Fort Worth Regional Office

Fort WorthPhoto by Brian Luenser About the Fort Worth Office
The Texas Hunger Initiative's Fort Worth Regional Office exists to empower Fort Worth area residents to gain equal access to healthy food.

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Contact Our Staff

Dawnetta Smith

Regional Director, CPRI Specialist

Marty Otero

Child Hunger Outreach Specialist

Jeremy Thornburgh

Community Partner Recruitment Coordinator
AmeriCorps VISTA

Stephanie Dorsey

Community Partner Recruitment Coordinator
AmeriCorps VISTA

Table of Contents

1 ...........................................
Tarrant County Food Policy Council
2 ...........................................
Community Partner Recruitment Initiative
3 ...........................................
Child Hunger Outreach | No Kid Hungry Campaign

Tarrant County Food Policy Council

The Tarrant County Food Policy Council’s (TCFPC) vision is for all individuals living in Tarrant County to have equitable access to healthy food.

The council is working to achieve this by building collaboration among all aspects of our community food system, bringing together the people, organizations and government and business leaders who can help create solutions to ensure equitable access to sufficient, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods for all members of our community and to advocate for local food policies that support this goal.

Strengthening our local food system will result in better food quality, improved health, and more economic opportunity for all County citizens. It can also lead to reduced waste and contribute to improved sustainability.


  • Research the existing food system in Tarrant County, with emphasis on food deserts areas.
  • Develop a strategic plan to address food access and hunger issues in Tarrant County.
  • Cultivate partnerships between various private and public sectors of the food system to help find pragmatic solutions.
  • Provide information and advice about various policies and programs that support community-based food systems.
  • Advocate for local policies that strengthen community food security.
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    Community Partner Recruitment Initiative (CPRI)

    CPRI is an initiative of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) that assists community-based organizations in helping people apply for and manage their public benefits online via the HHSC web portal:

    Hundreds of thousands of people across Texas are eligible for SNAP and other public benefits, but are not receiving them. Billions of dollars in available resources go unused.

    In the Fort Worth region alone, millions of dollars in available resources to combat hunger and poverty are squandered because many families are not accessing these benefit programs.

    Contact Texas Hunger Initiative’s Fort Worth-area CPRI Coordinator to learn how your organization can become a Community Partner to ensure that your clients or congregation members get signed up for all the benefit programs they are eligible for:

    Jeremy Thornburgh

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    Child Hunger Outreach/No Kid Hungry Campaign

    No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in five children struggles with hunger. We’re working to end childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. And we need your help to accomplish this in the Forth Worth area!

    Here’s how we do it:

    School Breakfast

    Research demonstrates the importance of providing breakfast to children and youth. Children who eat a good breakfast tend to:

  • perform better in school;
  • have a better attendance record;
  • exhibit fewer behavioral problems;
  • develop healthy eating habits;
  • visit the school nurse less frequently; and
  • are less likely to be obese.

  • Despite the benefits of breakfast, there are a variety of reasons that many families cannot provide a healthy breakfast for their kids every morning. The Texas Hunger Initiative (THI), Share Our Strength’s lead partner for the Texas No Kid Hungry campaign works to help schools and school districts implement universal alternative breakfast programs. THI works in partnership with the USDA and Dairy MAX to reach out to superintendents and school nutrition directors in large school districts across the state and discuss the importance of the federal School Breakfast Program and innovative delivery models, such as Breakfast in the Classroom.

    Summer Meals

    For families who count on school breakfast and lunch, the summer months can be stressful and family food budgets have to be stretched even further.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers free Summer Meals to kids across the Forth Worth Region similar to School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, except meals are free to all kids that come to a registered Summer Meals site.

    These Summer Meals Programs can help families save money and stretch their already tight summer food budgets. Many Summer Meals sites, which are registered with the USDA, offer fun learning and recreational activities so kids and teens can eat a healthy meal while staying active and hanging out with friends.

    Families in all of North Texas can find free Summer Meals sites during the summer time by going to, calling 211, or texting FOODTX to 877-877.

    To learn more about Summer Meals and the Summer Meals Sponsor Council, contact Marty Otero with the Texas Hunger Initiative – Fort Worth Regional Office at

    Afterschool Meals

    Afterschool programs help to keep young people safe, help working families and inspire learning. These programs are also critical in providing many children with healthy, nutritious meals after school.

    For many of these children, the meal or snack they receive at their afterschool program is the last food they will have until a school breakfast the next morning.

    The federal Afterschool Meals Program funds afterschool meals and snacks year-round.

    THI is working to expand participation to ensure that all children have access to afterschool meals.

    If you know of an afterschool program that might be interested in providing federally-funded, free meals as part of their program, learn more by contacting Marty Otero, THI Child Hunger Outreach Specialist. Local government agencies, faith-based groups and private nonprofits are eligible.

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