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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March 07, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

Sharing Stories of Hunger and Hope: NTFB’s Spring Newsletter

March 07, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

This week the spring issue of Around the Table, the North Texas Food Bank’s newsletter, will arrive in mailboxes.

Within this issue, you’ll read about Food Bank news and upcoming events, and meet several neighbors who have struggled to put food on the table. You’ll meet Linda, Maria, Azzie and other neighbors who now receive food assistance and no longer have to choose between food and other critical necessities.

At the North Texas Food Bank, we are committed to sharing our neighbors’ experiences with hunger, because we believe it is important to understand the diverse hardships that so many in our community face day in and day out. When you hear a firsthand account or read about the trials of being hungry, you are provided a glimpse into the lives of more than 800,000 of our neighbors who live in food-insecure households throughout North Texas. Thankfully, for many of these neighbors, their stories include much-needed relief thanks to programs, services and partnerships that are part of the North Texas Food Bank’s Feeding Network.

Each hungry neighbor has their own unique experience, nonetheless, our goal at the Food Bank remains constant. We are committed to providing access to healthy food for our hungry neighbors, and providing the support needed to change the pervasive narrative of hunger in our community. We share stories of hunger to highlight the great need in North Texas, as well as our progress made in becoming a hunger-free, healthy North Texas. Linda’s story now includes both nutritious foods and her heart medicine. With support from the North Texas Food Bank, she no longer has to choose between food on the table or her prescription.

To read more of Linda’s story in the spring 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.

This week the spring issue of Around the Table, the North Texas Food Bank’s newsletter, will arrive in mailboxes.

Within this issue, you’ll read about Food Bank news and upcoming events, and meet several neighbors who have struggled to put food on the table. You’ll meet Linda, Maria, Azzie and other neighbors who now receive food assistance and no longer have to choose between food and other critical necessities.

At the North Texas Food Bank, we are committed to sharing our neighbors’ experiences with hunger, because we believe it is important to understand the diverse hardships that so many in our community face day in and day out. When you hear a firsthand account or read about the trials of being hungry, you are provided a glimpse into the lives of more than 800,000 of our neighbors who live in food-insecure households throughout North Texas. Thankfully, for many of these neighbors, their stories include much-needed relief thanks to programs, services and partnerships that are part of the North Texas Food Bank’s Feeding Network.

Each hungry neighbor has their own unique experience, nonetheless, our goal at the Food Bank remains constant. We are committed to providing access to healthy food for our hungry neighbors, and providing the support needed to change the pervasive narrative of hunger in our community. We share stories of hunger to highlight the great need in North Texas, as well as our progress made in becoming a hunger-free, healthy North Texas. Linda’s story now includes both nutritious foods and her heart medicine. With support from the North Texas Food Bank, she no longer has to choose between food on the table or her prescription.

To read more of Linda’s story in the spring 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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March 01, 2019
by Valerie Hawthorne

Food Bankers hit the road, advocating for our hungry neighbors

March 01, 2019
by Valerie Hawthorne

At North Texas Food Bank, we will always ensure that the voices of our clients and partner agencies are heard by elected officialsFor anyone who has visited our enormous warehouse, seen our trucks all over the roads, and volunteered at our various program sites, it’s shocking to find out we are not the largest provider of food to those in need.  The truth is…you are. To put it in perspective, for every bag of groceries the North Texas Food Bank provides, tax-payer funded government nutrition programs provide 19 more. 

A few years ago, the North Texas Food Bank took a bold step forward. We createan advocacy and government relations program that serves to protect nutrition programs by educating our elected officials and community to their importance. These programs come with an alphabet soup of acronyms and a laundry list of complicated qualification policies. This confusion can easily allow the programs and the people they serve to be attacked by urban legends and mythsFor this reason,  the North Texas Food Bank and our supporters recently filled the halls of our Capitols in Austin, TX and Washington, DC to support and defend the people and the program that fight hunger each day. . 

