Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Food

Food is important.

I take it that you've noticed that, right?

It is especially important if you find yourself in a situation where it is not available to you or your loved ones.

These days more and more people are coming to us for help with their nutrition needs. Most are from working families. All attempt to make it on very low, inadequate income resources. Some work at more than one job. Many are elderly neighbors and children, beautiful children.

For years we've struggled to provide enough food to these growing numbers of people who need help with their grocery costs. While we have served more people than any other organization in town, we haven't been the leader in quantity of nutritious food products delivered. The leader in Dallas when it comes to pounds distributed and quality of food products is Crossroads Community Services (CCS), an outreach ministry of First United Methodist Church located in Downtown Dallas.

Rev. Jay Cole serves as the Executive Director for CCS. I'm very proud to say that Jay spent time with us at CDM as an intern while at Perkins School of Theology. While he was with us, he taught us more than we taught him!

Jay has developed the most innovative system for food distribution in the city, possibly in the nation. His plan links individual and family food selection to a number of indicators, including family size, lifestyles and health indicators. Jay's system is tied directly to the U. S. Department of Agriculture's new food needs pyramid.

Earlier this year CCS and CDM worked out the details of a collaborative partnership to do even more in response to the food needs of low-income neighbors in Dallas. Some of the improvements resulting from our new connection include the fact that we order food from the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) together in a joint, collaboration account. Together we are serving more people than we were apart. CDM has adopted the CCS database and reporting model, as well as the food selection methodology and we are now distributing twice as much food product as before we the new relationship.

In the future we hope to develop an expanded network of food distribution sites that link up with smaller organizations across the city in an attempt to cooperate with our partners at NTFB. We are feeling very optimistic about our future.

I'm grateful for CCS and Jay Cole and his entire team. I'm also very thankful for all that Keith Ackerman has done on the CDM side to establish and solidify the new relationship. Of course, none of this would have been possible on our side without the hard work and positive, cooperative attitude of Agapito Perez, the Director of the CDM Resource Center. He has the new, bulked up system working like a well-oiled machine.

We hope to respond to the pressing, extremely important food needs of our neighbors no matter how severe they may become.


If you'd like to help us, give me a call!

1 comment:

speedingup said...

Larry, a bit of a tangent -- have you seen the documentary Food, Inc. ? It's in limited release in theaters, but it had a very comprehensive, eye-opening look into our system of food production. I highly recommend watching it.