Hunger is preventable. Unlike diseases that are researched and solved thanks to lab work, the solution to hunger is found through hands-on efforts by organizations and individuals. Leading the charge locally is the North Texas Food Bank. On Tuesday, November 1, the mega-food provider recognized some unsung heroes at the 9th Annual Golden Fork Awards presentation at its Farmers Market administrative headquarters.
With Booker T. Washington High Schoolers Kennedy Park and Damian Garcia playing a cello and harp at the pre-presentation reception, NTFB Chief Marketing Officer Brett Gray reported that while the last two months of the year are their biggest months, he would be delaying the ad campaign until after the November 8th election day.
Regarding the status of North Texas Food Bank President/CEO Jan Pruitt, who has been away for a year tending to health needs, Brett said that her cancer treatments “are having an effect. Hopefully, she’ll be back sometime soon.”
At 5:45 p.m., Interim President/CEO Simon Powell kicked off the presentation, reporting that 70M meals were provided during the NTFB’s 2016 fiscal year. But as part of its 10-year plan, 92M will be needed annually.
Right on schedule, the awards were presented including:
- Lifetime Achievement Award — State Fair of Texas (“The annual It’s a Fair Deal campaign – whereby fairgoers can bring in canned goods in exchange for a discounted admission – is the NTFB’s largest canned food drive, with more than 267,000 lbs. of food donated in 2016 alone.”)
- Campaign Of The Year — Dallas Theater Center (“For the past nine years, the Dallas Theater Center has raised awareness and funds for the NTFB at their showings of A Christmas Carol. Through this partnership, more than $538,000 has been donated to the NTFB which has allowed for the Food Bank to provide access to more than 1.6 million meals for hungry North Texans”) and The Dallas Morning News Charities (“They support organizations that work in the fields of sheltering, hunger relief, emergency services and rehabilitative programs, and provides non-profits – including the NTFB – with the critical funds necessary to meet their missions. Their support of the NTFB has allowed us to grow one of our core child feeding programs, Food 4 Kids. Since 2006, The Dallas Morning News Charities has donated more than $540,000 to NTFB.”)
- Corporation Of The Year — Bank Of America (“The organization donates funds, time and talent to the Food Bank regularly. The bank is one of our top volunteer groups year over year with eager groups coming to donate their time year-round. In addition, their employees’ time, Bank of America also donates critical funds to help the Food Bank meet our mission. In 2016 Bank of America will donate $25,000, which will help provide 5,000 backpacks for our Food 4 Kids program, and another $50,000, which will help provide 150,000 meals for hungry North Texans.”)
- Partner Agency Of The Year — Mission Oak Cliff (“The 2016 Partner Agency of the Year honoree, Mission Oak Cliff – a community ministry of Cliff Temple Baptist Church – has a long history of cooperation with the North Texas Food Bank. As one of our charter members, Mission Oak Cliff has worked with the Food Bank to combat hunger since the early 1980s. They serve an average of 700 families per month and more than 22,000 individuals per year.”)
- Retail Partner Of The Year — Sam’s Club (“Sam’s Club, our 2016 Retail Partner of the Year, provides an invaluable amount of support to the NTFB. They donate a tremendous amount of food product annually — more than 3 million pounds to date in 2016. In addition to food donations, Sam’s Club employees also regularly volunteer at the Food Bank warehouse, sorting and boxing foods for families in need.”)
Volunteer Of The Year — Joyce Goss and Joanne Teichman (“This year NTFB’s Golden Fork Award for Volunteer of the Year is shared by two Dallas philanthropists, Joyce Goss and Joanne Teichman, for their work supporting NTFB’s Letter Writing Campaign. This endeavor helps fund NTFB’s Food 4 Kids program which operates in many local schools, proving a weekend backpack filled with kid friendly, shelf stable foods to chronically hungry children. Thanks to the efforts of these honorees, more than 721,548 weekend backpacks were provided to children in need.”)
- Youth Leader Of The Year — Quinn Graves and Stella Wrubel (“The youngest honorees for the evening, Youth Leader of the Year awardees Quinn Graves and Stella Wrubel took a simple idea of selling mistletoe during the holidays, and transformed the endeavor into a successful business plan which includes support from retailer Highland Park Village. In the two years that the mistletoe sales have benefited the Food Bank, these 5th graders have helped provide more than 168,000 meals, or $56,000 in donations.”)
- Hunger Ambassador Of The Year — Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere (“The Honorable Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere is a regular collaborator with the Food Bank. He couples big ideas with a big heart for giving. His work to expand NTFB’s Food 4 Kids program in the city of Plano is just one of the reasons he was selected as Hunger Ambassador of the Year. Thanks to his efforts, now more than 1,400 elementary aged students receive a weekend backpack filled with nutritious foods, and are also offered special holiday meal boxes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring break to ensure these students and their families receive the nutrition they need over the holiday breaks.”)