On Tuesday February 19th, 28 of our staff, board members, and community partners joined forces with our friends from the other 21 food banks in Texas for an Anti-Hunger Advocacy Day at the Texas Capitol in Austin. The weather was chilly, windy, and bleak but our spirits were high. We spoke about the significance of fresh produce and the look on children’s faces tasting fresh strawberries for the first time. We spoke to unacceptable senior hunger and how a simple administrative procedure could give thousands easier access to SNAP. We debunked myths around SNAP fraud and also showed them the role of Food Banks in times of disaster. All of this we did 41 times over, in six short hours. The 41 North Texas offices we met with were not only grateful for our perspective but were engaged and filled with questions. This year more than ever, the diversity  our Texas Legislature is expanding and has begun to match the diversity of the clients and communities we serve. This progress is not lost on us or them, what a time to be Texan!  A special thank you to Greyhound for providing the wheels for this trip.

Hunger Fighters at the Texas Capitol, each participant met with multiple elected officials, advocating on behalf of the neighbors we serve.

On Tuesday February 26th, we did it again. At our nation’s Capitol, NTFB marched up to Capitol Hill to ask our members of Congress to fully fund commodity programs. These federally funded programs allow the shelves of our partner agencies to be filled with nutritious American grown foods. We also asked our offices to support our state legislature and help them through decisions that impact our community during the next few months of session. Most importantly of all, we brought them the stories of those who know hunger each day, those who live with it and those who help solve it.  Hunger is not an isolated symptom. The Texas network of basic needs assistance organizations seeks to solve hunger through programming that addresses root causes We are so proud to be a part of this movement. 

On Tuesday February 26th Food Bank leadership and board members traveled to our nation’s capitol to advocate for our  food insecure neighbors.

In such divisive political times as these, we must remember that hunger is a non-partisan issue and a human right. No zip code, neighborhood or political party is immune from hunger. The on-the-ground work that we, our partner agencies, and our community partners provide is appreciated and applauded but we cannot do it alone. We must protect SNAP, USDA commodities, senior nutrition programs, after school feeding programs, school breakfast and lunch, fresh fruits and vegetable programs and so many more, otherwise the hunger gap will climb to heights that no organization could possibly combat. If you’d like to get more involved in our advocacy work, follow along on twitter @NTFBVoice or send me an email and I’ll tell you more. 

 

Valerie Hawthorne, PhD, Director of Government Relations 

Dr. Valerie Hawthorne is a seasoned hunger fighter, with a passion for advocating for our hungry neighbors. When she isn’t on trips to Austin or Washington D.C. discussing policy with our elected officials, she is in North Texas, representing the Food Bank through a variety of hunger coalitions, councils and speaking engagements. Valerie enjoys competing in triathlon races, time with her family, Texas wine and a good debate. Follow her advocacy work on Twitter @NTFBVoice 

 

At North Texas Food Bank, we will always ensure that the voices of our clients and partner agencies are heard by elected officialsFor anyone who has visited our enormous warehouse, seen our trucks all over the roads, and volunteered at our various program sites, it’s shocking to find out we are not the largest provider of food to those in need.  The truth is…you are. To put it in perspective, for every bag of groceries the North Texas Food Bank provides, tax-payer funded government nutrition programs provide 19 more. 

A few years ago, the North Texas Food Bank took a bold step forward. We createan advocacy and government relations program that serves to protect nutrition programs by educating our elected officials and community to their importance. These programs come with an alphabet soup of acronyms and a laundry list of complicated qualification policies. This confusion can easily allow the programs and the people they serve to be attacked by urban legends and mythsFor this reason,  the North Texas Food Bank and our supporters recently filled the halls of our Capitols in Austin, TX and Washington, DC to support and defend the people and the program that fight hunger each day. . 

On Tuesday February 19th, 28 of our staff, board members, and community partners joined forces with our friends from the other 21 food banks in Texas for an Anti-Hunger Advocacy Day at the Texas Capitol in Austin. The weather was chilly, windy, and bleak but our spirits were high. We spoke about the significance of fresh produce and the look on children’s faces tasting fresh strawberries for the first time. We spoke to unacceptable senior hunger and how a simple administrative procedure could give thousands easier access to SNAP. We debunked myths around SNAP fraud and also showed them the role of Food Banks in times of disaster. All of this we did 41 times over, in six short hours. The 41 North Texas offices we met with were not only grateful for our perspective but were engaged and filled with questions. This year more than ever, the diversity  our Texas Legislature is expanding and has begun to match the diversity of the clients and communities we serve. This progress is not lost on us or them, what a time to be Texan!  A special thank you to Greyhound for providing the wheels for this trip.

