Plano, Sept. 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) has launched a campaign – Nourish North Texas – to address the region’s ongoing elevated hunger crisis and support new approaches to tackle the underlying factors that contribute to food insecurity.
Nourish North Texas is a comprehensive campaign that significantly expands the Food Bank’s ability to provide hungry neighbors with more Food for Today, while providing Hope for Tomorrow by addressing the root causes of food insecurity. The campaign is grounded in a new strategic vision for how NTFB and its Feeding Network will fight hunger in North Texas.
With the goal of raising $500 million in food and funds over three years, Nourish North Texas will allow the NTFB to invest in the growth of its Feeding Network of partner agencies – more than 200 local food pantries and other organizations across the NTFB’s 13-county service area. It will also support new, innovative partnerships and programs that address root causes of hunger and help move families toward long-term food security and economic stability.
“Nourish North Texas is an ambitious campaign that reflects the significant resources we will need to meet and reduce the hunger crisis in North Texas,” said Trisha Cunningham, President and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank. “The COVID-19 pandemic both caused and exposed unprecedented food insecurity in our community and presented one of the greatest challenges we have ever faced. We’re at a critical point in the fight against hunger.”
Addressing Immediate Need
The COVID-19 pandemic reversed the last decade’s progress toward closing the hunger gap. This year, 42 million people across the nation – including more than 800,000 North Texans – may face hunger due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, according to Feeding America. This represents a 55 percent increase in the number of people seeking help from food banks.
To address the immediate need, the Nourish North Texas campaign will fund several initiatives.
The Nourish North Texas campaign aims to secure $300 million in donated food – approximately 66 million pounds of food per year – from retail partners, food manufacturers and the community. The cost of purchasing food is the NTFB’s single greatest expense, having risen six-fold since the start of the COVID pandemic – this as the organization provided access to a record-level 125 million meals during its last fiscal year.
“Prior to the pandemic, we did not have the resources to meet local food insecurity needs,” added Cunningham. “What we’ve learned through the generosity of the community during the pandemic is that no one wants their neighbors to go hungry. This campaign helps ensure we can continue to provide access to needed food and services for our community. No one deserves to go hungry.”
The campaign also seeks to secure $150 million in cash donations over three years to support the NTFB’s core mission of sourcing, collecting and transporting food to its partner agencies. In addition to providing agencies with more food, these funds will help the agencies expand their capacity to serve more people more effectively by ensuring they have the facilities, fleet and other resources needed to provide nutritious foods.
These funds will also help the NTFB expand programs that provide food directly to seniors and children. Currently, 300,000 children in North Texas – approximately one out of every five – are food insecure. North Texas has the fifth highest level of food insecure children in the nation, according to Feeding America.
Lastly, the campaign seeks to raise $50 million toward an endowment that will provide a permanent and sustainable source of income for the food bank and its partner agencies in the fight against hunger. The pandemic-related spike in food insecurity underscored how the need for food assistance can shift suddenly along with the economic environment. This endowment will provide a safety net to help the community respond in times of crisis.
Supporting Lasting Change
Beyond addressing the immediate need for food assistance, Nourish North Texas will help the food bank tackle the underlying issues that lead to hunger. The campaign will support the NTFB’s efforts to pilot innovative new programs with other critical service providers in health care, education and skills development that help families move toward food security and self-sufficiency.
“We know the true cost of food insecurity is measured not just in meals, but also in broader issues such as health outcomes, educational attainment, and the ability to earn a living wage,” said Cunningham. “If we want to make a lasting impact in the fight against hunger, we have to do more than provide food. We must collaborate with new partners to develop new approaches that help families not just survive, but thrive.”
The Nourish North Texas campaign is the largest effort ever undertaken by a member of Feeding America – a national network of more than 200 food banks – and the largest in the NTFB’s 40-year history. For more information about the Nourish North Texas campaign, please visit www.ntfb.org/nourishnorthtexas.
About the North Texas Food Bank
The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) is a top-ranked non-profit hunger-relief organization that sources, packages and distributes food through a network of more than 200 Partner Agencies across 13 North Texas counties. The organization also provides food to children, seniors and families through various direct-delivery programs, including mobile pantries.
In its last fiscal year, the NTFB provided access to more than 125 million nutritious meals, a 28 percent increase over the prior year. In response to the ongoing elevated hunger crisis, the organization has launched a $500 million campaign, Nourish North Texas, to provide more Food for Today and Hope for Tomorrow by addressing the root causes of food insecurity.
The North Texas Food Bank is designated a 4-Star Exceptional organization by Charity Navigator based on its governance, integrity and financial stability. NTFB is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization.