It's more than just food.
“We make sure they get something; make sure to give them a little hope.”
School meal programs, such as the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program, are vital for struggling families. With the start of a new school year just around the corner, many kids and parents are looking forward to the security of two dependable meals each weekday.
But, as you know, free and reduced-price meals don’t completely solve the problem of childhood hunger. Many students are vulnerable over the weekend if their caregivers don’t have the means to afford nutritious food.
The North Texas Food Bank’s Food 4 Kids Program helps keep kids fed through the weekend, by providing chronically hungry children with backpacks containing healthy, easy to eat meals.
SNAP is the first line of defense against hunger. For every 1 meal a food bank provides, SNAP provides 12.
"The average age of the seniors I serve is 78. The average income is $982 per month. The assistance of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, guarantees that these seniors have the ability to purchase food items each month. With the threat of one in three seniors facing hunger, every extra dollar they receive eases their burden. While facing the rising cost of medical services, supplies, prescriptions and energy costs, seniors do not need to worry about food costs as well. The assistance also allows the seniors to remain in their homes and prevent premature institutionalization due to malnutrition. I cannot over-state how valuable this program is to the senior population.
“It has been a big saving for us to come here. Without the pantry, it would be a struggle for us to get by.”
Both retired, Addie & her husband visit the Wilkinson Center to receive a People and Nutrition Box (aka the Commodity Supplemental Food Program or CSFP) each month along with other pantry items such as fresh vegetables.
The items available to them help shrink their monthly grocery bill and allow them to have more money to pay their bills. In addition to nutrition the Wilkinson Center hosts special field trips to the movies, to the theater, and to dinners out.
Food pantries allow their clients to not only receive excellent nutrition but provide other services to enrich the lives of those in their community.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program or TEFAP, allows our partner agencies to stock their shelves with nutritious USA produced products at no cost to the client.
This program is an important part of how our Food Bank is able to provide quality food for those in need. It also supports American farmers and manufacturers in times of economic struggle or low-crop revenue.
TEFAP generally accounts for about 20 percent of the food moving through Feeding America’s national network of food banks. It provides whole grain pastas, canned fruits and vegetables, shelf-stable milks, and dairy products, and cereals. Protecting and enriching the funding for this program is critical to our ability to carry out our mission.