Hunger Fighters at the Texas Capitol, each participant met with multiple elected officials, advocating on behalf of the neighbors we serve.

On Tuesday February 26th, we did it again. At our nation’s Capitol, NTFB marched up to Capitol Hill to ask our members of Congress to fully fund commodity programs. These federally funded programs allow the shelves of our partner agencies to be filled with nutritious American grown foods. We also asked our offices to support our state legislature and help them through decisions that impact our community during the next few months of session. Most importantly of all, we brought them the stories of those who know hunger each day, those who live with it and those who help solve it.  Hunger is not an isolated symptom. The Texas network of basic needs assistance organizations seeks to solve hunger through programming that addresses root causes We are so proud to be a part of this movement. 

On Tuesday February 26th Food Bank leadership and board members traveled to our nation’s capitol to advocate for our  food insecure neighbors.

In such divisive political times as these, we must remember that hunger is a non-partisan issue and a human right. No zip code, neighborhood or political party is immune from hunger. The on-the-ground work that we, our partner agencies, and our community partners provide is appreciated and applauded but we cannot do it alone. We must protect SNAP, USDA commodities, senior nutrition programs, after school feeding programs, school breakfast and lunch, fresh fruits and vegetable programs and so many more, otherwise the hunger gap will climb to heights that no organization could possibly combat. If you’d like to get more involved in our advocacy work, follow along on twitter @NTFBVoice or send me an email and I’ll tell you more. 

 

Valerie Hawthorne, PhD, Director of Government Relations 

Dr. Valerie Hawthorne is a seasoned hunger fighter, with a passion for advocating for our hungry neighbors. When she isn’t on trips to Austin or Washington D.C. discussing policy with our elected officials, she is in North Texas, representing the Food Bank through a variety of hunger coalitions, councils and speaking engagements. Valerie enjoys competing in triathlon races, time with her family, Texas wine and a good debate. Follow her advocacy work on Twitter @NTFBVoice 

 


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February 27, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

Partner Agency Spotlight: Brother Bill’s Helping Hand

February 27, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

 

Mercy and her sons, Manuel and Johnny, pick up healthy foods from Brother Bill’s Helping Hand. After her husband passed away from cancer, Mercy did not know how she would care for her growing boys on a single income. To read Mercy’s story, click here.

The North Texas Food Bank is proud to partner with Brother Bill’s Helping Hand in providing access to nutritious meals for our neighbors in West Dallas. While this area of our city has recently received much attention due to increased development and growth, many neighbors continue to struggle with food insecurity. Economic growth is not guaranteed to translate across communities, but through our work with Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, our neighbors in West Dallas who struggle finding their next meal – have a resource for nutritious food in addition to other critical services and programs.

 

“Many of our neighbors first came for food,” said Adair Neely, Director of Programs and Operations at Brother Bill’s Helping Hand. “And then they heard about our financial literacy education programs, our health clinic and other free resources. Many have now completed job training or learned English. But they first came for food. They had to be fed first.”

 

The North Texas Food Bank works alongside more than 200 partner agencies to provide access to nutritious food at hundreds of feeding locations throughout our 13-county service area. Our work ensures partner agencies have the capacity to provide an abundance of healthy foods especially fresh produce.

 

At Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, our food insecure neighbors in West Dallas not only receive access to a free in-house grocery store, but a multitude of wrap-around services and programs that focus on fighting the causes and effects of poverty and food insecurity. From a health clinic, job training program, English lessons, health and wellness classes, a financial literacy program and more, Brother’s Bills Helping Hand is a holistic community center striving to serve the whole family.

