The first time I met Cheryl “Action” Jackson, founder of Minnie’s Food Pantry, in 2016, she told me that when she first opened a food pantry in Plano, no one thought it was needed.

“Everybody kept laughing when I said I was going to feed hungry people in Plano,” she said in our interview at the time. “Everybody was like, ‘there’s nobody hungry in Plano.’ And now, over 300,000 people and 4 million meals later, the world sees. That’s the difference: The world sees.”

Today, Minnie’s Food Pantry has provided over 10 million meals. It is certainly needed now more than ever.

In the COVID-19 pandemic, Minnie’s Food Pantry is under new constraints. They reported two weeks ago that 20 to 30 percent of their clients are new, having never visited a food pantry before. The pantry is also supporting area schools to provide food boxes for 700 food-insecure families. Today, they are running short on the items they need to fill those 700 family boxes. The boxes need to be distributed on Wednesday, which means they have to fill the deficit by tomorrow.

In a press release, Minnie’s Food Pantry has requested:

  • Boxed cereal
  • Canned meat
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned Fruit
  • Boxed potatoes

They need these items as soon as possible in order to provide 700 families with meals for Easter weekend.

“That’s what we take pride in: Distributing to the family,” Jackson told me in 2016, showing me around the bustling pantry with full coffers, crowds of volunteers, and red carpet on the floor, a reminder that everyone who walks in should feel welcomed and taken care of.

Donations, monetary gifts, and gifts of volunteer service are greatly appreciated. Donations can be delivered.

The pantry accepts donations in person Monday-Saturday from 8 – 11:30 a.m. Please practice social distancing.

Minnie’s Food Pantry | 661 18th St., Plano |