Media Contact: Jeremy Bermender
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DALLAS – November 11, 2020 – Catholic Charities Dallas (CCD) has received nearly $700,000 in support from long-time collaborator North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) and local philanthropists Joe and Chris Popolo, Jr., to fund the capital purchase and operations of a new mobile community pantry truck and new refrigerated box truck. The new, custom vehicles will allow CCD to significantly expand its food distribution capabilities and better combat hunger and food insecurity throughout North Texas.
The new mobile community pantry, which will be the third one in CCD’s fleet, can hold up to 12,000 pounds of food and serve over 400 families per day. CCD launched its first two mobile community pantries one year ago, significantly increasing the numbers of families served and meals provided. The refrigerated box truck will allow CCD to coordinate quick-turn food drops throughout its nine-county service area and will also reduce the burden on NTFB to deliver food to various CCD locations.
“Alleviating hunger and addressing food insecurity in food deserts throughout North Texas is a strategic focus for our organization,” said Dave Woodyard, President/CEO of CCD. “The new mobile pantry, combined with the refrigerated box truck, will enable us to address the huge increase in need we continue to see, which has been further amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Following the onset of the novel coronavirus, CCD ramped up its food distribution by shifting regular food pantries to contactless, drive-through operations and deploying its mobile pantries to over 60 sites per month. Since mid-March, CCD has distributed over 3.6 million pounds of food to over 425,000 people in need. With the onset of the pandemic, food distribution increased over 250% compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.
NTFB recently awarded CCD with $365,254 in financial and in-kind support. The agency has been a significant driver in CCD’s ability to scale up operations, providing funding for the capital purchase of one of two initial mobile food pantries in 2019 and serving as an instrumental funding and programmatic partner in the Jan Pruitt Community Pantry in Lancaster. “We are now NTFB’s largest ‘retail’ distributor in North Texas,” said Woodyard. “We couldn’t do our work without them, and we are proud to be teammates in the fight against hunger.”
“These capacity-building grants are designed to help our partner agencies expand their operations so that we can collectively eliminate the hunger gap in North Texas,” said Trisha Cunningham, President/CEO of NTFB. “As part of our ‘Stop Hunger, Build Hope’ campaign, our goal is to provide 92 million nutritious meals per year by 2025 to meet the needs in North Texas, and partnering with Catholic Charities Dallas accelerates us toward that goal.”
Mr. and Mrs. Popolo, Jr. made a $330,000 commitment to CCD in support of the organization’s growing food programs. “Hunger is a pervasive issue in North Texas that has a lasting ripple effect – on children’s and adult’s physical health, on children’s ability to learn and thrive, even on crime,” said Mr. Popolo. “We are proud to support CCD’s work to expand its reach into even more high-need neighborhoods to meet the increasing demand for healthy, fresh food.”
CCD anticipates having the new mobile pantry and refrigerated box truck operational by later this fall. To view the current food distribution schedule, please go to: https://ccdallas.org/need-help/food-services/. To volunteer for one or more of the food distributions, please go to: https://www.ccdallas.org/get-involved/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities/.
About Catholic Charities Dallas
CCD is an independent, 501(c)3 non-profit organization and one of the leading social service providers in the greater Dallas region. We educate, serve and empower more than 50,000 clients in need annually across a nine-county region of North Texas, addressing the root causes of poverty and homelessness. A large multi-disciplinary agency, CCD provides services in the following core areas: hunger alleviation through boxed food pantries, client choice pantries and mobile community pantries; early childhood education; low-income elderly supports; permanent supportive housing for homeless elderly; immigration legal resources; pregnancy, parenting and adoption counseling; refugee resettlement; shelter and foster care for unaccompanied refugee minors; financial coaching and career development assistance; disaster preparedness and relief; community relations, advocacy and more. For more information, see www.ccdallas.org.
About North Texas Food Bank
The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) is a top-ranked nonprofit hunger-relief organization operating a state-of-the-art volunteer and distribution center in Plano, the Perot Family Campus. Last year, the Food Bank worked hard in partnership with member agencies from our Feeding Network to provide access to more than 95 million nutritious meals across a diverse 13-county service area, exceeding our goal by five years to provide access to 92 million annual meals by 2025. But the need for hunger relief is complex and in order to meet the continued need, the NTFB is always working to increase our food distribution efforts and bridge the hunger gap for children, seniors, and families in North Texas. NTFB is a member of Feeding America, a national hunger-relief organization. For more information, see www.ntfb.org.