 

As the Food Bank works to provide 92 million meals annually by 2025, we know that it will take collaboration and innovation to reach this goal. Our partnership with Brother Bill’s Helping Hand is an example of this formula, and demonstrates what is possible when our neighbors are fed and have access to critical support services.

 

“We just could not survive without the bulk food provided by the North Texas Food Bank,” said Neely. “And we have story after story of successes, of our neighbors becoming self-sufficient and thriving – but they first came to our grocery store.”

 

To support the North Texas Food Bank and our work empowering our partner agencies, visit: www.ntfb.org/get-involved.

 

By 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.

 

Mercy and her sons, Manuel and Johnny, pick up healthy foods from Brother Bill’s Helping Hand. After her husband passed away from cancer, Mercy did not know how she would care for her growing boys on a single income. To read Mercy’s story, click here.

The North Texas Food Bank is proud to partner with Brother Bill’s Helping Hand in providing access to nutritious meals for our neighbors in West Dallas. While this area of our city has recently received much attention due to increased development and growth, many neighbors continue to struggle with food insecurity. Economic growth is not guaranteed to translate across communities, but through our work with Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, our neighbors in West Dallas who struggle finding their next meal – have a resource for nutritious food in addition to other critical services and programs.

 

“Many of our neighbors first came for food,” said Adair Neely, Director of Programs and Operations at Brother Bill’s Helping Hand. “And then they heard about our financial literacy education programs, our health clinic and other free resources. Many have now completed job training or learned English. But they first came for food. They had to be fed first.”

 

The North Texas Food Bank works alongside more than 200 partner agencies to provide access to nutritious food at hundreds of feeding locations throughout our 13-county service area. Our work ensures partner agencies have the capacity to provide an abundance of healthy foods especially fresh produce.

 

At Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, our food insecure neighbors in West Dallas not only receive access to a free in-house grocery store, but a multitude of wrap-around services and programs that focus on fighting the causes and effects of poverty and food insecurity. From a health clinic, job training program, English lessons, health and wellness classes, a financial literacy program and more, Brother’s Bills Helping Hand is a holistic community center striving to serve the whole family.

 

As the Food Bank works to provide 92 million meals annually by 2025, we know that it will take collaboration and innovation to reach this goal. Our partnership with Brother Bill’s Helping Hand is an example of this formula, and demonstrates what is possible when our neighbors are fed and have access to critical support services.

 

“We just could not survive without the bulk food provided by the North Texas Food Bank,” said Neely. “And we have story after story of successes, of our neighbors becoming self-sufficient and thriving – but they first came to our grocery store.”

 

To support the North Texas Food Bank and our work empowering our partner agencies, visit: www.ntfb.org/get-involved.

 

By 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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February 20, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

Fill Plates at the 20th Annual Empty Bowls!

February 20, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

Join us on March 5 at our new distribution center, the Perot Family Campus, for the 20th Annual Empty Bowls, and help us fill more empty plates and bowls for our hungry neighbors. This special event presented by Kroger features food stations with bowl-friendly fare prepared by some of North Texas’ best restaurants. Think gnocchi chowder, shrimp and grits, brisket burnt end chili, peach cobbler and more! Guests will also receive an artisan made bowl – a reminder that even just one meal, one less empty bowl, can make a difference.

Empty Bowls was created by John and Darlene Williams, two local artists who were passionate about using their talent to end hunger. Now 20 years later, what began as a small gathering of artisans and advocates, is now an annual affair featuring hundreds of beautiful handcrafted bowls, delicious food and a dedicated community of hunger fighters.

We know that every day, empty plates and bowls rest on tables and in cupboards throughout our community, and come mealtime, they will not be used. One empty bowl belongs to a child who had her last meal of the day at school lunch. Another belongs to a grandfather who cannot afford both food and medicine. And several belong to families living in neighborhoods not far from our own. Throughout North Texas, these empty plates and bowls represent the growing need for food assistance.

Your support of the 20th Annual Empty Bowls empowers our ability to provide that critical assistance to our hungry neighbors. Join us on March 5, and help us fill more empty plates and bowls in our community, and advance our commitment to a healthy, hunger-free North Texas.

