Feeding Dallas

Todd Collier founded Food Source DFW in 2013 to help feed hungry families at no cost.

Tell me the story of how Food Source DFW started.
Food Source DFW evolved from the work that I did with the Interfaith Service Network at Memnosyne Institute — doing various service projects with people of varying faiths. Out of that, I formed a Hunger Task Force, mainly because people, regardless of their faith tradition, are all dealing with hunger issues. The plan was to look for gaps on how best to get food to hungry families in need. I interviewed several food pantries and discovered that what nonprofits lack most is time and logistical resources. We wanted to fill their pantries with food at no cost of time or money to them.

What does it mean for someone to be food insecure?
One in seven Texans is food insecure. The USDA defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Affordability plays a big role in this. With COVID-19, this has been even further impacted.

How does Food Source actually get food to the families who need it?
Food Source, with its nonprofit partners, has helped create a food-sharing network feeding upwards of 2,500 hungry families per day, five days a week, in the DFW area alone. We find the food and coordinate the donation process, from pickup to delivery. We serve as a reliable intermediary between donors and our partner hubs — empowering them to efficiently redistribute to smaller food pantries, schools, veterans’ organizations, shelters, and families.

Who are some of your nonprofit partner distributors?
Some of our major nonprofit partner hubs are Inspired Vision Compassion Center in Pleasant Grove, Community Food Bank in Fort Worth, Rick Caywood Ministries in Waco, and Trusted World in Garland. Unlike the major food bank systems in DFW, we charge absolutely no fees and no administrative costs to our partner hubs. We do not restrict their giving to specific ZIP codes. We only require that they be a registered 501C3 nonprofit. We receive freely, we give freely, and we require the same from our partners.

What is the environmental impact of this work?
There are a few ways that food waste negatively impacts our environment. First, there is a large resource cost associated with food production and distribution in America. At the same time, 30 to 40% of food ends up in landfills. Second, decomposing food in landfills produces methane gas, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide. Our efforts have prevented 15,875,781 pounds of methane from entering the atmosphere and causing pollution.

Food Source has grown exponentially since you started it seven years ago.
Starting in 2013 with my own personal vehicle and a U-Haul trailer, I was moving a few pallets a week from produce distributors. We only surpassed the “1 million pounds redistributed” mark in 2016. Over the past several years, we’ve grown to an average of 4 million pounds annually and supported donations outside of Texas. No matter the size or location, we say “yes” to food.

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