning at school. During the summer break, her mom, Rachel, will replace the free meals her daughter receives at school with food from a local pantry within the Food Bank’s network of more than 200 Partner Agencies.

Korilynn is just one example of a child who lives in a food-insecure household and relies on school-provided meals. Today in North Texas, one in four children may not know where they will get their next meal. This summer, these children will be at even greater risk when school lets out, and they can no longer rely on school-provided meals.

In the next few weeks, the North Texas Food Bank will prepare for the increased risk of students missing meals throughout the summer. You can join us in this important work, and ensure that summer break doesn’t entail a break from healthy meals too.

To learn how you can help end summer hunger, and to read more of Korilynn’s story in the summer issue of Around the Table, click here.


Caroline Mandel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.

Throughout North Texas, countless students depend on a healthy breakfast and lunch provided at school for critical nourishment. On Friday afternoons, many students are also given a backpack of nutritious food for weekend meals. But in just a few weeks when school is out for the summer holiday – these students will not only have a break from homework but a break from school-provided meals.

Here’s your summer reading assignment: Around the Table, the North Texas Food Bank’s quarterly print and online newsletter, and within this issue, you’ll learn how you can help fill the summer meal gap for students from food-insecure households. Students like four-year-old Korilynn, who attends pre-kindergarten and eats a healthy breakfast every morning at school. During the summer break, her mom, Rachel, will replace the free meals her daughter receives at school with food from a local pantry within the Food Bank’s network of more than 200 Partner Agencies.

Korilynn is just one example of a child who lives in a food-insecure household and relies on school-provided meals. Today in North Texas, one in four children may not know where they will get their next meal. This summer, these children will be at even greater risk when school lets out, and they can no longer rely on school-provided meals.

In the next few weeks, the North Texas Food Bank will prepare for the increased risk of students missing meals throughout the summer. You can join us in this important work, and ensure that summer break doesn’t entail a break from healthy meals too.

To learn how you can help end summer hunger, and to read more of Korilynn’s story in the summer issue of Around the Table, click here.


Caroline Mandel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.


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May 08, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

Meet Aruilla – Amazing Grace Food Pantry Client

May 08, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

First, she lost her daughter, and soon after her dad. A few years later, her mother and younger brother passed away too. Once her grandson moved in with her, having lost most of her immediate family, Aruilla needed help.

Aruilla holds a half gallon of milk and a fresh salad mix, a few items she selected during her visit to Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Wylie, TX.

She and her grandson struggled to keep food on the table. Aruilla receives some social services assistance, however, she explains that, “a lot of times we don’t have food because we can’t afford it.”

“Because my grandson is paying a car payment and electric and everything else, and insurance, we just can’t afford it, so had it not been for Amazing Grace Food Pantry – we wouldn’t have food.”

Throughout North Texas, Aruilla’s experience has become regrettably common. As our senior population continues to grow, so does the number of older individuals who struggle with food insecurity. With age-related health concerns, mobility issues and the decline of affordable housing for seniors, often many older neighbors in our community must make difficult decisions. Aruilla has made tough choices, but through the support of a vast Feeding Network of North Texas Food Bank Partner Agencies, she and other seniors in North Texas, don’t have to prioritize critical living expenses over nutritious food.

“If it wasn’t for Amazing Grace, we wouldn’t make it. I’m on disability and social security, and we don’t get that much each month, just near enough to cover rent. Had it not been for Amazing Grace – we wouldn’t make it each month.”

Following a period of great loss, coupled with the relentless stress of not knowing if she and her grandson will have enough to eat, Aruilla not only found healthy food at Amazing Grace but a welcoming and warm environment. While the fresh vegetables and produce, milk, proteins and other foods she receives are critical in maintaining her health as she ages, the supportive community at the pantry helps nourish her soul.

“I just don’t know what we would do if we didn’t have this place to come to – and like I said – I’ve found friends here. I love them to pieces, and we’re not all in the same boat, but they need this place too. And that’s my story. I’m so happy that I found this place.”

May is Older American’s Month, a month dedicated to honoring our country’s elders, and at the North Texas Food Bank, we celebrate all our older neighbors and help ensure there is always food on the table regardless of age or circumstance. To learn more about our work with neighbors like Aruilla, visit our website at www.ntfb.org.