Visit www.ntfb.org/empty-bowls to purchase event tickets and to learn more about the 20th Annual Empty Bowls.

 

Join us on March 5 at our new distribution center, the Perot Family Campus, for the 20th Annual Empty Bowls, and help us fill more empty plates and bowls for our hungry neighbors. This special event presented by Kroger features food stations with bowl-friendly fare prepared by some of North Texas’ best restaurants. Think gnocchi chowder, shrimp and grits, brisket burnt end chili, peach cobbler and more! Guests will also receive an artisan made bowl – a reminder that even just one meal, one less empty bowl, can make a difference.

Empty Bowls was created by John and Darlene Williams, two local artists who were passionate about using their talent to end hunger. Now 20 years later, what began as a small gathering of artisans and advocates, is now an annual affair featuring hundreds of beautiful handcrafted bowls, delicious food and a dedicated community of hunger fighters.

We know that every day, empty plates and bowls rest on tables and in cupboards throughout our community, and come mealtime, they will not be used. One empty bowl belongs to a child who had her last meal of the day at school lunch. Another belongs to a grandfather who cannot afford both food and medicine. And several belong to families living in neighborhoods not far from our own. Throughout North Texas, these empty plates and bowls represent the growing need for food assistance.

Your support of the 20th Annual Empty Bowls empowers our ability to provide that critical assistance to our hungry neighbors. Join us on March 5, and help us fill more empty plates and bowls in our community, and advance our commitment to a healthy, hunger-free North Texas.

Visit www.ntfb.org/empty-bowls to purchase event tickets and to learn more about the 20th Annual Empty Bowls.

 


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February 13, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

Celebrate Love with the North Texas Food Bank

February 13, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

This year, on Valentine’s Day, consider celebrating love with a gift or experience that will brighten a hungry neighbor’s day.

Far too many of our North Texas neighbors do not know where they will find their next healthy meal. Or must choose between putting food on the table and paying bills. Hunger does not discriminate, it affects all races, ethnicities and ages, and today, one in six of our neighbors are food insecure, one in four is a child and one in six is a veteran. At the Food Bank, our love for our community, for our neighbors and for helping those in need, is the foundation of our mission: closing the hunger gap in North Texas.

Help us share this love and consider an alternative date night, and join us for a volunteer shift in our distribution center. The experience of volunteering to help hungry neighbors is a generous act of service – the gift of your time empowers our critical work and demonstrates love in action.

Or make a gift or donation of food on behalf of someone you love. Your gifts help us put healthy food on the table, nourishing both the body and the heart of a hungry neighbor.

On Valentine’s Day, and every day, please help us share love to our hungry neighbors through access to healthy foods and hope for the future.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Your Friends at the North Texas Food Bank!

This year, on Valentine’s Day, consider celebrating love with a gift or experience that will brighten a hungry neighbor’s day.

Far too many of our North Texas neighbors do not know where they will find their next healthy meal. Or must choose between putting food on the table and paying bills. Hunger does not discriminate, it affects all races, ethnicities and ages, and today, one in six of our neighbors are food insecure, one in four is a child and one in six is a veteran. At the Food Bank, our love for our community, for our neighbors and for helping those in need, is the foundation of our mission: closing the hunger gap in North Texas.

Help us share this love and consider an alternative date night, and join us for a volunteer shift in our distribution center. The experience of volunteering to help hungry neighbors is a generous act of service – the gift of your time empowers our critical work and demonstrates love in action.

Or make a gift or donation of food on behalf of someone you love. Your gifts help us put healthy food on the table, nourishing both the body and the heart of a hungry neighbor.

On Valentine’s Day, and every day, please help us share love to our hungry neighbors through access to healthy foods and hope for the future.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Your Friends at the North Texas Food Bank!


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February 01, 2019
by Andrea Urbina

Make a Plan to End Hunger

February 01, 2019
by Andrea Urbina

The BIG GAME is this Sunday with millions of people across the world tuning in to watch the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams play in Super Bowl LIII.

