Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program Participants Learn About Service at NTFB

The June 14 Community Service Day was sponsored by NTT Data

Plano ISD students participating in the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program had the chance to give back to their neighbors during a Community Service Day at the North Texas Food Bank on June 14.

Alongside employees from NTT Data, which sponsored the event, students spent the morning at the NTFB Perot Family Campus packing boxes for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which serves seniors, as well as the Food 4 Kids program, which provides chronically hungry children with bags full of food to take home each Friday afternoon.

NTFB President and CEO Trisha Cunningham told the teens that they’re never too young to make an impact and that it’s likely the food they packed will support neighbors in their own community. While Dallas County makes up the largest percentage of food insecure people in the NTFB’s 13-county service area, Collin County comes in second, accounting for 17% of the nearly 778,000 people who face hunger in North Texas.

“Know that you are helping your neighbors,” she said, adding that Texas now leads the nation in hunger and that people who are food insecure live in every zip code. “There are likely students at your school who are getting help from one of our 500 partners.”

Plano Mayor John Muns reiterated Trisha’s sentiments and thanked each of the students for participating. He said the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program is now in its 11th year and that like the classes before them, this summer’s group is an impressive one.

“A life with service is so much more rewarding than a life without it,” he said.

Along with participating in the Community Service Day, interns spend eight weeks working for a company, nonprofit or City of Plano department. One of the program’s interns, Reyah Makkar, is spending her summer on staff at the NTFB.

Alex Steele, senior marketing analyst for NTT Data, which has long partnered with the internship program and the NTFB, said it’s important to NTT Data to impact its community. She encouraged interns to continue looking for ways to serve, whether in college or their future careers.

“Ask yourself, ‘What need is there in my community and how can I be the one to go fill it?’” she said.