Even though coronavirus restrictions continue to ease across North Texas, the fight to combat hunger and food insecurity remains at an all-time high.
The Dallas Mavericks – in partnership with the Mavs Foundation and Chick-fil-A DFW– hoped to ease the burden and continue to offer resources to help area nonprofits and hungry families.
Back in March, the Mavs and Chick-fil-A launched the “Threes That Feed” initiative and pledged to donate meals to those in need.
For each three the Mavericks made at home during the second half of the regular season, Chick-Fil-A DFW made a donation to support North Texas Food Bank and Tarrant Area Food Bank who are fighting hunger needs in North Texas.
This year, the Mavs and Chick-fil-A DFW reached the organizations’ goal of 250 made shots from beyond the arc for a total of 45,000 meals donated.
This means that both the North Texas and Tarrant Area Food Banks will receive checks for $7,500 each – which equates to 22,500 meals provided or donated to area families.
“Partnering with an organization like Chick-fil-A has been a wonderful and impactful journey,” said Victor Ribakare, who is a Sponsorship Activation Manager with the Dallas Mavericks. “They have been a catalyst in pushing us as an organization to find new and creative ways to connect with different groups in the DFW community.”
Last week, leaders from Chick-fil-A, along with the Mavs and ManiAACs, attended an event at the North Texas Food Bank to celebrate the “Threes That Feed” campaign. The nonprofit received their check for $7,500 and Chick-fil-A DFW also pitched in 200 additional meals to thank volunteers and staff.
Meanwhile, the Tarrant Area Food Bank is set to receive their check early next month.
“This last year and a half was a real challenge for us,” said Brad Stewart, who is the COO at the North Texas Food Bank. “We’ve increased our output by about 70 percent relative to what it was like pre-COVID. Looking forward, our goal is really to just sustain what we’ve been doing and continue to rise to that need. It’s been awesome to see the team here at the food bank really rise to the challenge and sustain that level of output.”
Area nonprofits also continue to brace for impact as the community rolls into the summer months and many expect the coming months to be especially difficult for North Texas.
For starters, more children are at home during the summer months and they are not receiving meals at school.
Secondly, jobless Texans will also soon lose access to federal extended unemployment benefits come June 26. A combination of these two scenarios have area food banks on high alert and the surge in demand is already being felt across the area.
“Food insecurity exists everywhere,” Stewart said. “We serve 13 counties here in North Texas and it’s about 10,000 square miles. There’s not a square mile within those where there isn’t food insecurity.”
He said it’s important for MFFLs to look around and notice those in your immediate neighborhood and community.
Stewart said it requires the public, and other support from organizations like the Mavs Foundation and Chick-fil-A DFW, to really combat the food insecurity needs across the region.
“It’s only through the generous support of the community that we’ve been able to do it,” he said. “It’s been really awesome to see the support of the Mavs and Chick-fil-A. Every part really helps, and we are thankful for the community’s help.”
Ribakare shared that working with Chick-fil-A DFW has always been “very pleasant” experience for the Dallas Mavericks. He said Chick-fil-A is a top-notch organization and they truly set the standard in the industry.
“The team is always open to new ideas and willing to make sure all are fed when there is a need,” Ribakare added. “The company is dependable on all aspects.”
CALLING ALL MFFLS:
If you would like to donate or support the North Texas Food Bank or Tarrant Area Food Bank, there are several ways to give.
For the North Texas Food Bank, the organization has several opportunities to work in person at the distribution center or mobile units. To learn more, click here. Or, if you would like to give a monetary donation, click here. Volunteers assist with crowd control, greeting clients, bagging food and cleaning up. Shifts are usually 3 hours long and take place in various locations across North Texas.
For those in Tarrant County, with the help of generous people like you, Tarrant Area Food Bank provided access to 60 million nutritious meals in fiscal year 2020. Every dollar you gives helps the organization feed hungry children, families and seniors in our community. To give today to support their vision of communities where no one has to go hungry, click here.
ABOUT THE MAVS FOUNDATION: Over the past 24 years, the Mavs Foundation has provided grant funding totaling more than $6 million dollars to nonprofit organizations serving women, children and families in need. In addition to grants, the Mavs Foundation has built 47 safe Learn & Play spaces throughout the North Texas community, including 27 basketball courts and 20 Reading & Learning Centers. These spaces are designed to encourage healthy living and provide a safe place for children and residents, as well as expand learning opportunities and access to technology to support youth education programs, teen and adults job-skill training and other critical programs. Learn more at MavsFoundation.com.
ABOUT CHICK-FIL-A: Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Inc. is a family owned and privately held restaurant company founded in 1967 by S. Truett Cathy. Devoted to serving the local communities in which its franchised restaurants operate, and known for its original chicken sandwich, Chick-fil-A serves freshly prepared food in more than 2,400 restaurants in 47 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada.