Model & Strategy

Feeding Texas, a state association of food banks partnered with hunger relief organization, Feeding America, has incubated a game-changing solution to put more high-quality produce into food banks – and onto the plates of their beneficiaries. The organization has piloted a regional produce Co-Op which works directly with growers to source high-quality, fresh produce that would otherwise be rejected by retailers. The Co-Op obtains produce at a low cost, sells it at a low margin to member food banks, and manages the logistics, “breaking bulk” into shipments that are the right size and mix for each individual community.

Feeding Texas logo
At a Glance
Founded: 2016
Food & Agriculture
Location of work: Domestic, Southwest
Feeding Texas Produce Co-Op
1524 South IH-35
Ste. 342
Austin, TX 78704
Feeding, leading, strengthening until hunger is behind us.
Simon Powell headshot
Meet Simon Powell

Simon Powell is the Chief Operating Officer for the North Texas Food Bank.  A successful supply chain and operations executive, Simon has developed execution and strategic planning expertise through his prior experience with Fortune 100 companies. In his role as COO, Simon manages all operations and information technology functions – and provides vision, leadership, and management to ensure that the Food Bank has in place the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and systems.

Prior to coming to the North Texas Food Bank, Simon was at Hewlett-Packard where he managed the end-to-end replacement parts supply chain for North and South America. Before H-P, Simon was Director of Logistics for Samsung Telecommunications America, where he oversaw transportation, materials management and warehousing for all telecommunications products within the United States. Simon was born in the United Kingdom and immigrated to the United States in 1995. He holds an MBA as well as a Masters in Theology from the University of Dallas. Simon is active in his church community and lives with his wife Angela and three children in Plano.

IMPACT

Feeding Texas incubated the first regional Co-Op in the southern Texas town of Pharr, near the US-Mexico border, over the last year. In that time, the Co-Op shipped close to 55M pounds of produce through its facility, increasing member food banks’ variety of produce from 8 varieties to 17, in 18 food banks (with another 19 coming online next year), at an all-in cost below their initial target of 15 cents per pound. By 2022, the Co-op hopes to ship more than 200MM pounds of produce across more than 10 states.

 

The Texas pilot is the beginning of what will ultimately be a South US/Mexico region, a crucial entry point for the ~70% of its vegetables and ~40% of fruits that the US sources from Mexico.

At scale, the team envisions a national organization with 5 regional hubs, each with a regional office that oversees logistics and maintains relationships with area food banks; mixing centers that “break bulk” and mix produce, in a prime growing regions such as Texas/Mexico or California’s Central Valley; and a sourcing office that manages grower relationships.

  • RT @HoustonFoodBank: How many people can you feed with a dollar? Probably not that many. But together, we can! Your dollar with the Houston…
  • RT @NtfbVoice: Thank you @DallasVSPoverty for today's event talking @86thLegislature. @ntfb was proud to share our Texas united senior hung…
  • RT @Johnson4Dallas: Thank you @NTFB for visiting the Capitol today to discuss the work you are doing in #Dallas and the North Texas region…
  • RT @HoustonFoodBank: Our Govt Relations Officer, Melanie Pang, is at @FeedingTexas advocating for more produce for our communities, more ac…
  • RT @NtfbVoice: We left our cowboy hats at home but we brought Texas spirit in spades. @ntfb was proud to join @SaFoodBank @HoustonFoodBank
  • RT @NtfbVoice: The view outside might be a little bleary, but behind those doors was a lot of optimism. We are counting on elected official…
  • RT @NtfbVoice: Today is Advocacy Day for @FeedingTexas member food banks. The @ntfb is proud to have a delegation of advocates fighting to…
  • RT @NtfbVoice: TX Food Banks ➡️ @TXSTATECAPITOL tmrw to talk fresh produce & senior hunger. Many will be receiving letters from our friends…
  • RT @FeedingAmerica: When the government shut down, food banks and pantries across the country worked hard to help anyone who came through t…
  • RT @NtfbVoice: February 19th Texas anti-hunger advocates head to @TXSTATECAPITOL to support the health of our communities! Follow along her…
  • RT @NtfbVoice: Dates aren't clear for TX yet...stay tuned @FeedingTexas @TexasDeptofAg @ntfb https://t.co/FBWgh0C4iL
  • “You can’t learn on an empty stomach. When you’re thinking about luring kids in, you’ve got to provide them with s… https://t.co/q7VErx0EJW
  • RT @safoodbank: The @safoodbank takes pride in #fightinghunger, #feedinghope in our 16 county service area. We offer a variety of programs…
  • Millions of households who got their February #SNAP benefits early because of the partial government shutdown now… https://t.co/TqTEQUY61r
  • RT @UnitedWayBV: Do you know ALICE? ALICE is anyone that earns more than the federal poverty level but less than the basic cost of living i…
  • RT @FeedingAmerica: Six years of service made Jim a veteran, but his lung cancer made him have to ask for help. This is hunger in America.…
  • RT @fractweets: ➡️ It's time to take action: "On Friday, the Trump administration officially released a proposed rule that would put 755,00…