Caroline Mandel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.

First, she lost her daughter, and soon after her dad. A few years later, her mother and younger brother passed away too. Once her grandson moved in with her, having lost most of her immediate family, Aruilla needed help.

Aruilla holds a half gallon of milk and a fresh salad mix, a few items she selected during her visit to Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Wylie, TX.

She and her grandson struggled to keep food on the table. Aruilla receives some social services assistance, however, she explains that, “a lot of times we don’t have food because we can’t afford it.”

“Because my grandson is paying a car payment and electric and everything else, and insurance, we just can’t afford it, so had it not been for Amazing Grace Food Pantry – we wouldn’t have food.”

Throughout North Texas, Aruilla’s experience has become regrettably common. As our senior population continues to grow, so does the number of older individuals who struggle with food insecurity. With age-related health concerns, mobility issues and the decline of affordable housing for seniors, often many older neighbors in our community must make difficult decisions. Aruilla has made tough choices, but through the support of a vast Feeding Network of North Texas Food Bank Partner Agencies, she and other seniors in North Texas, don’t have to prioritize critical living expenses over nutritious food.

“If it wasn’t for Amazing Grace, we wouldn’t make it. I’m on disability and social security, and we don’t get that much each month, just near enough to cover rent. Had it not been for Amazing Grace – we wouldn’t make it each month.”

Following a period of great loss, coupled with the relentless stress of not knowing if she and her grandson will have enough to eat, Aruilla not only found healthy food at Amazing Grace but a welcoming and warm environment. While the fresh vegetables and produce, milk, proteins and other foods she receives are critical in maintaining her health as she ages, the supportive community at the pantry helps nourish her soul.

“I just don’t know what we would do if we didn’t have this place to come to – and like I said – I’ve found friends here. I love them to pieces, and we’re not all in the same boat, but they need this place too. And that’s my story. I’m so happy that I found this place.”

May is Older American’s Month, a month dedicated to honoring our country’s elders, and at the North Texas Food Bank, we celebrate all our older neighbors and help ensure there is always food on the table regardless of age or circumstance. To learn more about our work with neighbors like Aruilla, visit our website at www.ntfb.org.


Caroline Mandel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.


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April 26, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

Join our team at Taste of the Cowboys on May 5!

April 26, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

On Sunday, May 5 from 6:30 – 10 p.m., join our team of hunger fighters at the 2019 Taste of the Cowboys, held at The Star in Frisco, the 91-acre campus that hosts the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters. Presented by Caliber Collision and hosted by current Dallas Cowboys players along with team legends Chad Hennings, Preston Pearson and DeMarcus Ware, this special event will feature Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, live entertainment and 30 gourmet tailgate food stations from North Texas’ premier restaurants and chefs. The mini Carolina fried chicken sandwiches from City Works Restaurant, and the Kona crusted filet with garlic mashed potatoes and green peppercorn sauce from Al Biernat’s North location are just a few of the tailgate treats that are sure to be a big win.

The North Texas Food Bank is proud to partner with the Dallas Cowboys in raising awareness about the impact of hunger, and the children of North Texas who are food insecure. Today, 1 in 6 of our neighbors do not know where they will find their next meal – and 1 in 4 is a child. All proceeds from this special event will help us raise awareness and critical funds to provide access to more nutritious food to hungry children across North Texas.

Children in our community do not have to be hungry, and with your support, we can tackle hunger together. There is still time to join our team on May 5 – To purchase tickets, visit NTFB.org/cowboys. This event welcomes guests 21 years and older.


Caroline Mandel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.

On Sunday, May 5 from 6:30 – 10 p.m., join our team of hunger fighters at the 2019 Taste of the Cowboys, held at The Star in Frisco, the 91-acre campus that hosts the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters. Presented by Caliber Collision and hosted by current Dallas Cowboys players along with team legends Chad Hennings, Preston Pearson and DeMarcus Ware, this special event will feature Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, live entertainment and 30 gourmet tailgate food stations from North Texas’ premier restaurants and chefs. The mini Carolina fried chicken sandwiches from City Works Restaurant, and the Kona crusted filet with garlic mashed potatoes and green peppercorn sauce from Al Biernat’s North location are just a few of the tailgate treats that are sure to be a big win.

