Jae S. Lee/Staff Photographer
Dallas Morning News Charities summer drive tops goal, raises money for 80,000 meals for hungry kids
by Nanette Light, Staff Writer | July 3, 2018
More than a month ago, The Dallas Morning News Charities launched for the second time a campaign to raise funds to feed hungry North Texas children during summer break.
But this time, the stakes were higher. The goal was 60,000 meals — double last year’s target. At about $1 a meal, that’s about $60,000.
Donors exceeded the goal by more than $20,000 with this year’s Kids’ Summer Feeding Campaign, raising more than $80,000 from 277 donors — enough for about 80,000 meals.
The drive, which began May 23 and ended June 29, will benefit seven nonprofits that feed children during the summer months.
“It really does show the testament of the giving spirit of folks in this community where kids are concerned,” said Leona Allen, chair of The Dallas Morning News Charities. “When kids are in need, people step up.”
Last year’s inaugural summer drive met its goal of supplying 30,000 meals more than three times over. It raised about $105,000 from 445 donors — enough for some 105,000 meals.
Last winter’s effort — the organization’s larger campaign that runs from November through January — pulled in more than $1.25 million from roughly 1,550 donors to benefit 20 North Texas nonprofits that feed the hungry, house homeless families and children, and help the unemployed and others pay bills.
The seven nonprofits supported by this year’s summer campaign also received funds during the winter drive. They were chosen because they have specific summer feeding programs for school-aged children such as providing meals, snacks or bags of groceries.
Participating agencies are Allen Community Outreach, Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, Crossroads Community Services, Frisco Family Services, Network of Community Ministries, the North Texas Food Bank and Sharing Life Community Outreach.
According to the food bank, 1 in 4 North Texas kids live in food-insecure homes, meaning they experience times when their household doesn’t have enough food or faces uncertainty about having food.
In Collin County, money from the campaign will go to feed kids through Allen Community Outreach’s Kids Summer Food program. Last year, the program served about 400 children, according to the nonprofit. The nonprofit gives kids twice-a-month bags of food they can prepare themselves like cereal, peanut butter and jelly and macaroni and cheese.
“Summer is typically the time of the year when donations are down,” said Monty Moore, chief executive officer of the Allen-based nonprofit. “And it’s one of the times of the biggest need, especially with kids home from school.”
In downtown Dallas, Crossroads Community Services doubles the amount of food it serves kids from June to August with money from The DMN Charities’ summer campaign. The nonprofit usually provides a seven-day food package to each household member once a month, but during the summer, youths aged 4 to 18 receive a 14-day food supply.
Last year, Crossroads fed more than 2,000 kids through its summer feeding program at its downtown food pantry and nearly 60 community distribution partners throughout Dallas County, according to the nonprofit.
“Everyone’s in the spirit of giving around the holidays, and that’s really important, but these families are pretty tight on income and food during the school year,” said Jesse Kramer, programs director for Crossroads. “It’s even that much of a greater need when their kids are home throughout the day for three months.”
Allen Community Outreach: Emergency assistance with rent, utilities, food and clothing for families in Allen, Fairview and Lucas. Financial literacy and GED classes are also offered.
Brother Bill’s Helping Hand: Food, clothing and medical assistance for families in West Dallas. Job training, parenting, healthy living and ESL classes are also offered.
Crossroads Community Services: Food, nutrition, clothing and life skills education.
Frisco Family Services Center: Food, clothing and financial assistance with rent/mortgages, utilities and prescription drugs to families living in Frisco or Frisco ISD. Adult life skills workshops are also offered.
Network of Community Ministries: Food, clothing, financial assistance for rent and utilities, as well as a children’s clinic and comprehensive Seniors’ Net program for those 60 and older. Serves families within Richardson ISD.
North Texas Food Bank: Food 4 Kids program provides weekend food assistance for elementary school children at risk of being chronically hungry. The agency’s Our Community Pantry is a client-choice food pantry modeled after a traditional grocery store in South Dallas.
Sharing Life Community Outreach: Food, clothing and financial assistance for rent and utilities, educational programs and job skills training for low-income residents in southeastern Dallas County.
To donate or learn more
To donate or learn more about The Dallas Morning News Charities and the summer program, visit dmncharities.com. All proceeds will go to provide meals for children in need in North Texas this summer.
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