DESOTO – Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, school campus closures, and the stoppage of high school sports, twelve DeSoto High School student athletic trainers jump-started the idea of the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) DeSoto Distribution Day to help their community. On June 2, with the help of DeSoto Athletic Trainer David J. Young, the students were able to see their idea in action as the NTFB staff and National Guard distributed pounds of food to over 500 DeSoto-area families.
“It started with a conversation. These students, who normally work together as a team during DHS high school games were missing each other and the chance to serve their students and community,” shared Young. “They began to ask about other ways they could help support their community.”
After trying a few local ideas, Young contacted the North Texas Food Bank on behalf of the students which began the plan to bring the NTFB Mobile Pantry to the city.
During the event, the NTFB staff, the National Guard and the DeSoto High School students distributed 19,200 pounds of dry good family relief packs, 11,250 pounds of fresh produce, 150 pounds of kids snack bags, 1,600 gallons of milk and 8 pallets (384 boxes) of frozen entrée meal items to area families.
“Usually our mobile pantries are used in areas considered as food deserts which means there is not a lot of access to fresh, high-quality food. But, since the start of the pandemic, we have seen an increase of individuals accessing our food centers for various reasons, including recent job loss. Also, some individuals were not able to get to our facilities. So, we have doubled our efforts and are using the North Texas Mobile Pantry to bring food directly to the community,” said Liana Solis, NTFB Communications Specialist. “We are just trying to provide food to as many people as possible.”
Along with her student peers, DHS eleventh grade student Cidney Wash worked alongside the NTFB distribution team to place items in the trunks of the motorists.
“It feels good because we are giving out to others. We are thinking about everyone and not ourselves’ said Wash.
DeSoto High School twelfth grader, Tyree Roberts was overjoyed to have this experience to help his own community.
“It feels good to be a positive part of the community helping to give back to those in need, an act that I hope to continue in the future,” said Roberts.
In addition to the distribution of the food items, the DeSoto High School student-athlete trainers also helped with traffic flow alongside officers from the DeSoto and Glen Heights Police Departments.
The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) is a top-ranked nonprofit hunger-relief organization operating a state-of-the-art volunteer and distribution center in Plano — the Perot Family Campus. Last year, the Food Bank worked hard in partnership with member agencies from our Feeding Network to provide access to almost 77 million nutritious meals across a diverse 13-county service area — this means more than 200,000 meals per day for hungry children, seniors and families.