Food News

It's Hunger Awareness Month and the North Texas Food Bank Needs You, Like, Now

The North Texas Food Bank is in an important fundraising stretch for Hunger Action Month. There are several things you should notice around town, specifically the color orange, which is the signature color for hunger awareness.

Plus, Thursday night the NTFB is hosting a 24-hour sort-a-thon and have some openings in the wee pre-dawn hours of the day. Sign up by email: [email protected]

We recently got to chat with Adrienne Hamilton at the NTFB about what they're working on and the easiest way to help.

What's important about this particular campaign -- more specifically the month of September? September kicks off Hunger Action Month and the theme for this year is "Together We Can Solve Hunger." We want the community to know that we need their help in raising awareness of the critical issue of hunger. It helps us tell the story that every single person can make a difference in the life of a hungry child, a family who doesn't have enough to eat and a senior citizen who has to choose between medicine and food. Now is the time for our community and leaders to take bold action.

What's the $4.50 SNAP Challenge? By accepting the SNAP Challenge, you'll commit to eating all of your meals from a limited food budget comparable to that of a SNAP benefits recipient. The SNAP Challenge will last a total of five days, kicking off September 16 and ending September 20, 2013. Participants will only be allotted to use a SNAP budget of $4.50 per day or $22.50 for the entire duration of the campaign for food and beverages. This is, on average, the typical government allotment for an individual recipient. The goal is to gain some understanding of the struggles vulnerable families in our communities face each day.

Is the $4.50 per meal or per day? The $4.50 is for all meals per day.

With kids back in school, how do things change for the NTFB? With kids back in school, we kick off our school pantry program, which distributes non-perishable items and fresh produce to students and their families at four schools. Distribution takes place both during and after school for the sake of convenience. Each student who visits the school pantry leaves with over 40 pounds of food. In 2012, more than 350,000 meals were distributed through school pantry programs.

So, the Omni lights will be orange for Hunger Month, as will the lights around the giraffe at the Dallas Zoo. What else? We've also partnered with the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. They have painted a set of their B&G letters orange and will travel to various locations in Dallas, with one set at the food bank, giving the community a chance to raise awareness of the critical issue of hunger through photos and social media. (#HungerActionMonth)

What's the single most effective way people can help the NTFB? The single most effective way people can help is to visit to volunteer, donate and advocate for NTFB.

What's going on tomorrow night at the food bank? We're hosting a "Go Orange" campaign rally and a 24-hour volunteer food sort-a-thon tomorrow night, Thursday, September 5.

Here's a note from the NTFB Facebook page this afternoon:

Are you a night owl or an early bird? We'd love to have you join us for our kickoff #HungerActionMonth 24 Hour Sort-A-Thon tomorrow!

We need volunteers from 1am--4am and 4am--7am. Email [email protected] with "Sort-A-Thon" in the subject line to sign up!

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.