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ETX Food Bank announces strategic plan to feed families across East Texas into 2025

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 5:12 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 15, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Almost $12 million has been donated to the East Texas Food Bank. $9 million was donated by philanthropist Mackenzie Scott last December.

Thanks to Scott’s donation and many others, the food bank announced a new strategic plan to help feed families in their 26-county area by 2025.

Texas has the seventh highest food insecurity rate in the nation. According to the East Texas Food Bank, one in five East Texans, including one in four children, are facing hunger. Dennis Cullinane, CEO of East Texas Food Bank, says their goals wouldn’t be possible without this donation.

“It really took the capital campaign and the fundraising curve away from us so we can focus on really implementing the gift and building the infrastructure right away rather than going through years of fundraising,” Cullinane said.

Cullinane described this as a game changer for them as they were in the middle of a three-year plan, an $11.8 million investment in total.

“We didn’t rebuild our strategic plan; what we did was we said what can we do with her investment now that will fuel us to get towards that by 2025 because now it’s a reality,” Cullinane said.

The new plan includes six strategic key initiatives to help communities in need. They range from partnerships, more distributions, resource centers and more. A resource center in North Lufkin opened in May.

“These will be strategically located, and what they will do is they will be an East Texas Food Bank branch agency,” Cullinane said. “It will be focused on a health pantry, and it will also have other wrap-around support services collaborated with other organizations that will provide services in a one-stop-shop to support our families.”

Scott’s team anonymously researched more than 6,000 organizations and chose to invest in 384.

“A rural food bank like ours, where you don’t have a lot of corporations, we don’t have a lot of big foundations, and we have a big problem with an operator that’s been proven to provide outputs, I think that’s why we were chosen.”

The East Texas Food Bank seeks to distribute 32 million meals a year throughout East Texas by 2025.

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