2020: Our Impact

2020: Our Impact

We started off the year with a 6-month waiting list for people to volunteer and were running our food pantry, educational programs, and partnerships as usual. On March 16th everything changed. I received a phone called from Plano ISD and McKinney ISD saying there were thousands of children who needed a meal and they needed our help.

I remember that moment as I was looking at our shelf and we had just counted having only 60 boxes of cereal. Channel 4 was standing in front of me and they asked, "how are you going to help thousands of families when you don't even have 100 boxes of cereal?" The tears began to flow, but my response was “I believe our community will help us meet the need.”

We launched the “Hunger is Everywhere and So Are We” campaign and our trucks hit the road. We had places to go and people to feed. We knew we were called for this moment and we rose to the occasion.

The best part of the day was when we installed a bell at the back of our building for our food drop-offs. Ms. Minnie’s middle name was “BELL.” You can’t imagine how many tears we shed every time we ran out of a particular food item and the bell would ring with the exact food needed for that day. We all believe our angel in heaven Ms. Minnie Bell, was speaking to you, the angels on earth to help us fulfill our mission.

We learned a new way to offer our red carpet service. We became a mobile drive-thru experience. The words of hope that we once spoke into everyone's lives became words on a display sign held by a person wearing a mask. However, that didn't stop us from playing our music and dancing at every giveaway so people understood that we were here and we cared.

Let's talk numbers. To put things in perspective, in 2019, Minnie’s Food Pantry supplied 1.4 million meals to our community.

In 2020, all of our signature programs experienced record-breaking numbers. Here's what we did together!

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How We Did It

Our service model was transformed to keep both our team members and guests safe.

Rain or shine, we offered drive-up service for those needing food. We practiced safety guidelines and kept health first in line.

We partnered with Plano ISD and McKinney ISD to ensure that no child goes hungry during COVID-19 school closures. We fed over 16,000 children weekly distributing pre-packed boxes of healthy meals.

Paul Quinn College also made the call and we partnered with them to serve over 500 families with food and produce!

Our service days were expanded to a 6-day workweek after clearly seeing the coronavirus pandemic leave an economical effect on the community as a whole.

We humbly received the Certificate of Congressional Recognition from the  U. S. House of Representatives in recognition of being named the Best Food Pantry of Plano.

We also partnered with McKinney Little Free Pantry to keep their shelves stocked.

Any fresh food we were unable to distribute to our guests, we donated to Texas Metro Wildlife Rehabilitators. Our donations helped feed over 2,500 animals.

Hunger doesn't wait in line so we visited Plano Day Labor throughout the year and distributed food to those waiting for the day's work.

In the summer, we partnered with One Community Church and provided over 1,298 families with Minnie’s Family Food Boxes loaded with over 103,840 pounds of non-perishables, dairy items, fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat products to families in need.

The Dallas Cowboys joined our Veterans Day Giveaway. Larry Brown, Tony Dorsett, and Drew Pearson helped us distribute over 33,800 meals to deserving Veterans.

Owner, Mark Cuban, and CEO, Cynt Marshall of the Dallas Mavericks sponsored 35 permanent staff members for almost five months so that we could handle the increase in need, especially during the holidays. We went from 11 employees to 46 employees and we desperately needed the help.

We loaded up cars with turkey dinners for over 4,100 families during our Thanksgiving Giveaway. In 2019, we served  1,700 families utilizing 628 volunteers. In 2020, we pulled off twice the number of families served for Thanksgiving with only 154 pairs of helping hands, including staff members and volunteers!  The Dallas Mavericks and Emerald City Band joined us to provide entertainment to our team and our guests. You could truly feel the love and gratitude that day.

We donated 283 gifts to senior citizens in senior living facilities during our Senior Citizen Christmas Bash. Although we couldn’t hold our annual event in person, we were dedicated to making sure seniors were shown love during the pandemic AND the holidays.

We partnered with the following senior centers all throughout the year to provide fresh food: Tuscany at Goldmark, Pioneer Place, and Savannah At Gateway. Altogether, we served 17,739 senior citizens with a smile!

For Christmas, Minnie's Food Pantry distributed over 4,118 gifts to families with children so the kids could have a great Christmas.

Oprah Winfrey tweeted and gave Minnie’s Food Pantry a shout-out, calling us “Angels in Texas”. What a way to end the year.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

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Hunger Does Not Discriminate

As we end the year, I’m asking you, can you help us feed those in need of one of life’s most basic necessities: FOOD!?

We Still Need Your Help

The need for food tripled at Minnie’s Food Pantry while our resources slowly dwindled. More families needed food and we had to provide it - despite the sudden cutoff of corporate volunteers because of the pandemic we went into a six-day workweek. Our slogan became “Stay In The Game" We implemented additional safety precautions to protect our employees and the families we serve against COVID-19 and we worked long days and nights!

The pandemic has hit the community in more ways than one. From individuals experiencing job loss, falling behind on bills, unexpected health issues, children adjusting to virtual learning, and senior citizens distancing themselves from their families, what we know is that the financial implications will last for years to come and if people are not fed, their health declines to leave them more susceptible to COVID-19.

This is where you come in!

Hunger is a basic necessity of life and it does not discriminate. Neither do we! Minnie’s Food Pantry is committed to providing healthy meals regardless of age, gender, race, and geographic region! As we end the year, I’m asking will you join our fight to reduce hunger in the upcoming year?

You can do so by:

Giving a gift of $20.21 to start off the new year.

You can make a commitment to do a recurring donation of $13 each month to celebrate our upcoming 13 year anniversary. In the upcoming weeks, we will engage all of our donors with additional ways to be an advocate for those in need of a meal.

As of December 30th (the birthday of Minnie Ewing), our volunteers and donors will always be known as a Heartbeat. You are the heartbeat of Minnie’s Food Pantry.  Our job is to ensure our pulse is on everything related to food insecurity and to be a voice for those in need. This week Oprah Winfrey posted about Minnie’s Food Pantry and she said we were angels in Texas, I must say I completely agree with her.

As I reflect on 2020, I firmly believe I have an angel in heaven named Ms. Minnie and thousands on earth whom I will speak your name in 2021. Hint: Heartbeat page coming soon!

Minnie Blessings in 2021
Dr. Cheryl Jackson
Founder