The North Texas Food Bank is proud to partner with the Dallas Cowboys in raising awareness about the impact of hunger, and the children of North Texas who are food insecure. Today, 1 in 6 of our neighbors do not know where they will find their next meal – and 1 in 4 is a child. All proceeds from this special event will help us raise awareness and critical funds to provide access to more nutritious food to hungry children across North Texas.

Children in our community do not have to be hungry, and with your support, we can tackle hunger together. There is still time to join our team on May 5 – To purchase tickets, visit NTFB.org/cowboys. This event welcomes guests 21 years and older.


Caroline Mandel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.


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April 25, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

Meet Aamina and Rachel, NTFB Nutrition Education Volunteers

April 25, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

Aamina (left) and Rachel (right) answer questions from participants during a Cooking Matters class.

At the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB), our overarching, organizational mission is to close the hunger gap in North Texas by providing access to nutritious food. Within that goal, we are committed to empowering our neighbors through free culinary and nutrition education. NTFB staff and volunteers teach the basics of nutrition, cooking, food-budgeting and food safety to promote healthful and affordable food choices.

Aamina and Rachel are volunteers with NTFB’s Nutrition Education team and help administer the Cooking Matters program. This program teaches parents and caregivers with limited food budgets to shop for and cook healthy meals. Both Aamina and Rachel share a passion for nutrition and for serving their community, so volunteering with the Cooking Matters program blends both interests.

“Connecting with the participants and experiencing their evolution over the six-week program” has been Rachel’s favorite aspect of the experience, she said. Aamina said she has made many new friends through this experience and “learned things about [our] community that I never knew.”

Throughout their volunteer experience, Aamina and Rachel were surprised to learn about the impact of hunger in our community. For Rachel, this experience taught her that “teaching individuals and families about cooking and price effectiveness can mitigate the financial burden of healthy meals in such a huge way.” Aamina said she was surprised to learn “that so many kids are hungry during summer holidays.”

As we work to close the hunger gap in North Texas, our volunteers play a critical role. Without the support of so many hunger fighters and our vast Feeding Network of Partner Agencies, we would not be able to provide access to nearly 190,000 meals every day. We can close the hunger gap in North Texas, but it will take each of us extending our support and joining together to feed our hungry neighbors.

To join Aamina and Rachel, and make an impact in our community, visit www.ntfb.org/nutrition-services.


Caroline Mandel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.

Aamina (left) and Rachel (right) answer questions from participants during a Cooking Matters class.

At the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB), our overarching, organizational mission is to close the hunger gap in North Texas by providing access to nutritious food. Within that goal, we are committed to empowering our neighbors through free culinary and nutrition education. NTFB staff and volunteers teach the basics of nutrition, cooking, food-budgeting and food safety to promote healthful and affordable food choices.

Aamina and Rachel are volunteers with NTFB’s Nutrition Education team and help administer the Cooking Matters program. This program teaches parents and caregivers with limited food budgets to shop for and cook healthy meals. Both Aamina and Rachel share a passion for nutrition and for serving their community, so volunteering with the Cooking Matters program blends both interests.

“Connecting with the participants and experiencing their evolution over the six-week program” has been Rachel’s favorite aspect of the experience, she said. Aamina said she has made many new friends through this experience and “learned things about [our] community that I never knew.”

Throughout their volunteer experience, Aamina and Rachel were surprised to learn about the impact of hunger in our community. For Rachel, this experience taught her that “teaching individuals and families about cooking and price effectiveness can mitigate the financial burden of healthy meals in such a huge way.” Aamina said she was surprised to learn “that so many kids are hungry during summer holidays.”

As we work to close the hunger gap in North Texas, our volunteers play a critical role. Without the support of so many hunger fighters and our vast Feeding Network of Partner Agencies, we would not be able to provide access to nearly 190,000 meals every day. We can close the hunger gap in North Texas, but it will take each of us extending our support and joining together to feed our hungry neighbors.

To join Aamina and Rachel, and make an impact in our community, visit www.ntfb.org/nutrition-services.


Caroline Mandel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.


