Talk about problems at opposite ends of the spectrum! On one hand, the media reports how this country is suffering from the growing problem of obesity. No sooner has that factoid been gulped down with your very last French fry, than another media outlet reveals how hunger is a paramount problem in the same country.
While Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers handle overweighty issues, The North Texas Food Bank carries on its tireless efforts to feed North Texas neighbors who are without the most basic of foods.
To better serve its clients, the North Texas Food Bank is launching The Hunger Center of North Texas. It’s been a longtime in the making, but if you’re going to do something well, you’d better get your ducks in a row. Have you ever tried to line up ducks? Well, it takes time, patience and a lot of work.
The Hunger Center resulted from the planning process of the NTFB’s ReThink Hunger campaign. After much research and discussions, the members of the NTFB Advisory Board (Fran Eichorst, Dr. Carol Podolsky, Dora Rivas, Rick Smith and Dr. Herman Totten) deemed The Hunger Center as a “solution to the longer term needs of the Food Bank and a tool to better understand and fight hunger in the North Texas community.”
NTFB President/CEO Jan Pruitt summed it up: “We see The Hunger Center growing into a regional hub of information—sharing and education that leads the way in conducting research about hunger and its impact on individuals and communities. Also, The Hunger Center will help us develop solutions that will provide for increasingly effective outcomes.”
Now here comes the good part. You know, the part that offers $$ for solutions. In August, The Hunger Center will distribute grants for original research projects that deal with the four following “interest areas:”
- Positive and inverse correlates of food insecurity in low-income households.
- The influence of food insecurity on household food acquisition choices, eating behaviors and nutrient intake.
- Outcomes of food assistance services among participant households.
- Variations between urban and rural areas in one or more factors addressed through interest areas 1-3.
Alas, it’s too late to submit a grant application. According to NTFB’s Adrienne Scruggs,
“On April 25, 2012, we released our first Call for Letters of Interest to local and statewide universities and nonprofit folks and encouraged them to pass it on. The deadline was May 25, 2012.”