Did you know:
• A 30-second Super Bowl ad costs $5.2 million (that’s 15.6 million meals)
• The average Super Bowl tickets costs between $4,000 and $6,000 (that’s 12,000-18,000 meals)
• Parking at the Super Bowl can cost between $20 and $900 (that’s 60-2,700 meals)
• The average flight deal to the Super Bowl is currently $220 for roundtrip flights within the U.S. (that’s 660 meals)
• The median price of a hotel for Super Bowl weekend is $474 a night (that’s 1,422 meals)

With all that being said, why not turn Game Day into a FUNdraising event to benefit the NTFB.
If you are headed out to watch parties with friends, consider including the following ideas into your game day experience to help support the NTFB and help us put food on the table for hungry North Texans.
• At the end of the game, everyone makes a donation to the NTFB equal to that of the winning team’s final score
• For every touchdown, donate $10 to the NTFB (that’s 30 meals)
o Field Goals = $5 (that’s 15 meals)
o Fumbles & Interceptions = $25 (that’s 75 meals)
• Every time the commentators reference the age gap between the teams’ head coaches or quarterbacks, everyone donates $5 to the NTFB (that’s 15 meals)
• Donate $50 to the NTFB whenever a Super Bowl ad makes you say “awwwwwwww” (that’s 150 meals)

Don’t forget to get your game day snacks from Kroger, Market Street or Tom Thumb/Albertson’s. While you are there be sure to make a donation to the Souper Bowl of Caring!

Enjoy the game and be sure to put your favorite ads in the comments!

The BIG GAME is this Sunday with millions of people across the world tuning in to watch the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams play in Super Bowl LIII.

Did you know:
• A 30-second Super Bowl ad costs $5.2 million (that’s 15.6 million meals)
• The average Super Bowl tickets costs between $4,000 and $6,000 (that’s 12,000-18,000 meals)
• Parking at the Super Bowl can cost between $20 and $900 (that’s 60-2,700 meals)
• The average flight deal to the Super Bowl is currently $220 for roundtrip flights within the U.S. (that’s 660 meals)
• The median price of a hotel for Super Bowl weekend is $474 a night (that’s 1,422 meals)

With all that being said, why not turn Game Day into a FUNdraising event to benefit the NTFB.
If you are headed out to watch parties with friends, consider including the following ideas into your game day experience to help support the NTFB and help us put food on the table for hungry North Texans.
• At the end of the game, everyone makes a donation to the NTFB equal to that of the winning team’s final score
• For every touchdown, donate $10 to the NTFB (that’s 30 meals)
o Field Goals = $5 (that’s 15 meals)
o Fumbles & Interceptions = $25 (that’s 75 meals)
• Every time the commentators reference the age gap between the teams’ head coaches or quarterbacks, everyone donates $5 to the NTFB (that’s 15 meals)
• Donate $50 to the NTFB whenever a Super Bowl ad makes you say “awwwwwwww” (that’s 150 meals)

Don’t forget to get your game day snacks from Kroger, Market Street or Tom Thumb/Albertson’s. While you are there be sure to make a donation to the Souper Bowl of Caring!

Enjoy the game and be sure to put your favorite ads in the comments!


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January 22, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

North Texas Food Bank Provides Food Assistance to Federal Employees at DFW Airport and Love Field Airport

January 22, 2019
by Caroline Mandel

 

For many federal employees in North Texas, tough choices are now on the table. While the government shutdown has stopped their income – it has not stopped the demands of daily life, and many are forced to make difficult decisions: paying rent or buying groceries, putting gas in the car or making a utility payment, or negotiating childcare costs. But for federal employees who live paycheck to paycheck, without a rainy day fund or savings account, their refrigerators are now empty, little is left in the pantry and the need for food assistance is increasing by the day.

At the North Texas Food Bank, our mission is to close the hunger gap by providing access to nutritious meals to our hungry neighbors. In recent days, that population now includes neighbors who are federal employees. After several weeks without a paycheck, many are now seeking food assistance – many for the first time. During the government shutdown, and always, the North Texas Food Bank is committed to supporting our hungry neighbors, because regardless of the cause, whether it be environmental disaster, economic instability or unexpected personal crisis, we believe no one deserves to be hungry.