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April 17, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

Meet Angela and Knox – NTFB Volunteers

April 17, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

What started as a way for her older son to gain community service hours for school activities, quickly blossomed into a regular, family commitment. Angela and her younger son, Knox, can now be found on the distribution center floor at the Perot Family Campus, or out in the community helping with Mobile Pantry truck deliveries.

This mother-son duo prefers to volunteer where they can directly interact with clients, and while volunteering with the Mobile Pantry team, they assist with intake, greeting clients, bagging food, clean up and organization. When asked why it is important to serve the community, Angela explains that she believes “to whom much is given, much is expected.”

Knox (left) and Angela (right)

Since she began volunteering with NTFB, Angela has been surprised to learn that hunger “is more prevalent than she originally thought.” Angela is not alone – many are shocked to learn that one in six of our North Texas neighbors are food-insecure, and does not know where they will find their next healthy meal.

Thanks to Angela and her family, NTFB is spreading the word about hunger in our community, reaching more hungry neighbors and providing access to more healthy foods.

To join Angela and Knox, and make an impact on your community, visit www.ntfb.org/mobilepantry.


Caroline Mandel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.

What started as a way for her older son to gain community service hours for school activities, quickly blossomed into a regular, family commitment. Angela and her younger son, Knox, can now be found on the distribution center floor at the Perot Family Campus, or out in the community helping with Mobile Pantry truck deliveries.

This mother-son duo prefers to volunteer where they can directly interact with clients, and while volunteering with the Mobile Pantry team, they assist with intake, greeting clients, bagging food, clean up and organization. When asked why it is important to serve the community, Angela explains that she believes “to whom much is given, much is expected.”

Knox (left) and Angela (right)

Since she began volunteering with NTFB, Angela has been surprised to learn that hunger “is more prevalent than she originally thought.” Angela is not alone – many are shocked to learn that one in six of our North Texas neighbors are food-insecure, and does not know where they will find their next healthy meal.

Thanks to Angela and her family, NTFB is spreading the word about hunger in our community, reaching more hungry neighbors and providing access to more healthy foods.

To join Angela and Knox, and make an impact on your community, visit www.ntfb.org/mobilepantry.


Caroline Mandel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.


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April 10, 2019
by Erica Yeager

PepsiCo Celebrates 10 Years At NTFB

April 10, 2019
by Erica Yeager

The Food Bank is able to feed our hungry neighbors thanks to the thousands of volunteers who spend their time fighting hunger with us.  April is National Volunteer Month and we want to recognize organizations and individuals who go above and beyond to help us in our mission to close the hunger gap. Today’s feature – PepsiCo!

PepsiCo is celebrating the10 year anniversary for their Feeds America campaign this week, with a special  celebration volunteer shift at the  at North Texas Food Bank Perot Family Campus. The team at PepsiCo describes this as a grassroots and employee centric effort that included special celebrations across the country at other Feeding America member Food Banks. This is a huge accomplishment, and a testament to their commitment to giving back to our community!



With more than 800,000 food insecure neighbors in North Texas, the need for support is clear. Right now the North Texas Food Bank is providing access to 72 million nutritious meals a year, though the true need for food assistance is actually 92 million meals. While we know this is a huge gap, we are making progress every day and we remain hopeful that with the support of a dedicated community, we will bridge this gap. 

It is heartwarming to see a community come together to rally for neighbors in need, and we are grateful to have the support of our friends from PepsiCo. Over the years, PepsiCo employees alone, as generous individuals, have provided access to more than 200,000 meals for our hungry neighbors! PepsiCo and Frito Lay have also provided more than 1 million pounds of donated food products and significant financial support to the North Texas Food Bank’s mission. 

Food and dollars are so impactful for the Food Bank and that type of support makes our mission possible, which is why partners and volunteers like PepsiCo help NTFB tremendously in our goal to provide 92 million meals to hungry North Texans by 2025.

For more information on how you can help fight hunger like PepsiCo, visit ntfb.org.


Erica Yeager, Chief External Affairs Officer

Erica Yeager oversees the External Affairs Department of the Food Bank which encompasses  the fundraisers, marketing and communications, the volunteer team, our advocacy efforts and the Gift and Development Services team. Prior to joining the Food Bank, Erica worked in development at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is passionate about writing, storytelling and ensuring that our neighbors have the resources they need. Her happy place is on the lake with her two kids and husband Dave.

