East Texas Food Bank Recognizes Hunger Hero Award Recipients for 2022

  • Hunger Heroes 2022

The East Texas Food Bank (ETFB) honored four recipients today with the third annual Hunger Hero Awards as part of Hunger Action Month.

Hunger Hero Awards were given to Carroll Greenwaldt (Individual Supporter), Junior League of Tyler, Inc. (Community Partner Organization), American State Bank (Corporate Partner) and the CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System and CHRISTUS Community Impact Fund (Ministry Partner).

“This group of honorees exemplifies the commitment needed in the fight against hunger,” said Dennis Cullinane, CEO of the East Texas Food Bank. “Record numbers of East Texans are seeking help to feed their families because of inflation. ETFB gave out a 27 million meals to 117,300 households in our past fiscal year.”

Individual Supporter
Carroll Greenwaldt has been instrumental with the Longview Mobile Pantry Program with organizing volunteers for the monthly distribution.

Community Partner Organization
Junior League of Tyler, Inc. has supported ETFB for 32 years providing funds and volunteers.

Corporate Partner
American State Bank provided free office space to ETFB for eight months while the administration building has been undergoing renovations.

 Ministry Partner
CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System and CHRISTUS Community Impact Fund partnered with ETFB to support the new Longview Resource Center, scheduled to open in the spring of 2023.

ETFB presented the awards during Feeding America’s Hunger Action Day, held each year in September, to inspire the community to take action and bring attention to hunger in East Texas and the nation.

According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study, 1 in 6 East Texans including 1 in 4 children are hungry. This amounts to 204,040 adults including 70,560 children.

Tyler ISD Schools Prepare for 32nd Annual Pantry Raid

Pantry Raid 2021

Tyler High and Tyler Legacy are coming together again this year before their big football rivalry to raise meals for hungry East Texans as part of the 32nd Annual Pantry Raid.

The East Texas Food Bank and the Tyler Independent School District host the annual event. Since the pantry raid began in 1991, students have raised more than 1.5 million meals.

“This year’s event is more important than ever as so many East Texans are struggling to feed their families because of the high cost of food due to inflation,” said Dennis Cullinane, CEO of the East Texas Food Bank. “We are so excited that students will kick off the football season by supporting their community to help the one in six East Texans facing hunger, including one in four children.”

Last year students raised 102,257 meals. Tyler High and Tyler Legacy students will collect food and funds over the next several weeks. The results will be announced at halftime during their annual football game on Friday, September 2, at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. Donations can be made at www.tylerpantryraid.com

Monetary donations will support ETFB’s programs that serve Tyler ISD students, such as the BackPack Program and Kids Café. More than 8,700 East Texas children receive BackPacks every weekend filled with nutritious, kid-friendly food to help last them until Monday morning. The Kids Cafe© and Afterschool Snack Program served over 115,000 meals and over 31,000 snacks in the 2021 – 2022 school year.

“Tyler ISD is grateful to the East Texas Food Bank for its continued impact on the lives of our students and families each year,” Tyler ISD Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Hines said. “The hunger-relief services ETFB provides is a tremendous benefit to our families.”

East Texas Food Bank partners with DoorDash to distribute meals to Texarkana seniors

The East Texas Food Bank is collaborating with DoorDash’s Project Dash to power the delivery of meals to Texarkana, TX residents who are enrolled in the Senior Box Program.

By partnering with Project DASH, Dashers deliver boxes from one of the food banks’ member agencies so seniors with limited transportation options can receive the meals they need. Operation New Day Food Pantry, operated by three Texarkana churches, is one of ETFB’s first pilot sites for this service. The Texarkana churches involved in the pantry include Twin City Church of Christ, Church of Christ on Pine Street and Christ Apostolic Church, Blood of the Lamb Assembly. The pantry provides boxes to almost 45 seniors each month.

“We are absolutely thrilled to offer this free service to our seniors in Texarkana,” said Twin City Church of Christ Senior Pastor David Watkins. “Helping hungry people is one of the basic elements churches should be focused on and it’s a blessing to help so many people who can’t stretch their dollars.”

“We are so grateful for Project DASH’s commitment to helping seniors with hunger relief,” said Tim Butler, ETFB Chief Impact Officer. “The East Texas Food Bank Senior Box Program provides boxes of nutritious food each month to low-income seniors, many who live in isolated, rural communities. Approximately 6,600 seniors receive a box monthly at sites throughout our 26 county service area.”

