KIDS CAFE The North Texas Food Bank’s Kids Cafe program began in 1998 as a way to provide nutritious after-school meals to children who may not have enough to eat when they go home from school. Currently, the Food Bank operates 22 Kids Cafe sites with generous funding from Capital One. More than 6,510 meals are served each week to 1,860 children in Dallas and Denton counties.
MAIN PROGRAM The Main Program of the North Texas Food Bank gathers donations of both perishable and nonperishable foods as well as nonfood items. These items are then distributed to North Texas area food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other programs for those in need. In fiscal year 2005, the Food Bank’s Main Program distributed items to Member Agencies’ food pantries serving 597,836 families. Area homeless shelters, day-care centers, soup kitchens and other facilities provided 5,732,249 on-site meals and snacks to the hungry in our community.
NUTRITION EDUCATION / OPERATION FRONTLINE The North Texas Food Bank is one of only a few food banks in the United States to offer nutrition education classes to the populations it serves. The North Texas Food Bank’s registered dietitians work with Member Agencies and their clients to provide classes on nutrition, healthy cooking, food budgeting and food safety. Recipes, groceries, prizes and food samples are all provided during each class along with educational tools for interactive learning. In 1996 the Food Bank partnered with the national organization Share Our Strength to provide the Operation Frontline nutrition education program in North Texas. Since then, more than 1,875 individuals have participated in nearly 170 six-week classes. To date, more than 300 children in low-income areas have been served by the program. In total, more than 6,500 adults and children have been served through nutrition fairs and other health-related events.
TEXAS SECOND CHANCE In 1997 the North Texas Food Bank formed a collaborative partnership with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Texas Second Chance allows selected prison confinees to volunteer at the Food Bank up to four days a week. As volunteer laborers, they receive job skills training in computer operations, receptionist work, warehousing and food service. This training vastly improves their ability to successfully reintegrate into the community. Last year the participants in the Texas Second Chance program provided more than 26,000 hours of community service for the Food Bank.