This past week, the Food Bank was onsite at DFW Airport and Dallas Love Field Airport to distribute food directly to federal employees and share information about our partner agency network where neighbors can receive continued assistance. Food Bank staff also helped employees sign up for emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

While loading milk, potatoes, oranges and several shelf-stable items into her car, Maggie*, a federal employee at DFW Airport, expressed her gratitude and frustration.

“I am very grateful for this generosity provided to us – it has been really hard not having any income for so long,” said Maggie. “I am the primary breadwinner for my family and I have two teenage daughters. It has been rough to be uncertain about our income – this will help us fill our pantry and make us feel like people care.”

As the longest government shutdown in history continues, the North Texas Food Bank will continue to mobilize support to ensure federal employees impacted by the shutdown have direct access to nutritious food and social services.

Terry*, a federal employee who works in security at DFW Airport, received assistance enrolling in emergency support services, and shared the significance of a helping hand.

“We’re all hurting and we don’t know what to expect, and most of us don’t even know how to start to fill out these forms,” said Terry. “This support is very important – most of us have never been through this before – so it just means a lot.”

Although the future of the government shutdown remains uncertain, the North Texas Food Bank will continue to support federal employees so they can continue to put food on the table and make one less tough choice.

For additional information on our critical work aiding federal employees during the government shutdown, visit: www.ntfb.org/shutdown. To join us in this critical work, and to help close the hunger gap in North Texas, visit: www.ntfb.org/get-involved.

*The names of federal employees featured in this article were withheld to honor their request to remain anonymous.

 

For many federal employees in North Texas, tough choices are now on the table. While the government shutdown has stopped their income – it has not stopped the demands of daily life, and many are forced to make difficult decisions: paying rent or buying groceries, putting gas in the car or making a utility payment, or negotiating childcare costs. But for federal employees who live paycheck to paycheck, without a rainy day fund or savings account, their refrigerators are now empty, little is left in the pantry and the need for food assistance is increasing by the day.

At the North Texas Food Bank, our mission is to close the hunger gap by providing access to nutritious meals to our hungry neighbors. In recent days, that population now includes neighbors who are federal employees. After several weeks without a paycheck, many are now seeking food assistance – many for the first time. During the government shutdown, and always, the North Texas Food Bank is committed to supporting our hungry neighbors, because regardless of the cause, whether it be environmental disaster, economic instability or unexpected personal crisis, we believe no one deserves to be hungry.

This past week, the Food Bank was onsite at DFW Airport and Dallas Love Field Airport to distribute food directly to federal employees and share information about our partner agency network where neighbors can receive continued assistance. Food Bank staff also helped employees sign up for emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

While loading milk, potatoes, oranges and several shelf-stable items into her car, Maggie*, a federal employee at DFW Airport, expressed her gratitude and frustration.

“I am very grateful for this generosity provided to us – it has been really hard not having any income for so long,” said Maggie. “I am the primary breadwinner for my family and I have two teenage daughters. It has been rough to be uncertain about our income – this will help us fill our pantry and make us feel like people care.”

As the longest government shutdown in history continues, the North Texas Food Bank will continue to mobilize support to ensure federal employees impacted by the shutdown have direct access to nutritious food and social services.

Terry*, a federal employee who works in security at DFW Airport, received assistance enrolling in emergency support services, and shared the significance of a helping hand.

“We’re all hurting and we don’t know what to expect, and most of us don’t even know how to start to fill out these forms,” said Terry. “This support is very important – most of us have never been through this before – so it just means a lot.”

Although the future of the government shutdown remains uncertain, the North Texas Food Bank will continue to support federal employees so they can continue to put food on the table and make one less tough choice.

For additional information on our critical work aiding federal employees during the government shutdown, visit: www.ntfb.org/shutdown. To join us in this critical work, and to help close the hunger gap in North Texas, visit: www.ntfb.org/get-involved.

*The names of federal employees featured in this article were withheld to honor their request to remain anonymous.


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