Oric Walker and Gillea Allison
The Leadership Dallas Class of 2020 chose poverty fighting organization CitySquare as the beneficiary of its 2020 class project. Founded in 1975 by the Dallas Regional Chamber, Leadership Dallas annually brings together a diverse group of individuals based on proven leadership potential within their organizations and in the community to help create positive change.
CitySquare requested a total renovation of the Food Pantry located at the CitySquare Opportunity Center with a goal of creating a welcoming space and increased capacity to serve its South Dallas/Fair Park neighbors. The COVID19 pandemic made the request even more urgent and timely.
On Thursday, October 29th, a small group of stakeholders gathered at the CitySquare Opportunity Center to celebrate the completion of the CitySquare Food Pantry renovation with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Gillea Allison, President of D Magazine Partners and member of the 2020 Leadership Dallas class, was emcee for the afternoon. Oric Walker, Atmos Energy vice president of public affairs and Leadership Dallas Class 2020 member, spoke on behalf of Atmos Energy, presenting sponsor of the project. Guests at the socially distanced event also heard from Dale Petroskey, President and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber, and John Siburt, CitySquare President and COO.
“Hunger affects children in every community we serve, and over the past six months more families have found themselves struggling with finances and confronting food insecurity,” said Oric Walker,“No child should go to bed hungry, and we are grateful to CitySquare for helping us ensure that children have regular access to healthy snacks, fresh produce and hearty balanced meals. Through our Fueling Safe and Thriving Communities program, Atmos Energy is proud to be a part of this project that will have such a significant impact on kids and families in the Dallas community.”
“While we can’t reopen the Food Pantry at this time because of COVID19, we will continue the drive-through and walk-up operation until it’s safe for all of our neighbors, staff and volunteers. We look forward to introducing them to the beautiful new space in the near future,” said John Siburt. “The efforts and generosity of our friends at Leadership Dallas, the Dallas Regional Chamber and Atmos Energy far exceeded our hopes for the renovation of the pantry.”