Penne Pomodoro offers gluten-free menu

Food coverIn this week’s Food Issue, we have stories about the Oak Lawn Farmers Market and a vegan cookbook by drag cabaret performer Mistress Ginger. Organic… vegan… but we left out a gluten-free story. Sorry! Just so you know, Penne Pomodoro, the Italian restaurant with locations in Snider Plaza, Lakewood and Preston Forest, has gluten-free options on its menu. That’s a pretty sweet development for folks who like pastas, pizzas and risottos, but suffer from celiac disease.

And don’t forget to pick up a copy of Dallas Voice this week and read all about Trinity Groves, Stephan Pyles’ San Salvaje, the Resource Center’s food pantry, and much more.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

DTC donates nearly $60K to NTFB

ACC NTFB Check Presentation - Kris Martin, Kieran Connolly - by Dana Driensky

Former Dallas Voice staffer Kris Martin, as representative for the NTFB, collects a check from Scrooge (actor Kieran Connolly) at the final performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Wyly Theatre. Additional donations at that performance raised the total donation to nearly $58,000.

For six Christmases, the Dallas Theater Center has collected canned food and cash from patrons at its annual production of A Christmas Carol, and this year was an especially good one. For its first time since returning to the Arts District — and its first time in the Wyly Theatre — the DTC managed 934 pounds of nonperishable goods (nearly twice the amount taken in last year at the Kalita Humphreys) and raised $57,993.81 in cash donations (above the average for prior years). That brings the total monetary donations — donated to the North Texas Food Bank — to $297,912.16 since 2008. Each dollar accounts for about three meals donated to the hungry across the Metroplex.

We’re big fans of the NTFB here at the Voice — I decorate a cake every year for charity, and the NTFB is a feeder donator the Resource Center’s food pantry — so we’re happy to see how generous people are. But the need continues beyond Christmas; you can donate time, food or money here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Food pantry receives sizable donation from Hilton Anatole

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Part of the Anatole’s donation

Resource Center received a sizable donation on Friday from the Hilton Anatole.

After a conference ended on Thursday, the caterer asked hotel staff for a suggestion of where to donate food and other items that weren’t used. Several Anatole staff members including Hal Scott suggested the Resource Center’s food pantry. Scott is the brother of Paul Scott, executive director of AIDS Services of Austin and a former executive director of Resource Center.

Resource Center spokesman Rafael McDonnell said the donation included gallon containers of ketchup and salad dressing that would be used by the hot meals program and other needed items like hand sanitizer and replacement mop buckets.

In all, the donation filled nine pick-up trucks.

McDonnell said that despite the size of the donation, the need continues.

“The government is still closed and the need is still there,” he said.

The food pantry distributes seven tons of food a week. Half of its clients are also housing insecure.

—  David Taffet

Dallas LGBT community continues to respond to food pantry shortage

Food Pantry

Donations provided some variety at the Resource Center food pantry this week, but the stock on shelves remains low.

Throughout the week, LGBT organizations have jumped to the rescue of the Resource Center food pantry, providing some variety, but the stock remains low. The pantry distributes more than seven tons of food a week.

North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tony Vedda sent a letter to more than 300 member businesses. He reminded them of why the pantry came into existence.

“The gay & lesbian community (as it was called at the time) took care of its own; no one else would,” he wrote. “Making sure that people with HIV/AIDS had food to eat was essential to their survival.”

He asked each business to make a $25 donation, which would total $7,500 in donations for food from the chamber.

Anyone who brings five cans to Fashionista GayBingo at S4 this weekend will be entered into a drawing for a variety of prizes including tickets to future GayBingo and GayBingo North.

Stonewall Democrats of Dallas passed a hat at their meeting on Tuesday and sent Resource Center a check for $500. Log Cabin Republicans meets at Acme Social Club, 4900 McKinney at 6:30 tonight and will also be collecting.

Several of the bars are collection points for food including Dallas Eagle, JR.’s Bar & Grill and the Round-Up Saloon.

Dallas Voice is doing its own food drive and is a collection point for canned goods. Anyone who lives or works in the area is welcome to drop off canned food at the office during business hours. Items may be dropped at Dallas Voice, 4145 Travis St., Third Floor off Mon.–Fri. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

—  David Taffet

Resource Center food pantry giving out Twizzlers ‘because that’s all we’ve got’

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The Food Pantry shelves are usually brimming with a variety of items for clients of Resource Center.

Resource Center put out a call for donations Thursday for its food pantry serving low-income people with HIV/AIDS.