The Food Bank is able to feed our hungry neighbors thanks to the thousands of volunteers who spend their time fighting hunger with us.  April is National Volunteer Month and we want to recognize organizations and individuals who go above and beyond to help us in our mission to close the hunger gap. Today’s feature – PepsiCo!

PepsiCo is celebrating the10 year anniversary for their Feeds America campaign this week, with a special  celebration volunteer shift at the  at North Texas Food Bank Perot Family Campus. The team at PepsiCo describes this as a grassroots and employee centric effort that included special celebrations across the country at other Feeding America member Food Banks. This is a huge accomplishment, and a testament to their commitment to giving back to our community!



With more than 800,000 food insecure neighbors in North Texas, the need for support is clear. Right now the North Texas Food Bank is providing access to 72 million nutritious meals a year, though the true need for food assistance is actually 92 million meals. While we know this is a huge gap, we are making progress every day and we remain hopeful that with the support of a dedicated community, we will bridge this gap. 

It is heartwarming to see a community come together to rally for neighbors in need, and we are grateful to have the support of our friends from PepsiCo. Over the years, PepsiCo employees alone, as generous individuals, have provided access to more than 200,000 meals for our hungry neighbors! PepsiCo and Frito Lay have also provided more than 1 million pounds of donated food products and significant financial support to the North Texas Food Bank’s mission. 

Food and dollars are so impactful for the Food Bank and that type of support makes our mission possible, which is why partners and volunteers like PepsiCo help NTFB tremendously in our goal to provide 92 million meals to hungry North Texans by 2025.

For more information on how you can help fight hunger like PepsiCo, visit ntfb.org.


Erica Yeager, Chief External Affairs Officer

Erica Yeager oversees the External Affairs Department of the Food Bank which encompasses  the fundraisers, marketing and communications, the volunteer team, our advocacy efforts and the Gift and Development Services team. Prior to joining the Food Bank, Erica worked in development at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is passionate about writing, storytelling and ensuring that our neighbors have the resources they need. Her happy place is on the lake with her two kids and husband Dave.


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April 02, 2019
by Trisha Cunningham

Keeping our Resolution

April 02, 2019
by Trisha Cunningham

The first quarter of a new year always seems to pass quickly. For some, resolutions are now in full swing, but don’t worry, there’s still time to incorporate positive practices before the end of the year. I am still trying to follow my new eating plan. However, during the first months of 2019, far too many North Texas neighbors were not trying new diets or cleaning out closets. Today in our community more than 800,000 neighbors are food insecure, and when you are hungry, it is difficult to focus on anything beyond finding food. Hunger starves human potential and often prevents progress. At the North Texas Food Bank, our resolution is to provide access to nutritious food to our hungry neighbors, so they are nourished and empowered to reach their goals. Almost four months into the new year, we have made significant strides toward this resolution, achieving a hunger-free, healthy North Texas.

Our 2019 began in providing food assistance to federal employees who had gone several weeks without pay. Many had empty pantries and mounting bills to pay. NTFB hosted several food distribution sites for federal employees throughout North Texas and helped connect these neighbors with social services to provide relief during this time. Many were volunteers and donors of NTFB who never thought they would need food from us, but just like all our hungry neighbors, we were proud to give them a helping hand when they needed it.

In March, our new home, the Perot Family Campus, celebrated six months of operation. This state-of-the-art distribution center continues to advance our work, helping us provide access to more healthy foods throughout our community. Distribution center volunteers average packing one meal per minute during a shift, and at this rate, we are well on track to surpass the almost 9 MILLION pounds of food volunteers packed last year. On March 5, we hosted the 20th Annual Empty Bowls at the new facility and nearly 1,000 hunger fighters joined us, helping us fill empty plates and bowls across North Texas. We raised awareness and critical financial support, empowering our commitment to feed our hungry neighbors.

Just outside the Perot Family Campus, new plants sprout daily at Jan’s Garden, our new community learning garden named in memory of the Food Bank’s late CEO, Jan Pruitt. NTFB staff utilize the garden to train neighbors to seek affordable and sustainable food production in their backyards, patios and community gardens. With the skills to grow their own fruits and vegetables, gardening can transform communities and become a significant component in reducing food insecurity while increasing health education.

