Tarrant Area Food Bank recognizes that creativity, diligence and flexibility are needed to combat hunger in our communities. Thus, we work to establish “Hunger Free Zones” as a means to ensure no one has to go hungry in Tarrant County and the 12 surrounding counties in the greater Fort Worth region.
A Hunger Free Zone exists when everyone in the identified area can readily access timely, adequate, and appropriate assistance sufficient to meet their needs.
Each zone may vary in size largely determined by the urban/rural mix in any given area. For example, Cooke County has been identified as a zone, while the City of Fort Worth consists of a number of zones.
Various tools are used to increase the accessibility of food, for example:
- Facilitating the flow of information within the community,
- Organizational assessment and capacity building of hunger-relief programs,
- Identifying opportunities for collaboration or alliance among food aid agencies, and
- Providing aid agencies with information or training about advocacy, fund raising, public relations and co-branding.
National nutrition programs, such as SNAP (formerly Food Stamps), play such a large role in food assistance that Tarrant Area Food Bank has specialized staff who can provide assistance with applications for these programs.
In addition, gaps in service between Tarrant Area Food Bank and its partner hunger-relief agencies in a potential Hunger Free Zone are identified and various solutions are explored to identify ways of closing these gaps.
Solutions have included:
- Creating Satellite Drop Sites for the distribution of food to centrally located agencies or sites.
- Setting up Mobile Pantries to provide access to more fresh and frozen foods directly to people in need.
- When opportunities arise, linking rural agencies with grocery partners of Tarrant Area Food Bank.