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North Texas Food Bank Prepares for Summer Hunger

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As schools in North Texas close for summer break, the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) is preparing for one of the busiest seasons of the year. Officials for the food bank told NBC 5 that the summer is the hungriest season of the year, as children do not have access to free school meals.

The Million+ Meals Match campaign was created to help the food bank bring in more donations. Every donation made (up to $425,000) throughout the campaign will be matched.

“This summer, thousands of children will no longer have access to school breakfasts and lunches that they count on,” the website states. “And with food costs continuing to rise, many of our neighbors will need help to ensure that they will have enough nutritious food available. Right now, our friends at the David M. Crowley Foundation are doubling every gift you make — up to $425,000! Give today to help provide 2.5 million meals for neighbors in need across North Texas.”

Trisha Cunningham, North Texas Food Bank’s president and CEO, told NBC 5 that inflation is expected to increase need this summer.

“We know that summer is the hungriest time of the year, and as far as inflation goes, we’ve been told to anticipate that these needs are going to be this high at least through the end of the year,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham said that hundreds of thousands of people in North Texas face food insecurity every day.

“Many don’t understand that the need in our community is extremely high,” she told NBC 5. “We have more than 800,000 individuals that regularly don’t know if they’re gonna have nutritious meals on their table. And that includes 300,000 children.”

According to Cunningham, demand has increased from around 11 million meals a month to 12 million, which she stated is “directly attributable to inflation.”

“Whenever they go to the grocery store, they’re spending 30% more on food,” she said. “And, they’ve not recovered yet from the economic impact of the pandemic. They’re making it from week to week, and so many are coming back to the food bank to continue to provide for their families.”

According to the NTFB, one in five children in North Texas struggles with food insecurity. Throughout the school year, programs like the School Pantry Program and Food 4 Kids are implemented in schools in the food bank’s 13-county area.

“North Texas Food Bank works with summer partners to ensure year-round food assistance for students and families,” the organization’s website states. “NTFB strives to provide relevant and accessible programming, which includes extending school year programs (Food 4 Kids Backpack Program, School Pantry Program) into the summer months as needed, collaborating with school districts to provide pantry staples, and exploring innovative avenues to distribute weekend backpacks. NTFB continues to stay engaged with Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) providers in North Texas.”

Donations for the Million+ Meals Match program can be made through the food bank website. In-person donations of food or money are accepted at the NTFB campus in Plano, Texas.

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