Nutrition Services, Produce & Gardening

Nutrition Services, Produce & Gardening

Research tells us that food insecurity and health issues often go hand-in-hand. For that reason, our registered dietitian works with program managers to ensure that NTFB's feeding programs take the nutritional needs of our clients into account when serving those in need. In addition to providing access to nutritious foods, NTFB also works to teach families, seniors and children about eating nutritiously on a budget, and partners with community gardens to gain more access to fresh, locally-grown produce.

Nutrition Education

NTFB has provided free culinary and nutrition education to low-income populations since 1996.  In partnership with Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters, NTFB offers food management courses to North Texans, teaching the basics of nutrition, cooking, food-budgeting and food safety to promote healthful and affordable food choices. In 2016, over 300 participants were served through 23 six-week Cooking Matters courses coordinated by NTFB. In addition to Cooking Matters courses, NTFB provided 28 Cooking Matters at the Store grocery tours and nearly 100 additional nutrition workshops, reaching more than 2,200 low-income partipants. NTFB also distributed some 172,600 free nutritional materials, including handouts and recipes, to further promote and support health education for food-insecure audiences. 

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Produce Distribution

Since 1994, NTFB has worked to distribute fresh produce to food insecure children, seniors and families in North Texas. In fact, NTFB distributed 23 million pounds of fresh fruits or vegetables in 2016.

The Food Bank works to source fresh produce from local and national growers and also rescues unsold produce from more than 170 grocery store retailers. Produce is distributed through a variety of sites and programs including NTFB Partner AgenciesNourishing Neighborsthe School Pantry program, and Brighter Bites. The work of distributing these delicate products requires refrigerated warehouse space, refrigerated trucks, and an investment in manual labor to get the products out quickly. NTFB is deeply committed to providing more nutritious choices, especially given the health benefits of fresh produce. 

Volunteer in our Distribution Center to help pack produce and other foods

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Partner Gardens

NTFB partners with 20+ community partner gardens to grow and connect fresh produce to those in need. Partner gardens donate 10 percent of their yield to a local Partner Agency, while NTFB provides volunteers to help with planting, harvesting and weeding the garden. More than 40,000 pounds of garden-fresh produce was donated through our partner gardens last year. 

Current partner gardens include:

  • Central Elementary Garden, Duncanville
  • Community Garden at Cliff Temple, Oak Cliff
  • Common Ground, Flower Mound TX
  • Community Harvest Garden, Plano
  • Coppell Community Garden, Coppell
  • Eden’s Organic Garden, Balch Springs
  • FUMCR Ministry Garden, Richardson
  • The Giving Garden, Carrollton
  • Grand Prairie Family Church Garden, Grand Prairie
  • Harvest Community Garden, Carrollton
  • Legacy Prep Charter “Dipper’s Garden,” Plano
  • Live Oak/East Dallas Community Garden, Dallas
  • Lorenzo De Zavala Garden, Grand Prairie
  • Mama Ida’s Community Garden, Dallas
  • Moss Haven Farm, North Dallas
  • Oak Hill Academy, North Dallas
  • Our Saviour Community Garden, East Dallas
  • St. Philips School Garden, Dallas
  • Temple Emanu-el, Dallas
  • The University Park Elementary, “The Up Learning Garden,” Dallas
  • We Over Me Farm, South Dallas Rocket Garden, Dallas

Volunteer with NTFB partner gardens

Contact for information on becoming a NTFB partner garden. 

Food 4 Health

Through our new Food 4 Health program, we provide nutrition education and healthful food access to patients at local health clinics. After participants are screened for food insecurity and referred into the program, they receive fresh produce and other nutritious nonperishable food items twice a month for 6 months or every week for 3 months at their clinic. 

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North Texas Food Bank 4500 S. Cockrell Hill Road Dallas, TX 75236-2028 214.330.1396 (MAP IT)

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