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 @fractweets: You did it! FRAC would like to thank you all for your efforts to protect SNAP in the #FarmBill. From meeting with your Memb…
  • RT @NtfbVoice: What does it mean for small farmers? 2018 Farm Bill Drilldown: Local/Regional Food and Rural Development https://t.co/xWzuKI…
  • RT @agripulse: House clears 2018 farm bill for Trump signature https://t.co/pQ4gnt4u0G
  • RT @fractweets: Update: The #FarmBill has cleared the House 369-47!
  • RT @CTXFoodBank: Are you interested in a career in the food service industry? The Culinary Training Program at The Central Texas Food Bank…
  • RT @NtfbVoice: The Senate just passed an $867 billion farm bill. Here’s what’s in it. - The Washington Post https://t.co/Z7nQ9plURG
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  • RT @CenterOnBudget: We just released a statement from @GreensteinCBPP on the final #FarmBill: "We applaud the congressional leaders who fou…
  • The House and Senate Agriculture committees rejected sweeping changes to #SNAP in the #FarmBill, clearing a path fo… https://t.co/OfTNMY8zyG
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  • RT @TX_CNCS: /@FeedingTexas VISTA Bridget C. is assembling educational data to summarize facts about food insecurity across Texas and educa…
  • RT @HoustonFoodBank: Today is your last chance to say NO to the proposed changes to #PublicCharge! No one should have to choose between fam…
  • RT @fractweets: A fed student is a healthy, high-performing student: "A report commissioned by @HungerFreeVT shows that universal meals in…
  • RT @CTXFoodBank: Are you interested in a career in the food service industry? The Culinary Training Program at The Central Texas Food Bank…
  • RT @GetAtSoto: More than 10M older residents are at risk of hunger, which is why I am proud @AARP donated 5K to @HoustonFoodBank @abc13 #SY…
  • RT @HoustonFoodBank: Colleges are places for investing in students. The proposed #PublicCharge rule threatens that investment by making som…
  • RT @CanstructionHTX: The totals are in 🤩! Here are this years total tonnage of cans donated to the @HoustonFoodBank 🥫🥫🥫! 53,857 Structures,…
  • RT @OakSpringsMed: Whew, what a feat! Our dolphins worked extra hard during the month of November to collect food for @CTXFoodBank. We were…
  • "Data reveal that residents of rural communities depend on #SNAP as much as, and potentially more than, their urban… https://t.co/XG0sYMT53h
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