“We are honored to partner with the East Texas Food Bank to broaden food access in Texarkana,” said Kelly Jones, DoorDash Drive Director of Government and Nonprofit. “Local delivery has been critical in supporting food banks and food pantries provision of food and other essentials while emphasizing convenience and dignity. We’re excited to continue growing this work in a sustainable way for our partners across the country to continue to meet the ongoing need.”

Project Dash will expand to other locations the ETFB serves in the coming months. Longview started their service last week. Since Project DASH launched in 2018, it has powered over 2 million deliveries of an estimated more than 35 million meals in the U.S. and Canada.

To qualify for senior boxes, applicants must be 60 years of age or older. There is also an income and residency requirement. More information is available at easttexasfoodbank.org or by calling the ETFB at 903-597-3663.

East Texas Food Bank partners with DoorDash to distribute meals to seniors



Longview, TX-The East Texas Food Bank is partnering with DoorDash’s Project Dash to power the delivery of meals to Longview residents who are enrolled in the Senior Box Program.

By partnering with Project DASH, Dashers deliver boxes from one of the food banks’ member agencies so seniors with limited transportation options can receive the meals they need. The Longview Dream Center (LDC) is ETFB’s first pilot site for this service. LDC provides boxes to over 300 seniors each month.

“We are so excited to be able to offer this free service to the seniors we serve in Longview,” said Shonna Barlow, executive director of the Longview Dream Center. “Some of our seniors don’t drive or have to rely on others for transportation or are home- bound, so this is a wonderful service from DoorDash that will help us deliver food to our older population who struggles with food insecurity.”

“The East Texas Food Bank Senior Box Program provides boxes of nutritious food each month to low-income seniors, many who live in isolated, rural communities,” said Tim Butler, ETFB Chief Impact Officer. “Approximately 6,600 seniors receive a box monthly at sites throughout our 26 county service area. We are so grateful for Project DASH’s commitment to helping seniors with hunger relief.”

“We are honored to partner with the East Texas Food Bank to broaden food access in Longview,” said Kelly Jones, DoorDash Drive Director of Government and Nonprofit. “Local delivery has been critical in supporting food banks and food pantries provision of food and other essentials while emphasizing convenience and dignity. We’re excited to continue growing this work in a sustainable way for our partners across the country to continue to meet the ongoing need.”

Project Dash will expand to other locations the ETFB serves with Texarkana launching in a few weeks and other markets in the coming months. Since Project DASH was launched in 2018, it has powered over 2 million deliveries of an estimated more than 35 million meals in the U.S. and Canada.

To qualify for senior boxes applicant must be 60 years of age or older. There is also an income and residency requirement. Click here for more information about the Senior Box Program.

East Texas Food Bank breaks ground on new Tyler Resource Center and Fresh Produce Processing Center

  • ETFB CEO Dennis Cullinane shows plans and drawings for the new Tyler Food Pantry and Produce Distribution Center.

Tyler, TX-The East Texas Food Bank held a groundbreaking today on a new Tyler Resource Center and Fresh Produce Processing Center as part of the overall strategic plan aimed at expanding programs, distributing more food and serving more people.

“We are excited today to move forward with our plans to build a new food pantry in Tyler at our distribution center,” said Dennis Cullinane, CEO of the East Texas Food Bank. “The 2,500 square foot Tyler Resource Center will be located in close proximity to low-income neighborhoods, in a census tract where 34% of the population lives below the poverty line. This is the first time in our history to operate a food pantry onsite at our facility to help close the hunger gap.”

The Tyler Resource Center will include a “Healthy Food Pantry” to provide nutritious food through a client-choice distribution model. The center will be open several days a week including some evenings and weekends to increase access to food assistance. The Benefits Assistance Program will help clients apply for SNAP and other social service benefits.

“We currently estimate that ETFB will serve 500 Smith County households each week and provide 756,000 meals annually with our new Tyler Resource Center,” added Cullinane.

Fresh Produce Processing Center

The construction of a 9,000 square foot Fresh Produce Processing Center will allow the ETFB to collect, store, repackage and distribute fresh fruits and vegetables more efficiently in the 26 county region served by the ETFB.

“Our goal is to sustain our fresh produce distribution at 14 million pounds or 50% of ETFB’s total food distribution by 2025,” said Cullinane. “We distribute boxes of produce each month at multiple locations in East Texas through our Mobile Pantries. Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet yet many of our clients are unable to buy produce because of the expense.”

The Tyler Resource Center and Fresh Produce Processing Center, along with other infrastructure such as a new road for delivery trucks, represents a $7 million investment. Funding for these initiatives came from several generous grants including from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott and the American Rescue Plan Act. The new facilities are anticipated to be completed in the summer of 2023.