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 Nutrition Services Manager 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. Annually, over 150 participants are served through six-week Cooking Matters courses coordinated by NTFB. In addition to Cooking Matters courses, NTFB provided Cooking Matters at the Store grocery store tours and offers nutrition workshops and cooking demos, reaching more than 1,100 low-income participants a year. NTFB also distributes about 120,000 free nutritional materials, including handouts, recipes, and cookbooks, to further promote and support health education for food-insecure audiences. 

Request Nutrition Education for your Agency (for agencies serving low-income audiences only).

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Food 4 Health

NTFB operated its Food 4 Health program from 2016-2019. The program focused on providing nutrition education and healthful food access to patients at local health clinics and faith-based health ministries to address chronic illness among food insecure clients. Participants were screened for food insecurity and referred into the program and as a result, were able to receive fresh produce, additional nutritious, nonperishable food items, nutrition education and recipes for 3 months at their clinic, through a 12-week program. Although our F4H program was phased out after its 4-year pilot, we created a Feeding with Impact Handbook for any clinics or agencies that wish to replicate the NTFB Food 4 Health Program model within their respective organizations.

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Jan's Garden

In 2018, in conjunction with the grand opening of the Perot Family Campus, NTFB also broke ground on a sustainable, small-scale learning garden in honor of our late CEO, Jan Pruitt. Access to fresh produce is critical to the success of the North Texas Food Bank and to the health of the neighbors we serve. NTFB is excited to operate a learning and demonstration garden that acts as a living and breathing display of nutritious food options. Jan's Garden offers tours and programming for all local community groups who desire to learn first-hand about the impact that healthful food choices can make.

Request a tour or on-site education with Jan's Garden, volunteer with Jan's Garden, or watch our Jan's Garden education videos.

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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 anywhere from 10 percent to 100 percent of their yield to a local Partner Agency, while NTFB provides volunteers to help with planting, harvesting and weeding the garden. On average, our Partner Gardens donate between 20,000-40,000 pounds of garden-fresh produce to our partner agency network each year.

Current partner gardens include: 

  • Big Tex Urban Farm, Fair Park-Dallas
  • City Square Community Garden, Dallas
  • City Square Cottages, Dallas
  • Community Harvest Garden, Plano
  • Coppell Community Garden, Coppell
  • Dolphin Heights Community Garden, Dallas
  • Eden’s Organic Garden, Balch Springs
  • First United Methodist Church- Richardson Ministry Garden, Richardson
  • The Giving Garden of Carrollton, Carrollton
  • Guidepost Montessori at Stonebriar, Frisco
  • Harvest Community Garden, Carrollton
  • Horizon Community Garden, Carrollton
  • Legacy Preparatory Charter Academy, Plano
  • Lorenzo De Zavala Environmental Science Academy, Grand Prairie
  • Merriman Park Elementary Garden
  • MLK Miles of Freedom Garden & Seedling Farm, Dallas
  • Moss Haven Farm, Richardson
  • Our Saviour Community Garden, East Dallas
  • Singing Hills Community Garden, Dallas
  • Spring Creek Elementary Garden, North Dallas
  • St. Philips School Garden, Dallas
  • Sunny South Community Garden, Dallas
  • Temple Emanu-el, North Dallas
  • The UP Learning Garden at University Park Elementary School, North Dallas
  • We Over Me Farms at Paul Quinn College, South Dallas


Volunteer with NTFB partner gardens

Contact ntfbretail@ntfb.org for information on becoming an NTFB partner garden. 


Nutrition and Gardening

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 Agenciesthe School Pantry programMobile Pantry, and Food 4 Health. 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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North Texas Food Bank | 3677 Mapleshade Lane, Plano Texas, 75075 | 214.330.1396  | North Texas Food Bank is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. | EIN: 75-1785357 | info@ntfb.org