Catholic Charities Dallas opens new food pantry in North Dallas with North Texas Food Bank

Catholic Charities dallas, in partnership with North Texas Food Bank, opened a new client-choice food pantry in North Dallas on Thursday.

The pantry is inside St. Jude Center-Park Central, a former hotel converted into housing for unhoused people that opened in 2021. The property is owned by Catholic Housing Initiative and run by Catholic Charities Dallas.

The pantry will serve St. Jude residents and people experiencing food insecurity in nearby communities. It is expected to distribute about 1.2 million pounds of food a year, according to Catholic Charities Dallas.

At the grand opening Thursday, Anne Readhimer, vice president of community impact at the North Texas Food Bank, spoke to the importance of the pantry. “Dallas County has the sixth highest rate of food insecurity in the nation and the fourth highest child food insecurity rate,” she said. “We’re going to be able to make sure that we have more food access to all of those neighbors.”

(From left) Dallas Bishop Edward J. Burns, Sister Mary Anne Owens, Dave Woodyard, Catholic Charities Dallas CEO, Anne Readhimer, vice president of community impact at the North Texas Food Bank, Dallas County Judge Clay Lewis Jenkins and City Council member Jaynie Schultz celebrate after cutting the ribbon during the grand opening of Catholic Charities Dallas and North Texas Food Bank’s new food pantry at St. Jude Center-Park Central on Thursday, March 7, 2024, in Dallas. (Juan Figueroa / Staff Photographer)

Dallas County Judge Clay Lewis Jenkins praised Catholic Charities at the event. “I can’t think of any partner with the county that does a better job than Catholic Charities,” he said.

Edward Burns, bishop of the Dallas Diocese, blessed the pantry in a prayer. “I was homeless, he gave me shelter. I was a stranger, and you welcomed me,” he said, referencing Matthew 25:35.

“Heavenly Father, we are prompted and compelled to help those in need, and we do that out of love, for we know that in serving them, we serve you,” he added.

In an interview with The Dallas Morning News after the ceremony, Woodyard explained how the pantry was the final step in a three-part renovation project at the St. Jude Center. Plans included converting the hotel’s ballroom into a community-building space, the restaurant into a coworking space and the kitchen into a food pantry.

Related:Catholic Charities to open new homeless center at LBJ Freeway and Central Expressway

Joy Ashford covers faith and religion in North Texas for The Dallas Morning News through a partnership with Report for America.


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