Food pantry to remain closed another week


Color rooms being rebuilt into food pantry

The Resource Center Food Pantry will remain closed at least another week.

Spokesperson Rafael McDonnell said in what center officials had hoped would be a final inspection on Wednesday, April 20, there were a few minor issues remaining. He said those have already been corrected, but the soonest an inspector can schedule another visit is Wednesday, April 27.

“We understand what a burden this has been on our clients,” McDonnell said. “We’re working as quickly as we can and we’ll have an update next week.”

He said the issues were minor, but without the green light from the city, the pantry can’t open.

The food pantry on Denton Drive closed sooner than Resource Center expected. That property is being torn down for redevelopment. The new food pantry is located in the old “color rooms” at the main location at 2701 Reagan St. Resource Center’s headquarters is moving in May to a new building being completed on Cedar Springs at Inwood Road.

If the food pantry gets its permit on April 27, it should be open on May 2.


—  David Taffet

Food pantry awaiting inspection to reopen


Food pantry space under construction last month

The Resource Center Food Pantry is awaiting one final inspection before it can reopen.

The pantryhas  moved from its Denton Drive location to the main Resource Center building at 2701 Reagan St. but hasn’t opened yet as it waits for its final city permit to operate.

“Once we get our permit, we can get the freezer hooked up,” Resource Center spokesman Rafael McDonnell said.

That involved adding  220-current outlets, and that means extra inspections.

McDonnell said dry goods are out and ready for distribution.

If the space does pass inspection tomorrow (Wednesday, April 20), the pantry should reopen for business on Monday, April 25.

The hot meals program, which takes place in the building next door to the main space, has continued serving meals uninterrupted. The center lost its space on Denton Drive sooner than it expected.

—  David Taffet

Resource Center food pantry move temporarily delayed


Renovations are under way at the future location of Resource Center’s food pantry

Resource Center is delaying the planned relocation of its food pantry from its current location due to an unexpected construction delay at the Reagan and Brown building.

The pantry, currently located at 5450 Denton Drive Cutoff, was scheduled to relocate on Saturday, Feb. 27.

Thanks to the generosity of the current pantry landlord, operations will continue at the Denton Drive location through the week of Feb. 29.

Center staff and volunteers are working diligently to ensure that client needs are met during this transition phase.  The center expects to have additional updated information in the coming days, and will share details once they are available.

—  James Russell

Resource Center fast tracks pantry renovation

Services continue without disruption, despite unexpected lease cancellation


Workers strip what was the Red, Blue and Yellow rooms to the bare walls to build the new food pantry. (James Russell/Dallas Voice)

JAMES RUSSELL  |  Staff Writer

The food pantry is one of Resource Center’s most popular programs. Currently located on the Denton Drive Cutoff, just off Maple Avenue near Inwood Road, the pantry serves more than 800 people a week. So when center officials learned that the landlord at that space was unexpectedly cancelling the pantry’s lease, they knew that halting the popular service, even temporarily, was out of the question.

But it wasn’t just center staffers worried the pantry’s clientele would be inconvenienced. It also meant making significant changes to the center’s ongoing capital campaign timeline.

Resource Center is in the midst of an $8.7 million capital campaign intended to help the center meet the needs of an ever-growing community. Originally, the idea was to first move staff and social services into the new 20,000-square-foot facility under construction on Cedar Springs Road at Inwood when that facility was finished. That move would free space at the current Reagan-and-Brown location to move into phase two: consolidating HIV services, nutrition services and the food pantry.

Now, both the construction and renovation are happening at the same time. On the revised timeline, the pantry should be ready by mid-February, the new facility in March, and the Reagan-and-Brown renovations by the summer.

“This timeline was not ideal, but we are committed to clients,” Resource Center CEO Cece Cox noted. “We will not miss one day of service at the pantry. Staff is working to accommodate clients to ensure that their needs are being met during this transitional phase.”

In order to continue to meet the high demand for service, it will take $600,000 to renovate the Reagan-and-Brown building, including the construction and relocation of the food pantry.

The food pantry began in 1985 out of a cardboard box at Crossroads Market, then located at the intersection of Cedar Springs and Throckmorton. As need grew, so did the pantry. It moved to a larger space in the 3900 block of Cedar Springs, and eventually to its current location at Denton Drive Cutoff.

Now, through a partnership with the North Texas Food Bank, the center is able to readily restock its pantry with fresh produce, dairy, meats and frozen meals for the 1,900 clients who use it every month.

Cox said the total square footage of the Reagan-and-Brown facility will be about 12,000 square feet. The pantry space will be smaller than the current one. But the new one will be “more efficient in terms of client use,” said Cox.

It will also benefit clients who use public transit.

“When you use public transportation, you’re subject to longer wait times,” Cox said. Clients may be using already limited resources just to access the pantry and services, she added.

Doris Carrillo, Resource Center’s client services manager, said, “The new food pantry means a friendlier and more centralized location for clients.” She called the Denton Cut Off location “isolated.”

“The new food pantry location offers a one-stop shop for all of our clients’ nutritional and supportive needs.

With the move of the pantry to Reagan-and-Brown, clients won’t have to sacrifice stocking up on groceries over a daily hot meal. Now they can have both, due to convenient access to all programs,” Carrillo added.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 5, 2016.

—  James Russell

DIFFA/Dallas awards funds to Resource Center nutrition programs

Resource Center officials announced Wednesday, Oct. 8, that their agency has received a $22,500 award from the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS/Dallas (DIFFA/Dallas) for the center’s nutrition programs. The money was awarded at an event held Sept. 12 at Roche Bobois.

Resource Center offers nutritional services through its food pantry as well through its hot lunch program.

The pantry, which began in 1985 out of a cardboard box at the intersection of Cedar Springs and Throckmorton, is presently located 5450 Denton Drive Cutoff and serves around 1900 clients every month.

The center began a hot lunch programs for its clients in the early 1990s. It is one of two agencies in Dallas County providing hot meals in a nonresidential setting to those living with HIV/AIDS, making the critical link between nutrition and treatment adherence. More than 100 clients a day eat lunch at the center Monday through Friday.

DIFFA is the oldest and one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the United States. Founded in 1984, DIFFA has mobilized the immense resources of the design communities to provide over $38 million to hundreds of AIDS organizations nationwide.

With events including the House of DIFFA each spring, DIFFA/Dallas has granted nearly $7 million to organizations across North Texas, including Resource Center. March 2015 will mark the 25th anniversary of the House of DIFFA.

—  Tammye Nash

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

Anatole 2

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’


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