Fighting Childhood Hunger with the North Texas Food Bank

North Texas Childhood Hunger

Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel is uniting with law firms across North Texas to combat childhood hunger and food insecurity.

During April, the firm’s attorneys and staff are taking part in the North Texas Food Bank’s (NTFB) Food From The Bar challenge to collect funds and non-perishable food items. Last year, the drive raised $132,300, equal to 396,900 nutritious meals to neighbors facing hunger. This year, NTFB’s collective goal is to raise at least $175,000, in addition to exceeding the amount of food collected and volunteer time logged.

This is the firm’s third year to take part in the Food From The Bar (FFTB) challenge (previously known as Partners 4 Hope). The North Texas Food Bank describes the initiative as a “friendly competition” among law firms to spread awareness about food insecurity challenges that face children.

“The lawyers and staff at Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel view the practice of law as a fundamental public service,” said Caitlyn Silhan, a firm partner and Food From The Bar co-leader. “This firm has a longstanding commitment to community welfare, both in Dallas and across the nation. We demonstrate that commitment through initiatives like Food From The Bar , as well as pro bono legal efforts.”

By the time last year’s campaign concluded, the Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel team exceeded its internal goal and raised a total of $19,080, enough to provide 57,240 nutritious meals to families in need over the summer. The firm earned two special awards and was named a “Diamond Partner” based on its volunteer work during the 2023 campaign. The firm earned the “Collective Force Award,” based on the sheer number of volunteer hours marshaled by the firm, and the “#RaiseTheBar Award” for its innovative social media campaign.

Contributions raised during the Food From The Bar challenge help the NTFB provide essential meals and nutrition to school-age children, especially during the summer months when school meal programs are unavailable. Every dollar donated provides access to three nutritious meals to a hungry family. Online contributions to the team’s efforts can be made here.

“For children who rely heavily on meals provided by their schools, summer could mean going hungry if not for the North Texas Food Bank,” said WKPS human resources manager Allison Minter. “I’ve been a fan of the North Texas Food Bank for years, and it is an honor and a pleasure to get to join my coworkers in an effort to lessen summer hunger for local children.”

The North Texas Food Bank plays a crucial role in addressing hunger, especially for households ineligible for federal nutrition programs. The region has experienced a resurgence of food insecurity since the pandemic, underscoring the ongoing importance of organizations like the North Texas Food Bank.

Food insecurity by the numbers:

  • Roughly 34 million people — including nine million children — do not have enough food on a daily basis, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Hunger affects one in eight North Texans today.
  • Among Texas children, one in five don’t know where their next meal will come from, according to the Feeding Texas nonprofit.
  • According to the Feeding America nonprofit, 69 percent of people who are food insecure must make difficult choices between food and priorities like transportation costs, medical care and education.
  • The estimated nine million children in the U.S. who don’t have reliable access to food face greater physical and mental health risks, including delayed development, chronic illness like asthma and anemia, and behavioral problems like anxiety, hyperactivity and aggression.
  • Research by Trinity University has found links between food insecurity and eating disorders in young people.

“We stand behind the North Texas Food Bank and the many lawyers and law firms tackling hunger with the Food From The Bar challenge,” said WKPS partner and 2024 Food From The Bar co-leader Chris Johnson. “Our actions today will directly benefit children at risk of hunger during the summer months.”

Learn more about childhood hunger in North Texas at map.feedingamerica.org and ntfb.org/childprograms.

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