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State Fair of Texas vendors donate food to local food shelves and pantries

By LE “Lilly” Brown

It was the morning after more than 2.2 million attendees exited the State Fair of Texas’ grounds, closing out the 2021 season; but Big Tex was still standing tall for a noble cause, feeding the less fortunate.

Big Tex shows off the lastest Texas Metro News
Big Tex shows off the lastest Texas Metro News

As has been the tradition since 2015, the State Fair Cares Initiative involves vendors collaborating with Fair Park administrators, local churches, food shelters and pantries to redistribute unused and leftover produce and non-perishables.

“This is my second year at the kickoff and it has been amazing,” said Rev. Ronald Wright, of God’s Community Church of Joy. “People are really going to benefit from what is going on here. Since we have a food bank, we have had some of the items seen today donated to us before, but the stuff we get today will be awesome.”

State Fair of Texas volunteers help load a fleet of fresh strawberries
State Fair of Texas volunteers help load a fleet of fresh strawberries onto an 18-wheel- er for community redistribution efforts

According to Rev. Wright, the donation “will help many people who are struggling or just anyone who needs help with food or basic needs.”

Food items such as milk, flour, bread and canned goods were donated en masse, but non-traditional items like Oreo Cookies, RAGU Pasta Sauce and Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup were also donated by vendors looking to redis- tribute their excess inventory.

To the naked eye, there appeared to be endless boxes of fruits and vegetables.

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When asked about the undistributed left-overs, Karissa Condoianis, Senior Vice President of Public Relations, said, “As we gather this food right now from our concessionaires, the food will go directly into the South Dallas/ Fair Park community to feed people in need.”

Big Tex shows off the lastest Texas Metro News publication
Big Tex shows off the lastest Texas Metro News publication while lending a helping hand to volunteers loading a truck delivering food to the surrounding community

Just the thought of the good coming out of the benevolence of vendors who many last year suffered tremendous losses due to the cancellation of the Fair because of COVID-19 is heartwarming.

“The food that everyone is seeing packaged today may be feeding a family nearby tonight, and that is an incredible feeling for our vendors and the State Fair of Texas; knowing that we can have an immediate impact on this community to further help people in need,” continued Ms. Condoianis. “In addition to that, we have already started planning for our 2022 fair exhibition starting September 30, 2022. We cannot wait to be back and hopefully put this pandemic behind us, helping everyone get to a better place.”

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