North Texas

North Texas Food Bank teams up with local Salvation Army to fight hunger amid rising food insecurity

Demand for food pantry services has continued to rise in DFW this year

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September is Hunger Action Month, which is a time to raise awareness about families facing food insecurity across the country.

North Texas is not immune to the issue.

According to the Salvation Army of North Texas, they've seen a 26% increase of first-time food pantry clients from January to July of this year.

On Wednesday, they are celebrating a new gift to get food to more families.

The North Texas Food Bank recently gave the Salvation Army a grant to buy a huge, new delivery truck that will help make it so much easier to pick up and deliver even more food to hungry families.

Leaders say that meeting the high demand for food wouldn't be possible without the truck. That was evident Wednesday at the Carr P. Collins Social Service Center as volunteers with Salvation Army and NTFB loaded literal tons of food into the cars of hundreds of families in need in honor of Hunger Action Day.

The mobile food pantry is just one of many ways the food bank and nonprofit organizations are trying to fight hunger. However, this year has been a challenge due to inflation, rising costs of food, and the rising costs of housing as high demand in North Texas sends rent and property values to new heights.

"I'm sure probably every one of your listeners has seen in the last year the stories of rent increases by $100 to $200 a month – and when you're getting by paycheck to paycheck, that math doesn't work. And so we're able to stand in the gap and help those folks so that they're not hungry,” said Maj. Paul McFarland of the Salvation Army of North Texas.

In March, SNAP recipients also started getting less money once extra COVID-era benefits ended and that pushed a lot of families to the edge.

"Families are facing huge challenges this year with the rise and cost in gas, fuel, utilities, housing – and they're really having to make really tough choices of whether to buy food for their families or pay for those expenses,” said Anne Readhimer, VP of Community Impact for NTFB.

At many of The Salvation Army's locations in North Texas, demand for food pantry services has continued to rise. Across nine of The Salvation Army's locations in North Texas, the number of first-time food pantry clients increased by an average of 26% from January to July of this year.

In the Carr P. Collins Social Service Center's zip code (75235), the food insecurity rate is a high 17.9 percent, according to Feeding America data. As the largest Salvation Army multi-use facility in North Texas and the world, Carr P. Collins serves as the command center that picks up donations from retailers. Food is distributed throughout The Salvation Army's 12 food pantries across the region, which includes nine North Texas Food Bank partner pantries across Dallas, Denton, Collin, and Ellis Counties.

To combat a rise in hunger, the North Texas Food Bank this year made a grant to enable The Salvation Army, one of the top 10 largest partners of the North Texas Food Bank, to purchase a new distribution truck that can support distribution at a dramatically higher scale. Since the new truck has been in operation, delivery frequency, total pounds of food, and retail pickups have all increased.

"We simply could not do what we do in the fight against hunger without the support of feeding partners like The Salvation Army," said Trisha Cunningham, President and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank. "Our grant program provides needed resources to our partner agencies allowing them to serve more people in their community. We are grateful for the commitment and dedication of The Salvation Army to hunger relief in our community."

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