Minnie’s Food Pantry provides healthy meals, educational resources and red-carpet treatment to communities surrounding Plano, Texas.
“What I like is that we give them hope,” said the late Minnie Hawthorne-Ewing, who was the inspiration for Minnie’s Food Pantry. “It’s more than about food.”
Dr. Cheryl Jackson, Hawthorne-Ewing’s daughter, is the founder and force behind Minnie’s Food Pantry. When her father passed away, she wanted to honor her mother while she was still living and opened the food pantry in April 2008.
“As a child, I watched my mother give away our favorite things—our new clothes, good furniture and even the brand-new box of Captain Crunch we begged her to keep,” said Dr. Jackson. “I didn’t understand it then, but now my mother’s motto, ‘Give your best,’ resonates with me. That’s what we do every day at Minnie’s.”
Dr. Jackson’s team ensures every donated item that comes through the facility meets quality control guidelines, and they treat the families they serve just like their families at home.
There was a time in Dr. Jackson’s life when she and her husband collectively worked five jobs and still couldn’t make ends meet. She visited a governmental facility hoping to get assistance to buy food for her two boys.
“I didn’t qualify, but they handed me a bag containing expired items and a can of beets,” said Dr. Jackson. “I remember the feeling of inferiority, of worthlessness and of needing help and not knowing what to do. I knew I didn’t want anyone to ever feel like that, especially during their time of need.”
Minnie’s Food Pantry provided more than 8.1 million meals during the last decade and is the largest food pantry in Collin County. The team takes pride in serving every person that walks through the door. They value the surrounding communities and forge partnerships with other businesses and agencies, hoping to create even more change.
“We have a passion for our communities and so does Green Mountain Energy,” said Dr. Jackson. “We share the same values when it comes to the idea of being healthy, whether it be a healthy environment full of green or healthy meals to fuel bright minds.”
Minnie’s Food Pantry has been a part of the Green Mountain customer community since 2012.
“We feel a responsibility to take the best care of our communities. It was a no-brainer that for an affordable rate, we could utilize clean energy to help save and improve our community,” said Dr. Jackson. “Clean energy helps reduce climate change and provides cleaner air.”
As Minnie’s Food Pantry grows, Dr. Jackson will continue utilizing clean electricity from Green Mountain with the hopes of tapping into solar power.
“We would love to go even more green once we purchase our own facility and warehouse,” Dr. Jackson said. “We’d like to power our facilities with solar energy and make an even bigger positive impact on the planet.”
During the month of August, Green Mountain sponsored Camille’s Kids, which distributes goodie bags to children visiting the food pantry. The bag, filled with nutritious snacks, helps satisfy and occupy kiddos while their parents are planning and collecting what they’ll need. In one month, more than 1,000 bags can be distributed.
Camille’s Kids also provides free lunch to children under the age of 18 during the summer months. This ensures that hunger doesn’t begin once the school year ends.
This November, Green Mountain will also support Minnie’s during the Thanksgiving Giveaway. More than 13,000 individuals will receive a complete Thanksgiving meal.
“Thanks to Green Mountain’s sponsorship of our programs, we’re continuing the fight against hunger and ensuring that families in need do not go without life’s most basic necessity,” said Dr. Jackson.
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