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Visionary Leader Jan Pruitt Remembered at the Grand Opening of the Jan Pruitt Community Pantry

Pantry made possible by an innovative collaboration between Catholic Charities Dallas, the North Texas Food Bank and the Society of St Vincent de Paul of North Texas


DALLAS -MAY 21- Catholic Charities Dallas, along with partners North Texas Food Bank and Society of St. Vincent de Paul will celebrate the Grand Opening of its new “Client Choice” Food Pantry by honoring Jan Pruitt, the late hunger visionary best known for her decade’s long tenure as CEO of the North Texas Food Bank recognizing her for her significant contributions in the area of hunger relief by naming the new pantry for her in Lancaster, Texas. 

Local elected officials, non-profit and business leaders and a supportive community will come together to celebrate this grand opening and to honor Pruitt at the site where she started her career.

The organizations set lofty goals for the Jan Pruitt Community Pantry including providing neighbors in need with more than one million pounds of nutritious foods per year by the third year of operation, serving more than 1,000 families in need in the community.

The idea of the pantry first came to life when North Texas Food Bank was working to identify areas of need across their service area with a goal of expanding capacity within their feeding network thanks to funds raised via their capital campaign, Stop Hunger Build Hope. Together with Catholic Charities Dallas and Society of St. Vincent de Paul a partnership was solidified whereby SVdP would provide the space for the pantry, the North Texas Food Bank would provide the funds to renovate the pantry and stock it with food, and Catholic Charities Dallas would manage the operations of the pantry and subsidize the operations and efforts.

Before joining the North Texas Food Bank in 1997 Pruitt launched her career as the executive director of the Lancaster Outreach Center, working to provide food assistance to hungry neighbors in Lancaster and the surrounding communities. The center closed a few years ago, but was revived when the Society of St Vincent de Paul of North Texas was gifted the property in 2016 as part of the St. Vincent Campus initiative. Now, the pantry will be forever known as the Jan Pruitt Community Pantry in recognition of the many contributions Jan Pruitt made in the area of hunger relief both locally and at a national level through her work with Feeding America.

“The team at Catholic Charites Dallas worked alongside Jan for many years as a partner agency,” said Dave Woodyard, CEO, Catholic Charities Dallas. “Supporting the operations of the Jan Pruitt Community Pantry is exciting because we will be able to see the incredible impact that access to healthy foods will have in the community. It is our shared hope that this partnership will serve as a model both here locally as well as nationally. It is clear that by working together we can accomplish so much.”

After Jan Pruitt’s passing in January of 2017, the board at the North Texas Food Bank raised the funds for the naming rights to the pantry, honoring NTFBs longtime CEO.

“Jan Pruitt was a visionary, a trailblazer and thanks to her dedication to the cause, millions of hungry North Texans had food on the table,” said Trisha Cunningham, President and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank. “When I took the helm at NTFB last year, two things were clear: our organization would always strive to put healthy food on the table and we would work to strengthen partnerships with local nonprofits to ensure that together we would meet the needs for hunger relief and social services for our neighbors in need. I am proud of what we have built alongside Catholic Charities Dallas and the Society of St Vincent de Paul North Texas and I want to thank our Board of Directors for believing in this vision and honoring Jan in this meaningful way.”

“It is an honor for St Vincent de Paul of North Texas to be a part of this transformational initiative” said Michael Pazzaglini, Executive Director of the Society of St Vincent de Paul of North Texas. “In addition to housing the Jan Pruitt Community Pantry, this site will also host a variety of programs and future partnerships that will pioneer systemic change meant to enrich the lives of our neighbors here in Lancaster and the surrounding region.”

About the Society of St. Vincent de Paul North Texas

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) is a faith-based volunteer organization that offers direct aid to those in need across nine counties in North Texas. The Society provides short-term financial, material and emotional support. People are empowered to reach the goal of self-sufficiency through advocacy, education and referrals. Through systemic change, the Society promotes dignity, alleviates suffering and distress, and addresses the conditions that cause the person to need assistance.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was formed by a handful of university students in Paris, France in 1833.  Today, the Society can be found in 150 countries on 5 continents with over 900,000 women and men carrying on the tradition of performing works of charity for those in need.  The first SVdP presence in Dallas began in 1954. Today, SVdP North Texas has grown to 850 volunteer members throughout the nine North Texas counties. In FY 2017, SVdP North Texas served over 50,000 people in our community.

About Catholic Charities Dallas

For more than 127 years, Catholic Charities Dallas has helped the poor and most vulnerable in four core mission areas: strengthening families, alleviating hunger, preventing homelessness, and welcoming the stranger; and calls the community to action. Catholic Charities Dallas serves more than 38,000 individuals each year, regardless of their faith. In addition, more than 4,125 people volunteer more than 40,000 hours each year. Our services provide assistance to families in need throughout the nine counties that make up the Diocese of Dallas: Dallas, Collin, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro and Rockwall.

About the North Texas Food Bank
North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) is a top-ranked nonprofit hunger-relief organization with its primary distribution center in Southwest Dallas and administrative headquarters located in the Dallas Farmers Market. Each day, NTFB provides access to more than 190,000 meals for hungry children, seniors, and families through a network of more than 1,000 programs and more than 200 Partner Agencies. In fiscal year 2017, NTFB provided access to almost 70 million nutritious meals. While NTFB is making steady progress toward closing the hunger gap, much work remains to be done to reach the organization's 10-year goal of providing 92 million nutritious meals annually by 2025.