The Community Food Bank touches so many lives and feeds so many kids, adults, and families. We’re just proud to be a part of what they do.
Pete Geren, president of the Sid Richardson Foundation, led his staff in two days of volunteer work at the Community Food Bank on February 28 and March 1, 2018. The group assembled care packages including items such as toothbrushes, bath soap, laundry detergent, and deodorant. For Shanda Ranelle, the foundation’s business manager, the volunteer experience gave her a better feel for the needs of people who are struggling in our city: “It just makes you really grateful to see what people need so badly. You don’t think about it until you are doing something like this.”
Mr. Geren commented on the relationship between the 60-year old foundation and the food bank: “The Sid Richardson Foundation has had a long relationship with the Community Food Bank but always in a donor capacity. We provide funding and have been a partner for several years in feeding people in our community. Today is the first time we have had volunteers, but we have loved the mission of Community Food Bank. It is just extraordinary what Rudy and Regena have built here with their whole team. They have made a huge impact on the hunger challenge we have in our community.” Ms. Ranelle added, “We give about 20 million dollars in grants out to the community every year, so we decided when we wanted to go and start volunteering that it would be really good to see some of the places that we actually financially contribute to, so this was one of the first ones we thought of.”
Mr. Geren also praised Fort Worth Mayor, Betsy Price, for inspiring the foundation’s staff to volunteer at the Community Food Bank. “As you know, Mayor Price has started a Blue Zones initiative all across the community. In addition to healthy living, exercise, and nutrition she has also encouraged all of those who are part of the Blue Zones movement to get involved and give back to the community. I really credit Mayor Price and the Blue Zones project for incentivizing us and encouraging us to reach out as individual volunteers.”
Lanie Duke, an administrative assistant at the foundation, shared that she and a coworker began taking steps last year toward having the Sid Richardson Foundation approved by the Blue Zones Project. This required the foundation to earn “points” through adopting and continuing existing best practices. One of these practices was to create a formal system of volunteering for their employees. The foundation will now volunteer four times a year to help social support organizations in Fort Worth. “The whole Blue Zones thing has been huge for us,” Ms. Duke stated. “I think it has moved us in a positive direction and had a really great impact on the office culture. I think we have a deeper sense of camaraderie among us. The Blue Zones Project is also about a holistic approach to health and wellness, so it supports us eating together and walking together. There are just things like that this that have really brought us together in unique ways, so it has been a really positive experience.”
Although the Sid Richardson Foundation supports efforts throughout Texas, it limits is social services to Tarrant County. Mr. Geren shared, “Sid Richardson was an extraordinary man who was born without any means and became immensely wealthy. He never married and had no family, so he left his fortune to create this foundation to help the people of Texas by giving money to social services, healthcare services, performing arts organizations, and public education.”
We are grateful to this wonderful foundation for both their financial support and volunteer efforts.