“We have peanut butter, beans, tomato sauce and carrots, and that’s it,” Resource Center spokesman Rafael McDonnell said. “We’re giving away Twizzlers because that’s all we’ve got.”

He was at the Food Pantry on Denton Drive Cutoff across from Inwood Station celebrating the last day of work of pantry manager Micki Pacific, who has been with the Center 10 years.

“I can’t remember it ever looking like that,” McDonnell said.

Partially it’s the time of year, he said. Because it’s Pride week, people aren’t having food drives. Some of the pantry’s stock comes from the North Texas Food Bank.

“But the Food Bank doesn’t have because of the sequester,” he said.

The Center will accept canned goods donations for the pantry at the front desk at 2701 Reagan St. on Friday and Saturday. Officials are also urging people to bring canned goods to the Center’s 30th Anniversary and Open House on Saturday, and can accept donations at the pantry on Denton Drive Cutoff on Monday.

McDonnell said he hopes the community will be as outraged that people don’t have food as they are about the dress code for the parade.

—  David Taffet

Micki Pacific leaves Resource Center food pantry, moves to Northwest

Micki

Tree hugger Micki Diane Pacific

Micki Diane Pacific left Resource Center this week where she was manager of the Food Pantry and hot meals program.

During her tenure at Resource Center she led the team that started the GEAR transgender program, and the Trans Health Clinic.

“I am moving to Washington state to be a socialist, tree-hugging hippie!” she said. “I plan to get a kayak and get my snowboard back out on the ski slopes there.”

In Washington, she’ll be part of several worker-owned cooperatives and helping with some new start-up businesses.

Pacific served in the Army working on top secret missions for the NSA. She also is a live sound engineer who has worked with more than 180 national performing artists, including John Fogerty, ZZTopp, Genesis and The Monkees.

“I will miss a lot of the great friendships that I have here,” she said.

During her 10 years at Resource Center, she estimates her programs have distributed more than 5,000 tons of food.

“It’s been an honor to be able to be part of that,” she said.

—  David Taffet

Uncertainty remains over future funding for ASOs

Clerical error rectified by Dallas County, but some agencies worry that more cuts are coming

Steven Pace

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

Although initial reports of cuts in federal funding for meals programs for people with HIV/AIDS turned out to be a clerical error,  at least one Dallas County AIDS service agency still worries that cuts are coming.

Resource Center Dallas Strategic Communications and Programs Manager Rafael McDonnell said, “We’re still trying to assess the numbers and trying to see where we are.”

McDonnell said that the food pantry and meals program are not fully funded through government programs.

The agency also relies on a number of other grants from organizations like Mazon and on canned food drives run by community groups and businesses.

“We go into this budget year with a certain amount of uncertainty,” McDonnell said. “We are hopeful there are no cuts. It’s hard to determine if there will be.”

He added that the center will need all those who have supported its programs in the past to continue to do so into the future.

With federal and state governments slashing their budgets, McDonnell said that money could be cut at any time from the programs.

“Until we see the check in our hands,” they don’t count on the money, he said. “We’re doing the best we can, planning in an uncertain future.”

But the grant that comes through Dallas County has been restored for the immediate future for the Resource Center and AIDS Interfaith Network.

AIN relies on the grant money for a third of its meals program budget.

“The county did respond and did rectify the mistake,” AIN Executive Director Steven Pace said.

AIN has a weekday breakfast and lunch program and provides some weekend meals for persons with HIV. Resource Center Dallas runs a hot lunch program during the week.

Pace said that with grants of this type, there is always a degree of uncertainty. Even though the money has been restored for seven months, Congress can decide to cut funding to any program at any time.

He said it is just something nonprofit organizations that rely on government funding live with.

Because of a clerical mistake, funding for meals programs was moved to food pantry programs for the new fiscal year.

When AIN and RCD received emails confirming state grants that are funneled through Dallas County, the money for meals programs was omitted from the budget.

However, the money did not show up in the RCD grant budget even though that agency runs both meals and food pantry programs.

The state fiscal year begins Sept. 1 and final documentation needed to be back to the county by Aug. 12.

When Dallas County found the error, a new email was sent to the agencies. Pace worried at the time that he was missing the deadline to submit his budgets and documentation, but he has been assured the agency would not be penalized.

He said he promptly adjusted his figures and submitted the necessary paperwork to assure no interruption in funding.

RCD also readjusted its figures and resubmitted the paperwork.

