By Erica Yaeger | Chief External Affairs Officer | North Texas Food Bank
Things are evolving so quickly at the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) as we have flipped our production model to serve the dramatic increase in needs in our community. The NTFB has been packing 60,000 emergency family meal boxes each week at the Perot Family Campus in Plano and a second temporary warehouse. Each box includes 25-27 pounds of shelf stable products that will provide 21 meals. Distributed with that box is a kitted 15 pound box of produce.
These boxes are being delivered to NTFB partner agencies across the 13-county service area, and are also being distributed at Mobile Distributions. Here is a picture from a Mobile Distribution at Williams High School in Plano on March 20.
NTFB normally distributes 300 boxes at this particular site, and on that day distributed 1,500 boxes, running out before all of the cars in line could be served. (NTFB changed these to drive-thru distributions to minimize touch.) Also, below are some pictures from a distribution last Thursday at Fair Park, where NTFB distributed five truckloads of food – 6,300 boxes – and again ran out. Mobile units are being deployed daily and plan to increase to twice a day.
Here is a link to a time lapse video that shows the line of cars at a distribution in Lewisville.
Normal volunteer operations ceased as a result of a partnership with Shiftsmart and the Communities Foundation of Texas called Get Shift Done. There was a great segment on CBS National News last Friday about this innovative partnership. Those workers are able to now go assist other local non-profits until we need additional support because we have a new set of workers.
In addition, 262 members of the Texas National Guard have been activated to help us ensure that hungry North Texans have access to food during these uncertain times. These members come from all over the state and serve in the 56th Brigade. We’ve got them on our production floor, warehouse, Mobile Pantry distribution sites and helping out at some of our Partner Agencies. They’ve been deployed to us for an initial 30 days with the likelihood of a 15-day extension after that.
The need has certainly increased dramatically – practically overnight. NTFB is monitoring food inventory as more food goes out the door than is being received. There was a segment on NBC this weekend as well that talks about the stark reality many Americans across the county are facing. NTFB is featured at the end.
I am deeply grateful for your past support which has made these response efforts possible during this critical time of need in our community.
We humbly ask that all who are able give at ntfb.org/give so that NTFB can buy what is needed in bulk. Or, thanks to the team at WFAA, you can text MEALS to 474747. The network has also been running our Amazon Wishlist during their newscasts for those that prefer to purchase food and have it directly shipped.
Editor’s Note: Donations can be made at at ntfb.org/give or text MEALS to 474747.