Oct. 29, 2021 (Dallas) – The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) recognized top supporters and volunteers at its annual Golden Fork Awards ceremony. This year’s awards were presented to corporations, foundations and individuals that have made a significant impact on hunger-relief efforts in North Texas through their generosity and dedication.
“While we feel this gratitude every single day, we like to pause each year to formally recognize our most passionate hunger fighters and honor the many contributions that are critical in allowing the North Texas Food Bank to serve our neighbors experiencing hunger,” said President and CEO Trisha Cunningham. “As North Texans begin their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, these supporters are helping us provide our community with food for today and hope for tomorrow.”
The following recipients were honored for their contributions at the ceremony on October 28:
Corporation of the Year: Baylor Scott & White Health
Baylor has been a long-time supporter of the North Texas Food Bank through the Baylor Scott & White Foundation and its multiple hospital locations in our service area. Since 2002, the organization has donated more than $340,000 to the Food Bank, translating to more than 1 million meals for our hungry neighbors. The company consistently makes hunger relief a priority through its annual Community Needs Assessment which directs its healthcare priorities each year. In the last year, the company supported the Food Bank in a truly life-saving way, when it provided access to the COVID-19 vaccine for Food Bank employees before most of our staff would have been eligible on their own.
Hunger Ambassador of the Year: Christy Coltrin and Brad Oldham
Christy and Brad are the owners of Brad Oldham International and they approach their craft in the same manner as they do their life – in collaboration. Using their different but complementary skill sets, Christy and Brad work together on each project to tell a story or create an experience. They have brought to life amazing, iconic works of art throughout Dallas Fort Worth, across the United States and the globe. Throughout their history with the food bank, Christy and Brad have been passionate supporters with their time, resources, and of course, their art. In addition to Lulu May’s Mark, which welcomes visitors to the NTFB Perot Family Campus, and Reflections, last holiday season, the pair created the Bright Side Bear, a limited-edition heartfelt bear sculpture that represented connection during the pandemic when many people were feeling isolated and alone. A portion of the proceeds from each sculpture was donated to the Food Bank.
Retail Partner of the Year: Walmart
Walmart has been a valued partner since 2001, donating more than $2.6M since our relationship began. This award recognizes Walmart’s dedication and outstanding support during this last year as we faced unprecedented challenges from the pandemic. The company’s retail donations increased in our last fiscal year by 48 percent from the year prior, donating more than 12.4M pounds of food. On a national level, since 2005, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have contributed more than 4.6 billion pounds in food donations and nearly $130 million in grants to support Feeding America. Locally, the company’s 2021 Fight Hunger. Spark Change. raised more than 1.5 million meals for the North Texas Food Bank.
Exemplary Professional Services of the Year: DLA Piper
DLA Piper is a leading global law firm with lawyers located in more than 40 countries around the world. For more than 30 years, DLA Piper has been active in hunger relief at the local, national and international levels, and it has been involved with the North Texas Food Bank since 2002. The firm regularly holds food drives, contributes funds and activates volunteers to help with food packing and distribution. DLA Piper has provided pro bono General Counsel support to the North Texas Food Bank, in addition to serving other food banks and Feeding America. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, the team at DLA Piper offered to meet with us regularly as we navigated unchartered waters to ensure we were making the safest decisions on all policies and practices related to employees. Over the years, the firm’s pro bono services are valued at over $640,000, but their support is invaluable to NTFB.
Tom Black Volunteer of the Year Award: Texas Woman’s University (TWU) Doswell College of Nursing
TWU graduates more new health care professionals than any other university in Texas, and at no point has this ever been more important than now. The TWU Nursing Program specifically is considered one of the best nursing programs in the nation and a leading provider of high-quality graduates. We witnessed this first-hand at the Food Bank over the last year after Dionne Magner, Assistance Clinical Professor at TWU’s Doswell College of Nursing, reached out to us about available service-learning opportunities. She went on to sign up 5 or 6 of her students to volunteer in the NTFB warehouse here at the Perot Family Campus 3 days per week between September and November 2020. Their caring and empathetic nature really came through during their time at the Food Bank.