Some years, grants are renewed from previous years. Other years, agencies must rebid to receive their funding. This year, money was renewed for seven months and agencies will have to rebid for the final five months.

Although the state funding year begins Sept. 1, the Ryan White fiscal year begins April 1.

“We appreciate that Dallas County corrected the error so quickly,” Pace said.

Even with lag time in receiving the additional funds, Pace said the meals program will continue uninterrupted, thanks to a recent $25,000 grant from the MAC Cosmetics AIDS fund.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 2, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Local briefs • 08.05.11

Continuing education credit available through Hope Cottage

Hope Cottage, Dallas’ oldest nonprofit, nonsectarian adoption agency, is now authorized to offer continuing education contact credits for social workers through its new Adoption 101 programming.

Director of Programs Brooks Quinlan, LMSW-AP, explained: “The goal of Infant Adoption 101 is to equip social service professionals with the skill sets needed to respond with confidence and sensitivity towards a client exploring or moving forward with an adoption plan.”

Upon completion of the program, participants are awarded one contact hour.

Thanks to donations, the program is offered free of charge. Organizations interested in receiving the training should contact Heather Hussong at by email at hhussong@hopecottage.org or by phone at 214-526-8721, ext. 241.
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Mountain View College offers youth empowerment conference

“Keepin’ It Real!” a free one-day youth empowerment conference, is being offered Saturday, Aug. 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Avenue in Dallas.

The conference is intended to provide teens with “real life” solutions to problems they face and in the process help build their self-confidence as they prepare to return to school.

Teens grades 6-12 can attend. Keynote speakers are Felix A. Zamora, president of Mountain View College and a motivational speaker and author; and Cheryl Jackson with Minnie’s Food Pantry and The Giving Movement.

All teens will participate in six interactive workshops which include bullycide, engineering the world, HIV/AIDS awareness and college financial aid and scholarships among others.

Musical entertainment will be provided by local artists including Rumill, Dacia Kings, Elliott Skinner accompanied by pianist, Dylan Cantu, Rachel Webb and P2 Mimes of Greater Mt. Calvary COGIC, and more.

Teens will also have an opportunity during a moderated panel discussion to meet local leaders and ask questions.

Also, Backpacking for Education returns for the eighth year. BFE is a program that supplies the attending youth with backpacks filled with school supplies. Additionally, some students will win door prizes and all will receive giveaways.

Registration is free but pre-registration is required by Aug. 10. To register for this conference or for more information, go online to TeenGraffiti.com or call 972-496-9457.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 5, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Happy Birthday, Donna Dumae!

Donna Dumae

Over the years Don Jenkins, through his drag alter ego Donna Dumae, has helped raise thousands of dollars for charitable causes — most notably HIV/AIDS services — in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

This week, Don(na) turns 50 years old, and true to form, is using the occasion as yet another opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause.

Donna Dumae and Empress Anita Martini (who is also celebrating a birthday this week) are hosting the “Golden Oldies” fundraising show and birthday party on Sunday, June 19, at The Brick/Joe’s, 2525 Wycliff Ave. Cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Proceeds benefit Resource Center Dallas’ Food Pantry, which helps feed people with HIV/AIDS.

Donna and Empress Anita are also inviting performers to join in. If you are interested in strutting your stuff for charity, get there by 6 to be part of the line-up. And if performing isn’t your strong point, then bring your wallet and show your appreciation for these folks who have been doing so much for so long to help others.

—  admin

Big D Bear Dance doles out $20K

I chatted up Mark Trimble earlier today, and he told me that Sunday night’s Big D Bear Dance at TMC: The Mining Company was quite the success. Trimble is one of the BDBD organizers. The night is not only an offshoot of the bigger TBRU event, but also raises money for local organizations, and Sunday night was all about Resource Center Dallas’ Food Pantry. Darren Graff, also with BDBD, took over some canned food donations and a check for $2,700. Whoa.

Last week, Trimble and I also chatted about the funds raised from the TBRU dance event. BDBD recently made their check presentation to the Dallas Bears, which in turn, will dole it out among several beneficiaries.

“We partner with [Dallas Bears] during TBRU for the joint purpose of raising money for the charities and throwing a kick-ass party,” Trimble said. “But we let them write the checks to the charities directly pooled with the money they raise from the rest of TBRU. I’m happy to be involved with people doing good and interesting stuff in the bear community. Somebody needs to toot our horns every once in a while!”

Below, the BDBD gents present their check for $18,000 to the Dallas Bears. Photos courtesy of Norman Ames.

 

—  Rich Lopez