This is the first installment of our new series on our member agencies. Each month, we’ll visit one of our member agencies to see what the North Texas Food Bank does to help hungry North Texans.
The first, Resource Center Dallas, is a wonderful organization located in the heart of Oak Lawn in Dallas. This member agency of the North Texas Food Bank services the local GLBT and HIV positive community in the area. The Center has two different feeding programs; the food pantry and a hot meals program. Each day, their hot meals program serves over 100 people.
My first stop was the Food Pantry. When I stopped in, I saw the volunteers working hard to arrange the food on the shelves and get cold items into the refrigerators. Micki Garrison, Nutrition Center Supervisor, showed me around and gave me some insight into what NTFB actually does to help their clients.
She also explained to me how their pantry works: much like a grocery store! Though there are limits, patrons can come in, shop around and choose the items that suit their family’s needs best.
Then, I headed over to the Hot Meals program to see the Center in action. When I got there, approximately 30 minutes before the meal service, there was a line outside the door of people waiting to be served. Everyone was talking, laughing, socializing as they stood in line to recieve their food.
On the menu for Tuesday: ham casserole, salad, soup, rolls, and dessert. Dana Martin, a former volunteer and now employee, dimmed the lights and I helped him set the table with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Martin explained to me the importance of the meals program to clients of the Center in this video:
A few minutes after we finished talking, a volunteer sat down at a desk and began checking in clients. People wishing to recieve a meal presented their Resource Center Dallas identification card and walked through the line. While they were eating, I stepped back into the kitchen to get a view of chef Ms. Doris in action – she was chopping celery, stirring (very tasty smelling) vegetables on a grill, and adding spices to her ham casserole. Dana told me that Ms. Doris was excellent at taking whatever foods the Resource Center recieved in donations or had on hand, adding some spices and love, and creating great tasting, nutritious meals.
Check out this 12seconds video of Ms. Doris in action!
After talking to Ms. Doris, I headed into the dining room to chat with some actual clients. This client spoke to me about how important the Resource Center is for him as HIV positive and diabetic:
Resource Center Dallas provides their community with an indispensible need. Their clients rely on the services that they provide, and as Dana mentioned in the video above, many of them recieve their only meal of the day at the Center.
To learn more about the Center, please visit www.rcdallas.org