TRISHA CUNNINGHAM, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF NORTH TEXAS FOOD BANK
Explain North Texas Food Bank’s mission and how you got involved with the organization.
The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) is a hunger-relief organization that sources, packages and distributes food through a Feeding Network of more than 200 Partner Agencies across 13 North Texas counties. We work to provide food to children, seniors and families through various direct-delivery programs, including a mobile pantry program that expanded exponentially during COVID.
I started at the Food Bank in 2017 after more than 30 years at Texas Instruments. From my first day at the food bank, I could tell that by working together with a caring community, we could provide food and hope to our neighbors in need. Now, millions of meals later, that work continues, and our team works tirelessly to ensure that our community has access to these critical resources.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I am a Texan by way of Kentucky, where I was born and raised. My parents were hardworking, instilling the values of education, hard work and compassion to their kids. I am grateful for their sacrifices and life lessons. Thanks to them, I am a first-generation college graduate, which provided the foundation for my fulfilling career.
Now, alongside my husband Greg, we have an empty nest with our adult children flourishing in their own careers. It is a joy to watch.
What makes NTFB so special and impactful to the Dallas community?
Even before working at NTFB, I considered the organization a premier non-profit in North Texas. I think that our talented team sets us apart. Each day, Food Bankers and our partner agency feeding network teams come to work with one goal in mind: help ensure our neighbors have access to enough nutritious food.
This was especially true after the onset of COVID-19. In fact, in our last fiscal year, the NTFB and our feeding network provided access to more than 125 million nutritious meals, a 28 percent increase over the prior year. What we have learned is that the hunger crisis requires bold thinking. In response to the ongoing elevated hunger crisis, we launched a $500 million campaign, Nourish North Texas, to provide more food for today and hope for tomorrow by addressing the underlying issues that can lead to food insecurity.
What do you enjoy the most about being a part of the NTFB organization?
I love knowing that the work we do at NTFB matters. Food is the most basic of needs. I think about the people who benefit from the food and programs provided to the community. These are our neighbors, friends, people that we interact with daily, who might be struggling to make ends meet. Food is transformational – a symbol of love and nourishment. What greater gift can we provide to the community than the idea that someone cares, that someone is making sure all have the food they need. Additionally, when food needs are met, the services of our partners can help our neighbors accelerate their ability to get back on a sustainable path of better health and financial stability through their programs and services.
How does support from community partners like Highland Park Village help NTFB have a greater impact?
The Food Bank is lucky to have a variety of supporters like the wonderful team at Highland Park Village who help us raise awareness about the issue of hunger in our community by donating funds, hosting campaigns at your stores, and donating your time. Each of these acts has a ripple effect. You are located in the Park Cities, which of course, has a rich history of supporting the Food Bank and our mission. From the Rotary Club of Park Cities and their 4th of July parade to the vibrant and generous people that support our work – we are grateful that Highland Park and the people of the Park Cities believe in NTFB.
What are some ways people in North Texas can get involved with NTFB?
At the Food Bank, we tout four ways to give:
- Donate time – we rely on the hearts and hands of our community to help support our work. Visit ntfb.org/volunteer to find an opportunity to roll up your sleeves.
- Donate funds – When you donate just $1 to NTFB, you are providing access to 3 nutritious meals. Donate today at ntfb.org/donate.
- Donate healthy foods – Individuals and organizations can make a difference by providing healthy food items. Check out our wishlist and sign up for a canned food drive at ntfb.org/cannedfooddrive.
- Donate your voice – The Food Bank relies on community advocates to help support our work. Visit ntfb.org/advocacy to get involved.
Where would we most likely find you in Highland Park Village?
I have spent many hours at Starbucks as it is a great meeting place and to work in between meetings. I also enjoy meeting people at many of the restaurants including Bistro 31, Mi Cocina and Park House. Yes, I guess it is all about the food for me, too!
Highland Park Village is proud to spotlight our very own dynamic personalities and community partners in the Village Voices series. Get to know our past features.