Collaboration

The Little Free Pantries Makes an Impact

Serve Denton and the Argyle Young Men’s Service League have helped install eleven Little Free Pantries in Denton County over the past two months. Argyle Young Men's Service League

Back in September 2016, Serve Denton helped the Little Free Pantry (LFP) project make its way to Denton, TX. This project is a full-circle community effort to help those who aren’t able to easily meet everyday food and personal needs. People can approach the LFP at any time of day to take anything they need or leave helpful items.

Serve Denton Communication Program Manager Brooke Hawkins said, “The Little Free Pantry in front of the Serve Denton office is constantly being restocked. We go out there during the week, and it is completely empty a day or two later.”

Mr. Vaughn

The project has expanded to Lewisville, TX, because of Mr. Vaughn. He decided to sign up because he lives close to the Salvation Army and already has a Little Free Library on his lawn. One family who lives on a road in a low-income area saw the story on FOX 4 News. They didn’t have much money to give but decided they could join the effort by putting one in front of their business to help make a difference.

Businesses, nonprofits, churches and community members can sign up to host a LFP on their property. If people are unable to host one, they can still join the project by stocking any of the currently installed pantries. A list of pantries can be found at http://bit.ly/LFPlocations.

For more information about the Little Free Pantry project, visit http://bit.ly/LFPproject or like the Little Free Pantry Facebook page by clicking the button below.

 

[button url="https://www.facebook.com/LFPdenton" color="gray" customcolor=""_top" custom_class="" ]LFP Facebook Page[/button]

What We Can Accomplish Together

In 2012, Serve Denton discovered one of the largest needs in Denton was hunger, according to the Texas Hunger Initiative. They estimate over 104,000 residents of Denton County do not know where their next meal will come from. Since one of Serve Denton’s values is collaboration, we asked, what could Denton accomplish as a whole that individual agencies cannot do alone to feed more hungry families? The Mayor of Denton also had a passion for this issue, and the Mayor’s Day of Concern for the Hungry was born. Serve Denton offered to coordinate logistical support and help gain community partners for the drive to make the greatest impact possible for the food pantries that participated. That first year, a food drive held on one day at four drop-off locations collected about 1,400 pounds of food for four agencies. It was a small start, but most importantly, it built a bond of collaboration between food pantries to accomplish more together.

Mayor Chris Watts with the collaborating nonprofit agencies.

This year, during the fourth annual Mayor’s Day of Concern for the Hungry, a week-long food drive among schools, businesses, and churches collected 26,609 pounds of food for thirteen collaborating agencies throughout Denton County.

We have seen the great dividends that collaboration can bring and the direct effects of our community’s generosity on the shelves of our local food pantries every spring since this event began. We are committed to supporting these agencies fighting hunger, and we envision a brighter future for Denton.

If you, too, have a passion for ending hunger in Denton County, you can get involved with the nonprofits below who collaborated on this event and are working on this issue every day (click the links to visit their websites). Reach out by volunteering, donating needed food items, or spreading the word about the organization’s work.

 

Denton Community Food Center

Denton County MHMR Center

First Refuge Ministries

H.O.P.E. Food & Clothing Bank

Health Services of North Texas

Little Elm Area Food Bank

Metro Relief

Our Daily Bread

Sanger Crisis Center

SPAN Meals on Wheels

Vision Ministries

Mayor's Day of Concern Results!

Across Texas, food insecurity is an important issue for individuals and families, with many unsure where their next meal will come from. One in four Texas children struggle with hunger and poor nutrition and an estimated 104,000 residents of Denton County face food insecurity. This year, Mayor Chris Watts declared April 21, 2015, the City of Denton’s Fourth Annual Mayor’s Day of Concern for the Hungry. unnamed-11

A week-long food collection drive preceded the official Mayor’s Day of Concern for the Hungry. From April 14-20, community members collected 26,609 pounds of food for thirteen Denton area nonprofits that serve our neighbors facing hunger. With one dollar equal to two pounds of food, the 19,742 pounds of food and $3,434 donated during the drive combined for the final number.

This year, Serve Denton partnered with the City of Lewisville and Christian Community Action of Lewisville to extend the program’s impact throughout Denton County. With the help of these partnering agencies, the county-wide effort raised 32,000 pounds of food.

Food donations were accepted at area libraries, recreation centers, grocery stores, schools, coffee houses, restaurants and other locations. These drop-off points were in competition to see which establishments could collect the most food during the drive. The winners were Audacity Brew House, Tetra Pak, DATCU, Texas Education Centers and James Wood Auto.

The drive will help feed hundred of hungry families throughout Denton County. Thank you to everyone who contributed to make this year’s Mayor’s Day of Concern for the Hungry such a success!

Teaming Up to Impact the Community

One food pantry in Denton, Vision Ministries, serves the under-resourced by providing food, clothing and other essential items. However, their food pantry has previously been limited to non-refrigerated items because of a lack of adequate refrigeration and freezing. Noting this as a common need for many of the food pantries in the community, Serve Denton, The Village Church and Schindler Refrigeration provided a walk-in refrigerator and freezer to be shared in the community. IMG_6794Both cooling units were installed at Vision Ministries in April 2014, but are shared by First Refuge Ministries, Our Daily Bread and the Denton Community Food Center (DCFC).

In January 2015, the North Texas Food  Bank launched a pilot program that gave Vision Ministries and First Refuge Ministries access to 1,000-1,200 pounds of fresh produce per week. These two agencies are able to accept this healthy food because of the cooling units.

According to Tom Newell, Chairman of the DCFC Board of Directors, the refrigerator and freezer have been able to hold 28,958 pounds of food since their installation eight months ago. Without the donation of the cooling units, almost all of this usable food would have gone to waste.

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Through communication and collaboration, these organizations were able to find a way to rescue good food to feed the hungry.

To find out more about Vision Ministries, First Refuge Ministries, Denton Community Food Center and Our Daily Bread, click on the links above.