Digital Partner of the Year: Alex Snodgrass
Alex is the Dallas-based creator and writer behind the popular lifestyle blog, The Defined Dish, as well as a New York Times bestselling author of a cookbook with the same name. Luckily for NTFB, her passion extends beyond the kitchen and into the community. At the onset of the pandemic, Alex hosted a fundraiser on her Instagram where she posted about the Food Bank’s emergency response efforts and encouraged her local followers to give and personally matched donations. The fundraiser raised more than $13K. She followed this campaign with another Instagram fundraiser for Feeding America to inspire all her followers across the country to donate – it raised $100K. Alex has also supported NTFB initiatives including the 2020 Letter Writing Campaign, where she signed over 40 of her cookbooks to give to our LWC advocates to motivate them for the upcoming campaign. Alex is also serving as our “celebrity chef” for our Harvest event in early 2022.
Campaign of the Decade: Communities Foundation of Texas and North Texas Giving Day
Communities Foundation of Texas is one of the largest community foundations in the nation and has been strengthening Texas communities since 1953. The Foundation’s North Texas Giving Day is an 18-hour online giving event designed to empower every person to give back to their community by supporting local nonprofits and causes they care about in one easy-to-use platform. During NTX Giving Day, everyone can be a philanthropist to build a stronger and more vibrant community. The event has raised over $460M for our community in its 13-year history. The North Texas Food Bank is honored to have been a part of NTX Giving Day since the beginning. Since 2009, NTFB has raised more than $9.9M in critical funds from the campaign, including more than $1.6M in the latest NTX Giving Day in September 2021. This allows the Food Bank to provide access to more than 5M meals.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Moody Foundation
For more than 75 years, the Moody Foundation has funded projects and programs that better communities across the state of Texas. It has awarded more than 4,000 grants to Texas-based nonprofits since its establishment in 1942 and pledged and awarded more than $1.8 billion in grants across the state. Since 2012, the Foundation has provided the North Texas Food Bank annual and capital support totaling $5.6 million. Additionally, the Foundation has invested in the Food Bank’s Feeding Network to build capacity and brought potential partners to the table to strengthen our network. Most recently, the Moody Foundation has supported Texans as we have navigated both the COVID-19 crisis and the devastating winter storms in February. The Foundation committed over $15.8M in COVID-19 relief funds to nonprofits across the state. With the COVID relief grant we received from the Moody Foundation, the Food Bank was able to provide 675,000 nutritious meals to families in North Texas. When the winter storms hit, the Foundation pledged more than $3M in grants to 45 organizations in Texas to help neighbors impacted by the storm and power outages.
2021 Jan Pruitt Legacy Award: NTFB Partner Agency Feeding Network
This award honors NTFB’s late CEO Jan Pruitt, who had a passion for helping her neighbors in need. The award was created in her memory five years ago.
This year, the award was given to the NTFB Partner Agency Feeding Network, a network of more than 200 partner agencies that provide access to food at hundreds of feeding locations across our diverse 13-county service area. Despite the many challenges the network faced in the last year, our partners kept their doors open to the communities they serve with patience, love, and care. With their partnership, we were able to distribute 125 million meals last year – the most ever in our history. NTFB is honored to recognize the network’s relentless dedication to helping their neighbors thrive. Trent Smith, the Director of Operations at one of NTFB’s partners, Christian Community Action and Chairman of the NTFB Partner Agency Council, accepted the award on behalf of the Feeding Network.
This past year, due to the increased need in our community, the North Texas Food Bank also honored several special recognition recipients as an extension of the traditional Golden Fork Awards. The honorees were: Brenda Bogart; Craftsman Floor Contractors; Evan Lee; Lighthouse Resource and Development Center; Mike Myers Foundation; Perot Museum of Nature and Science; Ruibal’s of Dallas; and The Mavericks Foundation.