By Julian Bowman
Fair Park First and Spectra, managers of Fair Park in Dallas, worked with the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) to bring the NTFB Disaster Relief Mobile Pantry to Fair Park on April 2 and 16.
The NTFB converted their mobile food pantry to a drive-through model to limit contact with clients and needed a location in South Dallas with substantial drive-through space. The NTFB contacted Spectra in March to see if the 277-acre campus would be available to help with distributing food to local residents. Fair Park First/Spectra quickly began to work with the Dallas Police Department on a plan to accommodate the local food bank.
During the first NTFB event, over 6,000 food boxes were distributed in just under 3 hours. Due to the overwhelming demand, the NTFB, Fair Park First, and Spectra put together another food distribution event at Fair Park (April 16). The Texas National Guard was brought in to assist with the second event, giving away larger food boxes to over 2,200 households. The event served as another way that Fair Park can support the surrounding community.
“We’re thankful that we were able to host these two food pantry events to benefit our neighbors in south Dallas,” said Spectra’s Peter C. Sullivan, General Manager of Fair Park. “We look forward to continuing to work with the North Texas Food Bank to give back to our community and help where we are able.”
“As a venue marketer, I live for the crowds and the media coverage. It usually gives me a buzz of excitement. It was different for these two events. Seeing all the news cameras on site, and the cars lined up for a couple of miles was sobering. I hope opportunities for mass food distribution events go away sooner than later, but if there’s a need, I’m proud that I’m part of a team that can help.” — Julian Bowman
Between the two events, nearly 13,000 food boxes equating to more than 180,000 meals were distributed to families in need during the COVID-19 crisis. The food bank estimates between 50% and 70% of the recipients were using the food bank for the first time. The two events were the largest distribution events in NTFB’s history.
Julan Bowman is Senior Director of Marketing at Fair Park.