The Schmitz Family has committed to donating $250,000 to Serve Denton to name the Denton Community Food Center (DCFC) building on the Serve Denton campus, “The Schmitz Family Building: Denton Community Food Center.”
Eric and Raquel Schmitz have been a long-time Denton family in search of a way to invest in the community to help with food insecurity. When the Schmitz family learned the DCFC was moving to the Serve Denton campus, Eric and Raquel knew this was it.
Eric said, “Without anything to eat, nothing else matters. I want to help these services grow, expand and evolve.”
Approximately 125,432 people in Denton County have “limited or uncertain access to adequate food.”
Hunger in Denton County
According to Feeding America, 15% of the Denton County population is food insecure. That means approximately 125,432 people in Denton County have “limited or uncertain access to adequate food.”
Feeding America goes on to say, “It is important to know that hunger and food insecurity are closely related, but distinct, concepts. Hunger refers to a personal, physical sensation of discomfort, while food insecurity refers to a lack of available financial resources for food at the level of the household.”
Food Center Expansion
The current Denton Community Food Center building is 3,300 square feet. Their new building on the Serve Denton campus will not only expand, but triple in size to be 10,500 square feet.
In its new building, the DCFC will be able to…
Extend its reach in Denton County
Start using a client-shopping model
Increase its ability to provide higher volume of quantity food (ex. fruits, dairy, meats)
Install a walk-in cooler and freezer
Eric learned about the opportunity from Tom Newell, Denton Community Food Center Board Chair, at a city zoning case, then learned of the opportunities to invest and move this project forward and how his gift was instrumental from Rob Houdek, Serve Denton Board Member.
“Without anything to eat, nothing else matters.”
Eric said, “When I found out we could have a centralized location for all these services, it just made a lot of sense. It’s got to be frustrating for someone who needs help and doesn’t know where to go. I think it’s brilliant to share space, vehicles, manpower, rooms, whatever is needed.”
The Schmitz Family Legacy
Eric’s great-grandfather, John B. Schmitz, arrived in Denton, TX, in 1878 and opened a furniture business on the Denton square. He also founded the Denton Chamber of Commerce and donated the land for Texas Woman’s University. John started the first Fire Department of Denton and ran for Senate and Governor of Texas.
Because of his family’s rich history in Denton, Eric wanted to leave a mark in the community to honor the impact they made.
Construction on the DCFC building began January 2019 and will be completed June 2019. The DCFC expects to open its doors to see clients by the first week of June 2019.
Serve Denton is thankful for the Schmitz family’s generosity to help fight food insecurity in our community. If you are interested in reading more about the Serve Denton Center capital campaign, click the button below to learn about the whole project and how you can get involved.