March 12, 2013

The Memnosyne Institute’s Interfaith Service Network focuses on collaborative community service and interfaith dialogue. Its Hunger Task Force is in the food sharing and saving business, providing food to needy people in the DFW area.

The Rev. Dr. Todd Collier explains that last year the Hunger Task Force established a beta website, Food Source DFW, which is working with Food Share Partners in the Bedford, Texas area, where excess food from various entities is collected, stored and given to food sharing partners that serve the hungry.  Some of our newest partners are North Dallas Shared Ministries and Christian Community Action.  

(Photo at North Dallas Shared Ministries)

“We’re working to partner with several entities in addition to those above,” Rev. Collier says.  “For example, Del Monte may donate or have a truck load of surplus bananas or other food products that Food Source DFW may acquire for the cost of freight. They are then stored temporarily in one of Food Source DFW’s partner warehouses for immediate distribution. The freight may cost $3,000 - $4,000 from LA for example, but we receive upwards to $75,000 - $130,000 worth of food, depending upon the product, which is a huge return on investment.” Food Source DFW is interested in partnering with other entities willing to participate in this food sharing model.    “Our easy-to-use website is designed so that we enter that information, hit a button to let our members know that we have pallets of available food products they can claim them and pick up.”

Alex Horton is coordinator of Food Share Partners a group of five a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organizations:  6 Stones Mission Network, Community Enrichment Center, Community Food Bank, Harvest International Ministries, and Family Care Ministries.   He says “I started Food Share Partners.   All five established nonprofits have requirements for transportation, warehouse space and food acquisition, and as a group, we maximize these points.  The basis for being a member is sharing these three assets at no fee.”
(Photo: Alex Horton with pallet of food )

Horton further explains that it was Memnosyne Institute’s Hunger Task Force Director Rev. Todd Collier and Food Source DFW Project Manager Brandon Buchanan who originated the idea of Food Source DFW and Food Share Partners working together to get the pilot program off the ground.    “They [Rev. Collier and Buchanan] had the overall picture to design the Food Source DFW website,” he says.  “There are so many things such as tracking inventory and notifying our members that Food Share Partners was looking for ways of carrying this out more efficiently.”

A truckload of produce may come into the DFW area and Food Share Partners have to decide among themselves whether or not to accept it.  Since no single warehouse can handle a full load of bananas, for example, such things as sharing the cost of freight, space and distribution have to be considered. Food Source DFW is also in conversation with PepsiCo’s Food for Good’s Operations Analyst, Shawn Mason, who is working with their logistics team at PepsiCo to work with us to reduce our freight costs.

Rev. Collier says that it is Food Source DFW’s and Food Share Partner’s goal to obtain and share more food in an efficient and streamlined way with those who need it at no cost.  “We’re striving for something that is unique, and neither competes nor duplicates any other entity or online tool in the DFW area,” Collier says.  “Brandon Buchanan, Food Source DFW project manager, has played a key role, along with Beth Kahlich of Kahlich Internet Consulting, in getting the system off the ground, and we can’t thank them as well as Alex Horton with Food Share Partners enough for their hard work. “  

(Photo: Food Source DFW planning team - Alex Horton, Susie Marshall, Todd Collier, Beth Kahlich, and Brandon Buchanan)

Contact: Rev. Dr. Todd A. Collier 
Hunger Task Force  
Memnosyne Institute 
Dallas, Texas
214-228-5695 (cell)

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