For the first year, Green Source DFW's parent nonprofit, the Memnosyne Insitute, is participating in North Texas Giving Day. Above, Food Source DFW, GSDFW's sister nonprofit, redistributes surplus food to people in need last month during the Covid-19 crisis. Photo courtesy of Isabell Rossignol.

Sept. 15, 2020

If you’re thinking about donating to your favorite local green causes, North Texas Giving Day on Thursday, Sept. 17 is a great day to do it. 

This is the 12th year for the online event, which encourages donations to charities in 20 North Texas counties - including dozens of environmental and animal welfare groups.

Donations are amplified with cash and in-kind prizes awarded to nonprofits throughout the day.

For the first year, Green Source DFW’s Dallas-based parent organization - the Memnosyne Institute - is participating in the event.

Donations to the nonprofit will go to support Green Source DFW's sister program Food Source DFW. (Read more about FSDFW below.)

The minimum donation is $1. Every donation is eligible for bonus funds and prizes, distributed by Communities Foundation of Texas, which governs North Texas Giving Day. 

This year, 3,300 nonprofits are participating and will be eligible for bonuses.   

Nonprofits preregister in the summer and must meet guidelines including a link to their GuideStar profile.  

In addition to the Memnosyne Institute, a few of the participating environmental nonprofits include Texas Campaign for the Environment, Dallas Sierra Club, Greater Fort Worth Sierra Club, Friends of Fort Worth Nature Center, the Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and DFW Wildlife Coalition.

Last year, 50 million was raised for more 100,000 donors.

Scheduled giving is now open. The actual Giving Day, Sept. 17, 2020, runs from 6 a.m. to midnight.

FOOD RECYCLER

If you give to the Memnosyne Institute on Giving Day, you'll be helping Green Source DFW's sister organization, Food Source DFW, a local “food recycler.”

Food Source DFW was founded by Todd Collier, the director of the Center for Interfaith Initiatives for the Memnosyne Institute.

The program was launched in 2013 to bridge the gap between donors who have food to donate and those in need.

Todd Collier, director of FoodSourceDFWTodd Collier oversees a pickup and delivery. Courtesy of FoodSourceDFW.

Collier said he started out hauling 8-foot-high stacks of pallettes balanced on a trailer pulled by his compact car. Today, he hires drivers to haul semi loads of food and beverages that otherwise would end up in the landfill and deliver it to partner hubs. 

It’s food recycling.

According to the EPA, over 30 percent of food is wasted in the United States and ends up in the landfill before it’s consumed.

“It’s a time issue,” said Collier. “People want to feed people in their communities. But it takes time to find donors who can handle the food and it takes a great deal of time for nonprofits to hunt for food. And even if you find, it can be very labor intensive to move it.”

Since, its inception, Food Source DFW has redistributed 15 million pounds of food worth 28 million dollars.

The Memnosyne Institute absorbs all costs and does not charge donors or donees for the service, like some local food banks do.

Current major donors include Quaker Oats, Pepsi-Co, Frito-Lay and Breeden Lettuce Farms. 

These companies produce massive quantities of products, overproducing some items. The excess takes up valuable warehouse space. To remove it, they have to pay a trucker to haul it off and a landfill to take it.

Food Source DFWSurplus products going to needy families. Courtesy of FoodSourceDFW.

That’s where Food Source DFW comes in, connecting donors to those in need, through a "hub and spoke" system. 

Partner hubs include Inspired Vision Compassion Center in Dallas, the Community Food Bank in Fort Worth as well as the Rick Caywood Ministries in Waco. 

They in turn distribute the food to underserved food pantries, schools and families.

Since COVID-19 pandemic started, Food Source has moved over 2 million pounds. Last month, they moved over 30 truck loads, of food and beverages from Quaker Oats to Food Source's nonprofit partners.

“Honestly, it’s more about faith and willpower,” said Collier. “Whenever someone calls wanting to know if we can take a donation. I say ‘yes.’ Then I hang up the phone and start making calls to find a way to make it happen.”

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