T.L.L. Temple Foundation awards more than $1 million to three Texas food banks

Lufkin, TX: The T.L.L. Temple Foundation (TLLTF) recently awarded grants totaling $1,069,788 to the East Texas Food Bank, Southeast Texas Food Bank and Trinity River Food Bank, to help people struggling with hunger. The East Texas Food Bank and Southeast Texas Food Bank received $255,312 each to help offset the higher costs of food due to inflation. Trinity River Food Bank received $559,164 to support operations of the food bank and their partner pantries, and to help with increased food costs.

“Our region has higher rates of food insecurity than the state and nation,” said Wynn Rosser, president and CEO of the T.L.L. Temple Foundation. “Alleviating food insecurity is one of the foundation’s highest priorities.”

The East Food Bank serves 11 counties within TLLTF’s 24-county service area: Bowie, Cass, Anderson, Cherokee, Rusk, Panola, Shelby, Houston, Nacogdoches, Angelina, and San Augustine.

“ETFB and the foundation have a history of working together to end hunger, and we are appreciative of their dedication to our service area,” said Dennis Cullinane, CEO of the East Texas Food Bank. “The costs of groceries is hurting so many of our neighbors and leaving many families with having to make decisions between paying utilities, rent and medicine or buying food. We are thankful for our partnership with the T.L.L. Temple Foundation and their goal of ensuring that hungry East Texans have access to healthy food.”

The Southeast Texas Food Bank serves 14,000 families a month in the foundation’s eight-county service areas of Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, and Tyler.

“More families are searching for nutritious foods that do not heavily burden an already challenging family budget and are turning to food pantries for support,” said Harvey Zernial, president and CEO of the Southeast Texas Food Bank. “This additional funding is allowing us to add variety to our offerings at no cost to the food pantries and the families. We are truly blessed with the partnership we have with the T.L.L. Temple Foundation and this support comes at a great time of need.”

“The T.L.L. Temple Foundation has provided Trinity River Food Bank with generous support to fight hunger in four rural East Texas counties over the next three years,” said Christine Shippey, president and CEO. “We are passionate about connecting East Texans with nutritious, affordable food to prevent the hunger epidemic from stunting bodies, minds, and dreams for the future. Foundation funding will help cover our core operating costs, expand the capacity of our partners, and extend our fleet of vehicles to serve remote parts of Liberty, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker counties.”

About T.L.L. Temple Foundation:  The T.L.L. Temple Foundation works alongside rural communities to build a thriving East Texas and to alleviate poverty, creating access and opportunities for all. Since its founding in 1962 by Mrs. Georgie Temple Munz, the T.L.L. Temple Foundation has invested more than $550 million primarily to strengthen communities in rural East Texas. For more information about the foundation, visit www.tlltemple.foundation.

12th Annual Charlie Brown Thanksgiving event returns to benefit the East Texas Food Bank

The East Texas Food Bank will hold the 12th annual Charlie Brown Thanksgiving event on Friday, November 11 at 5:30 p.m. at Bergfeld Park in Tyler.

The free event is open to the public. Snack bags with jelly beans, juice, pretzels, and popcorn will be distributed to children, while supplies last, to symbolize the goodies the kids had for their Thanksgiving meal in the Charlie Brown classic holiday special. The cartoon will be shown in the amphitheater and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs or seat cushions to make it an enjoyable experience.

“The Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is a great way for families to kick-off the holiday season,” said Dennis Cullinane, CEO of the East Texas Food Bank. “This event reminds East Texans about the true spirit of the Thanksgiving season and the needs of so many families impacted by hunger in our area. We are asking for donations of plastic jars of peanut butter. Peanut butter is high in protein and just one regular-size jar can make 16 sandwiches for a hungry family.”

Snoopy will make an appearance and children are welcome to take photos with everyone’s favorite beagle after the movie. Children can also enter a drawing to win a bicycle donated by Simpson’s Fitness and Adventure Sports in Whitehouse. The event is sponsored by Air Cybernetics, Inc., Chick-fil-A, Texas Bank and Trust and Vasso & Associates.

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.