Beyond digging deep in Jan’s Garden, we are hitting the pavement to reach more hungry neighbors. The Mobile Pantry Program continues to expand and recently welcomed an additional truck to the fleet that will service Dallas County Community College District campuses where more than 40 percent of students are food insecure. Mobile pantries currently reach 52 sites with more on the way. They help us serve neighbors in hard-to-reach areas who do not have to be hungry because they cannot easily access nutritious foods.

In the months to come, we’ll continue to share our progress toward our resolution, and if your resolution is to help your community, please join NTFB in our important work. The most humbling moments of 2019 thus far involve the passion of our volunteer force. Thanks to their enthusiasm, the next few months are filled to the brim with people wanting to roll up their sleeves. If you are looking to take action, consider hosting a food drive or donating to our mission. We can’t do this work without you. To learn more, visit: www.ntfb.org/get-involved.

With Gratitude,

Trisha

President and CEO, North Texas Food Bank


Trisha Cunningham, President and CEO

Trisha Cunningham is President and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) and is leading the fight against hunger in North Texas. Trisha and her team of 170 employees and 40,000 volunteers work with more than 230 partner agencies to provide access to nearly 72 million meals annually. For more than 30 years, Trisha has served her community in various capacities, most recently as Chief Citizenship Officer at Texas Instruments (TI). Her commitment to nourishing her neighbors is evident in her vast civic involvement, and when she is not volunteering her time in the community, she can be found with her husband Greg, and their two children, Chris and Carrie. 

The first quarter of a new year always seems to pass quickly. For some, resolutions are now in full swing, but don’t worry, there’s still time to incorporate positive practices before the end of the year. I am still trying to follow my new eating plan. However, during the first months of 2019, far too many North Texas neighbors were not trying new diets or cleaning out closets. Today in our community more than 800,000 neighbors are food insecure, and when you are hungry, it is difficult to focus on anything beyond finding food. Hunger starves human potential and often prevents progress. At the North Texas Food Bank, our resolution is to provide access to nutritious food to our hungry neighbors, so they are nourished and empowered to reach their goals. Almost four months into the new year, we have made significant strides toward this resolution, achieving a hunger-free, healthy North Texas.

Our 2019 began in providing food assistance to federal employees who had gone several weeks without pay. Many had empty pantries and mounting bills to pay. NTFB hosted several food distribution sites for federal employees throughout North Texas and helped connect these neighbors with social services to provide relief during this time. Many were volunteers and donors of NTFB who never thought they would need food from us, but just like all our hungry neighbors, we were proud to give them a helping hand when they needed it.

In March, our new home, the Perot Family Campus, celebrated six months of operation. This state-of-the-art distribution center continues to advance our work, helping us provide access to more healthy foods throughout our community. Distribution center volunteers average packing one meal per minute during a shift, and at this rate, we are well on track to surpass the almost 9 MILLION pounds of food volunteers packed last year. On March 5, we hosted the 20th Annual Empty Bowls at the new facility and nearly 1,000 hunger fighters joined us, helping us fill empty plates and bowls across North Texas. We raised awareness and critical financial support, empowering our commitment to feed our hungry neighbors.

Just outside the Perot Family Campus, new plants sprout daily at Jan’s Garden, our new community learning garden named in memory of the Food Bank’s late CEO, Jan Pruitt. NTFB staff utilize the garden to train neighbors to seek affordable and sustainable food production in their backyards, patios and community gardens. With the skills to grow their own fruits and vegetables, gardening can transform communities and become a significant component in reducing food insecurity while increasing health education.

Beyond digging deep in Jan’s Garden, we are hitting the pavement to reach more hungry neighbors. The Mobile Pantry Program continues to expand and recently welcomed an additional truck to the fleet that will service Dallas County Community College District campuses where more than 40 percent of students are food insecure. Mobile pantries currently reach 52 sites with more on the way. They help us serve neighbors in hard-to-reach areas who do not have to be hungry because they cannot easily access nutritious foods.

In the months to come, we’ll continue to share our progress toward our resolution, and if your resolution is to help your community, please join NTFB in our important work. The most humbling moments of 2019 thus far involve the passion of our volunteer force. Thanks to their enthusiasm, the next few months are filled to the brim with people wanting to roll up their sleeves. If you are looking to take action, consider hosting a food drive or donating to our mission. We can’t do this work without you. To learn more, visit: www.ntfb.org/get-involved.

