Since 1985, Network of Community Ministries has worked to embody our mission of caring for, coaching, and empowering our neighbors in need. One of the most basic ways we do this is by distributing food. For 37 years, our food pantry has been a source of relief for our neighbors. Through that time, it has constantly evolved to meet the needs of the community and provide a dignified experience. We want to recognize the growth of this program and the role that our partners play, and for this reason, we have renamed our food pantry to Network’s Community Market!
Network’s food distribution is based on a self-select model, meaning our neighbors can come into our store, pick out what they need, and purchase it using “Network bucks”. This initiative stems from Network’s desire to serve our neighbors with dignity, respect, and compassion. While we switched to box distributions during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we reopened in-store shopping in our new home last fall, and it has been a wonderful experience for our staff and neighbors. This method respects the visitors’ right to choose and eliminates food waste by allowing neighbors to select what they want instead of being given food that may not meet their needs. The self-select method sets Network apart from a traditional food pantry, and our new name —Network’s Community Market— recognizes this uniqueness.
In September, Network officially moved into our new home at 1500 International Parkway. This facility is much larger than our old space, and it allows us to distribute food more efficiently. With this additional space, we can move more food into the hands of neighbors in need and serve more families at any given time. Our expansion also allows us to employ more efficiently the self-select model and allows multiple families to shop simultaneously. As a result, our new space is not just a food pantry anymore – it has become more like a neighborhood grocery store. For this reason, Network’s Community Market better describes this program.
Network’s mission would be impossible to fulfill without the help of our community. We receive assistance from partners including North Texas Food Bank, Richardson ISD, and other local organizations who share our commitment to our community. We also have volunteers who show up every day and donate their time to help us feed our neighbors in need. We could not serve our neighbors as well as we do without the help of our partners, and we want to recognize their role in this mission. At Network, we celebrate collaboration, and our new name, Network’s Community Market, demonstrates that we are by and for the community.
We are so excited to recognize the expansion of our food distribution program. We hope that this new name resonates with our neighbors and invites future collaboration with our community as we work together to ensure that our neighbors in need have access to these vital resources. If you’d like to get involved, visit the Wish List