Fairgoers can receive discounted admission on opening day and each Wednesday of the fair with a food donation. Here, we take you behind the scenes of the drive with our volunteer team.
For the North Texas Food Bank, the State Fair of Texas is about much more than fried foods and exhilarating rides—it’s about coming together as a community to support neighbors facing hunger.
“The State Fair of Texas team has proudly partnered with the North Texas Food Bank since 2010 to help collect more than 3.3 million pounds of canned food items through the Feed the Need food drive,” said Jennifer Schuder, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the State Fair of Texas. “Together last year we collected approximately 280,000 pounds of canned items, which equates to more than 230,000 meals. It continues to be an honor to provide the community an opportunity to help our neighbors in need while also providing a cost-effective entrance to all the fun you will find at the State Fair of Texas.”
This year, fairgoers can again receive discounted admission by supporting their neighbors with donations. Guests who bring two 16-ounce jars of peanut butter on opening day (Sept. 29), will receive a $10 admission voucher at the gate. Each Wednesday of the fair (Oct. 4, 11 and 18), guests can bring five full-sized canned food items and receive a $5 admission voucher.
At the NTFB, planning for this major event starts months in advance, spearheaded by Community Engagement Manager Haley LaCoume, who said she “absolutely loves the State Fair.” The complex logistics require close collaboration with the food bank’s transportation team, partner agencies and an army of volunteers.
“It’s difficult, but achievable,” said LaCoume, explaining the challenge of moving trucks through the fair crowds to pick up food donations that will go back to NTFB or one of its partner agencies. “Our trucks are always allowed inside the fair, and it’s a constant loop around the seven gates.”
Collecting food at each gate requires volunteers throughout opening day and each Wednesday, said Cassie Collins, NTFB’s Director of Community Engagement. Volunteers receive a free fair ticket for use on a later date, a parking pass and a Big Tex T-shirt.
Volunteers are still needed, particularly during the evening shifts, Collins said. To register, visit ntfb.org/statefair.
Thanks to the help of volunteers, the generosity of fairgoers and the support of the State Fair of Texas and Kroger, the annual event at Fair Park has helped to provide over 3 million meals through the years. Those meals help nourish the more than 638,000 individuals facing food insecurity in North Texas, including one in six children who do not always know where they will find their next healthy meal.
“The ‘Feed the Need’ effort is the North Texas Food Bank’s largest canned food drive event, bringing in food at a critical time, and we are grateful to the partners at the State Fair of Texas and Kroger for helping us in our mission to close the hunger gap in North Texas,” said Trisha Cunningham, President and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank.
OPENING DAY – FRIDAY, SEPT. 29
Attendees can each bring two (2) 16-ounce plastic jars of peanut butter to donate to the North Texas Food Bank to receive a $10 admission voucher at the gate. These peanut butter donations are part of NTFB’s annual Peanut Butter Drive.
“FEED THE NEED” EVERY WEDNESDAY OF THE FAIR – OCT. 4, 11 AND 18
Attendees can each bring five (5) full-size canned food items to donate to the North Texas Food Bank to receive a $5 admission voucher at the gate.
VOLUNTEER FOR NTFB AT THE STATE FAIR
Volunteers are needed for each of these opportunities- please visit www.ntfb.org/statefair to sign up! Volunteers will receive a special Big Tex shirt and the opportunity to obtain a State Fair voucher which they can use to attend the fair at a later date.