The following is taken from the Summer 2011 Servicette
Sue Ann Gilman, Diocese of Dallas
The Vickery Meadow Neighborhood Alliance Food Pantry was established in November 2009 to provide supplemental food to the low income, largely refugee and immigrant families living in the Vickery Meadow neighborhood of Dallas, Texas.
This collaborative effort began following a meeting convened by the counselors at an elementary school located in the heart of Vickery Meadow. They reported how students were unable to focus on their school work because they were perpetually hungry.
The Vickery Meadow Improvement District contacted organizations and churches already working in the area, such as Catholic Charities, Temple Emanu–El, National Council of Jewish Women and the International Rescue Committee. The core group reached out to St. Vincent de Paul Council, Ladies of Charity of Dallas, Jewish Family Services and Park Cities Baptist Church to create the Vickery Meadow Neighborhood Alliance Food Pantry.
The participating organizations mobilized and a small pantry opened in a 750 square foot, one bedroom apartment, 3 days per week for 3 hours a day. Each agency and organization has made a significant commitment of financial, volunteer and professional resources to address hunger in this neighborhood and make up the pantry’s management team.
Volunteers from all the organizations are essential to its operation, securing food, stocking shelves, registering and serving clients. Within the first year, 15,597 individuals (unduplicated) have received food assistance; three hundred families, on average (unduplicated), are currently helped monthly. A part time case manager has been funded by United Way to help families address the causes of their food insecurity and address other needs.
The vision for the pantry is that it will be the anchor for a continuum of wraparound employment, counseling, clothes closet and social services to help people establish and maintain self-sufficiency. †