With Gratitude,

Trisha

President and CEO, North Texas Food Bank


Trisha Cunningham, President and CEO

Trisha Cunningham is President and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) and is leading the fight against hunger in North Texas. Trisha and her team of 170 employees and 40,000 volunteers work with more than 230 partner agencies to provide access to nearly 72 million meals annually. For more than 30 years, Trisha has served her community in various capacities, most recently as Chief Citizenship Officer at Texas Instruments (TI). Her commitment to nourishing her neighbors is evident in her vast civic involvement, and when she is not volunteering her time in the community, she can be found with her husband Greg, and their two children, Chris and Carrie. 


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March 22, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

Meet Vickie – Amazing Grace Food Pantry Client

March 22, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

On a grey morning, Vickie Spirit sits in the lobby at Amazing Grace Food Pantry, a North Texas Food Bank partner agency in rural Wylie. She is waiting for her turn to select fresh fruit, produce, meat and shelf-stable items from the pantry. Vickie watches as others exit the pantry; they are pushing grocery carts loaded with oranges, sweet potatoes, milk, salad mix, canned tomatoes and other foods. Amazing Grace is a client-choice facility, so Vickie will choose the items she’ll take home with her today.

“I have been coming here for about three years. I grew up on a garden and we had our own livestock so I ate off the land, so my favorite are the fresh fruit and vegetables. But when you are on a fixed income, you don’t get those foods. That’s a luxury to us.”

Vickie radiates joy as she speaks, but like many visiting Amazing Grace, she has endured her share of trials. A few years back she had her purse stolen, and when she went to get a new ID, she discovered she had been misled most of her life: she did not know her biological last name. She began a six-year journey to regain her identity that included periods of extreme hunger and homelessness. Without an ID, she was unable to access critical support services.

When she was finally able to claim a new last name, she chose Spirit. Vickie explained that “what we are any way is a spirit. And when I die, my spirit will go to God, so just name me Vickie Spirit.”

Since that time, Vickie has relocated closer to family and found a job. But she still struggles to put food on the table.

“If it wasn’t for the food bank (Amazing Grace) I wouldn’t have enough food to eat. And I just got over cancer and now they are telling me that I have heart issues, and I am sure it is all the stress I’ve been through and my living conditions, because I just got out of this not too long ago.”

Regardless of her past, Vickie doesn’t hesitate to express her gratitude.

“To the people that give food – they have no idea what they are giving to people. It’s important to know that we are so grateful for all the people that help donate to people in need. And they must be a special person to give to people who they don’t even know. Because they are not just feeding someone, but giving a gift to someone who they might not ever see.”

To learn more about the North Texas Food Bank’s Feeding Network of Partner Agencies, visit our website at www.ntfb.org/


Caroline Mandel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.

On a grey morning, Vickie Spirit sits in the lobby at Amazing Grace Food Pantry, a North Texas Food Bank partner agency in rural Wylie. She is waiting for her turn to select fresh fruit, produce, meat and shelf-stable items from the pantry. Vickie watches as others exit the pantry; they are pushing grocery carts loaded with oranges, sweet potatoes, milk, salad mix, canned tomatoes and other foods. Amazing Grace is a client-choice facility, so Vickie will choose the items she’ll take home with her today.

“I have been coming here for about three years. I grew up on a garden and we had our own livestock so I ate off the land, so my favorite are the fresh fruit and vegetables. But when you are on a fixed income, you don’t get those foods. That’s a luxury to us.”

Vickie radiates joy as she speaks, but like many visiting Amazing Grace, she has endured her share of trials. A few years back she had her purse stolen, and when she went to get a new ID, she discovered she had been misled most of her life: she did not know her biological last name. She began a six-year journey to regain her identity that included periods of extreme hunger and homelessness. Without an ID, she was unable to access critical support services.

When she was finally able to claim a new last name, she chose Spirit. Vickie explained that “what we are any way is a spirit. And when I die, my spirit will go to God, so just name me Vickie Spirit.”

Since that time, Vickie has relocated closer to family and found a job. But she still struggles to put food on the table.

