Rotary Club of Park Cities’ Fourth of July Parade has Raised 1.7+ Million Meals

The annual parade that returns on Thursday, July 4, has been helping close the hunger gap since 2016.

When the Rotary Club of Park Cities’ annual Fourth of July Parade returns this Thursday, it promises to make a big impact on North Texans facing hunger.

Since 2016, the North Texas Food Bank has been the beneficiary of the Rotary Club of Park Cities’ Fourth of July Parade. To date, the club has raised enough money to provide access to 1,717,918 meals for children, families and older adults facing hunger in the NTFB’s 13-county service area.

And already this year, the group has raised over $49,000 through the support of its members and parade sponsors. By capitalizing on the North Texas Food Bank’s matching campaigns, that number has been matched and grown to $170,000, or enough money to provide access to nearly 500,000 meals.

“Addressing hunger within our community has been a strategic priority of the Rotary Club of Park Cities since 2012 when our club held its first strategic planning meeting,” says Executive Committee member Karen K. Farris. “We had consensus around this priority because we felt the need was so great.”

This year’s parade will kick off at 9 a.m. July 4 at Highland Park Town Hall. The parade will include antique cars, firetrucks and first responders, high school groups, community floats and a bike decorating contest. The honorable Joel Williams is serving as Grand Marshal. The parade ends at Centennial Park, formerly Goar Park, where there will be a festival.  

Karen says their service model calls for forming partnerships and working collaboratively with organizations whose goals align with theirs. Rotary Club of Park Cities members know they can only do so much to fight hunger without the support of those who are also working on the issue.

“What we could do on our own to address hunger is limited—what we can do by working with organizations like (the food bank) increases our impact,” she says.

The Rotary Club of Park Cities is the largest rotary club in Dallas and its members share a passion for “service above self.” President Jeff Sheehan says they carry this out in the community by focusing on three strategic priorities: addressing hunger, promoting health and wellness, and leadership development.

North Texas Food Bank President and CEO Trisha Cunningham says the food bank could not do what it does without the support of the community and crucial partners like the Rotary Club of Park Cities.

“The Rotary Club of Park Cities has provided access to over 1.7 million meals over the course of our parade partnership. Thank you for helping us continue to raise the bar and address hunger in our community,” she says. “But we can’t stop there—the need is too great. New data reveals that Texas is now the most food-insecure state in the nation, and your support is vital.”

Admission to the parade and festival are free, but the Rotary Club of Park Cities says donations to the North Texas Food Bank are appreciated. Find out more about the parade here.

Kathleen Petty is communications manager for the North Texas Food Bank.