“If it wasn’t for the food bank (Amazing Grace) I wouldn’t have enough food to eat. And I just got over cancer and now they are telling me that I have heart issues, and I am sure it is all the stress I’ve been through and my living conditions, because I just got out of this not too long ago.”

Regardless of her past, Vickie doesn’t hesitate to express her gratitude.

“To the people that give food – they have no idea what they are giving to people. It’s important to know that we are so grateful for all the people that help donate to people in need. And they must be a special person to give to people who they don’t even know. Because they are not just feeding someone, but giving a gift to someone who they might not ever see.”

To learn more about the North Texas Food Bank’s Feeding Network of Partner Agencies, visit our website at www.ntfb.org/


Caroline Mandel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.


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March 12, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

Hunger Doesn’t Take a Holiday

March 12, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

This week, throughout North Texas, most students are out of school for the spring break holiday. While this is a highly anticipated break from routine for many, for some students, spring break is a break from critical meals provided at  school. As some students pack their bags for travels, others are wondering how they will fill their meal gaps during this week-long holiday. Within the North Texas Food Bank’s 13-county service area, more than 300,000 kids, with more than half — 158,000 — living in Dallas County, live in food-insecure households. Many rely on the meals provided during the school day as a main source of nutrition.

During spring break, hunger doesn’t take a holiday. Our staff at the North Texas Food Bank continue to distribute nutritious foods to students and their families though our strategic programs and through our vast Feeding Network of Partner Agencies. For students in the Dallas Independent School District, free breakfast and lunch will be served at 27 select campuses during spring break through the district’s Break Meals Program. These meals are provided to all students regardless of where they may live or are enrolled. Such efforts ensure that while school is out, students are still able to access the nutritious foods needed to remain healthy.

At the Food Bank’s distribution center, the Perot Family Campus, it is business as usual this week. Each day, this state-of-the-art facility helps provide access to nearly 190,000 meals every day. If spring break finds you in search of an opportunity to give of your time, there are still several opportunities available to volunteer. At our distribution center, volunteer shifts are available Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 – 3:30 p.m., or volunteer with our mobile pantry truck to help distribute nutritious foods to our neighbors in high-need, hard-to-reach areas throughout North Texas.

Spring break doesn’t have to be a challenging time for our students who live in food-insecure households. Through community support, targeted programs and partnerships and our Feeding Network, we can ensure all hungry students receive the nourishment needed to thrive in and outside the classroom. To join us in this critical work, visit www.ntfb.org/get-involved.

Caroline Mandel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.

This week, throughout North Texas, most students are out of school for the spring break holiday. While this is a highly anticipated break from routine for many, for some students, spring break is a break from critical meals provided at  school. As some students pack their bags for travels, others are wondering how they will fill their meal gaps during this week-long holiday. Within the North Texas Food Bank’s 13-county service area, more than 300,000 kids, with more than half — 158,000 — living in Dallas County, live in food-insecure households. Many rely on the meals provided during the school day as a main source of nutrition.

During spring break, hunger doesn’t take a holiday. Our staff at the North Texas Food Bank continue to distribute nutritious foods to students and their families though our strategic programs and through our vast Feeding Network of Partner Agencies. For students in the Dallas Independent School District, free breakfast and lunch will be served at 27 select campuses during spring break through the district’s Break Meals Program. These meals are provided to all students regardless of where they may live or are enrolled. Such efforts ensure that while school is out, students are still able to access the nutritious foods needed to remain healthy.

At the Food Bank’s distribution center, the Perot Family Campus, it is business as usual this week. Each day, this state-of-the-art facility helps provide access to nearly 190,000 meals every day. If spring break finds you in search of an opportunity to give of your time, there are still several opportunities available to volunteer. At our distribution center, volunteer shifts are available Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 – 3:30 p.m., or volunteer with our mobile pantry truck to help distribute nutritious foods to our neighbors in high-need, hard-to-reach areas throughout North Texas.

Spring break doesn’t have to be a challenging time for our students who live in food-insecure households. Through community support, targeted programs and partnerships and our Feeding Network, we can ensure all hungry students receive the nourishment needed to thrive in and outside the classroom. To join us in this critical work, visit www.ntfb.org/get-involved.

Caroline Mandel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two young sons and husband.


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