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Karen Belknap and

Dr. Teadran White

Mother and Daughter Cofounders of Inspired Vision Compassion Center

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By Abby Donelly

July 21, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Just when we think we can’t have more people, more people come.”

What started as a small Church program became the epicenter of a food distribution site. Inspired Vision Compassion Center was founded when, in Karen Belknap’s classroom, a 12-year-old girl passed out from not eating in six days. Karen’s response:

“That won’t happen on my watch.” Keeping her promise, the food ministry began out of Inspired Vision Church. What she didn’t know when she founded the center was how many families it would feed during a global pandemic.

Inspired Vision Compassion Center is located in Dallas County, Texas, where the country currently experiences some of the most devastating food instability rates. Compared to the 7.1% national average, Dallas County households with children face food insecurity at a rate of 25%. According to Karen, their zip code endures a 23-year lower life expectancy than any other zip code in Dallas, associated with higher rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other serious medical issues. This systemic crisis is what Karen Belknap and her daughter, Dr. Teadran White, have blueprinted a solution to: “You want to change a community, you have to start with nutrition,” Teadran said, “If you want to educate children, you have to feed them.”

The ramifications of food insecurity in Dallas County have only been amplified by the consequences of the raging COVID-19. However, these heightened numbers haven’t challenged Inspired Vision Compassion Center and instead have only furthered their reach. 

Prior to the pandemic, the center fed 1100 families each day. After the virus hit, the number skyrocketed to up to 1700, then 1800, then 2000 families daily. Though crowds and long lines rely on the center all day every day, Karen and Teadran’s large property allows recipients to spaced out and requires them to wear masks, all while accessing their basic needs. At this rate, they are set to double the center’s previous year’s food distribution record, which was 12 million pounds of food. 

Karen and Teadran have not always been distributing food through their current 4500 square foot building on a four-acre property. When they set out, Karen and Teadran only collected food for holidays and distributed it at their church, but soon shifted to a full time program, feeding 50 families per week. “I never dreamed it would get this big,” Teadran reflected, “Just when we think we can’t have more people, more people come.”

Though rooted in a food distribution site, Inspired Vision Compassion Center has flourished into a myriad of opportunities, bringing together all walks of life. The team created a baby room, adult diaper room, clothing area, furniture area, pet food room, hygiene area, and more. Teadran knew, “You adapt to whatever needs to be done. The better you are adapting, the more successful you are.” The center also holds two rooms with men’s dress suits and a similar area for women dresses, slacks, jewelry, and makeup, encouraging job opportunities. The center’s team represents how motivation and drive to make a difference can genuinely alter the course of someone’s life.

Although offering countless resources, the center still aims for bigger goals. Teadran expressed her passion to translate this project into other areas of poverty and aid in raising the general income. The center does not plan on stopping expanding any time soon.

In the meantime, stories are rewritten each and every day: mothers who come in with a newborn baby but have no formula, diapers, or clothing; children who have never eaten vegetables before; the elderly who do not qualify for food stamps but have no extra money to buy groceries. However, they no longer have to stress over where they will acquire their next meal. In the basic needs offered by Inspired Vision Compassion Center, recipients can find refuge, hope, and peace. 

The Farmlink Project helped redistribute 100,000 pounds of potatoes from Mountain Valley Farms in Dallas, Texas to the center. Uber Freight aided in the transportation of the vegetables. The delivery will be one of the four semi-trucks and 5 box trucks the Inspired Vision Compassion Center receives per day. Everything counts, and together, there is change. 

Ultimately, food insecurity can be solved through the works and commitment of inspirational people like Karen and Teadran. “We all got to work on this together. It is a monster problem,” asserted Teadran, “We are not in this for glory, publicity. We are in this to solve the problem.” Inspired Vision Compassion Center illustrates how food insecurity cannot be separated from other aspects of life; food affects everything, from education to poverty to health. Each thread is interwoven in putting the pieces back together of a broken distribution system. Every redistributed vegetable is a step towards a brighter future for communities, farms, food banks, and our planet.

By Abby Donelly

July 21, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Just when we think we can’t have more people, more people come.”

What started as a small Church program became the epicenter of a food distribution site. Inspired Vision Compassion Center was founded when, in Karen Belknap’s classroom, a 12-year-old girl passed out from not eating in 6 days. Karen’s response: “That won’t happen on my watch.” Keeping her promise, the food ministry began out of Inspired Vision Church. What she didn’t know when she founded the center was how many families it would feed during a global pandemic.

Inspired Vision Compassion Center is located in Dallas County, Texas, where the country currently experiences some of the most devastating food instability rates. Compared to the 7.1% national average, Dallas County households with children face food insecurity at a rate of 25%. According to Karen, their zip code endures a 23 year lower life expectancy than any other zip code in Dallas, associated with higher rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other serious medical issues. This systemic crisis is what Karen Belknap and her daughter, Dr. Teadran White, have blueprinted a solution to: “You want to change a community, you have to start with nutrition,” Teadran said, “If you want to educate children, you have to feed them.”

The ramifications of food insecurity in Dallas County have only been amplified by the consequences of the raging coronavirus. However, these heightened numbers haven’t challenged Inspired Vision Compassion Center and instead have only furthered their reach. 

Prior to the pandemic, the center-fed 1100 families each day. After the virus hit, the number skyrocketed to up to 1700,  then 1800, then 2000 families daily. Though crowds and long lines rely on the center all day every day, Karen and Teadran’s large property allows recipients to spaced out and requires them to wear masks, all while accessing their basic needs. At this rate, they are set to double the center’s previous year’s food distribution record, which was 12 million pounds of food. 

Karen and Teadran have not always been distributing food through their current 4500 sq ft building on a 4-acre property. When they set out, Karen and Teadran only collected food for holidays and distributed it at their church, but soon shifted to a full-time program, feeding 50 families per week. “I never dreamed it would get this big,” Teadran reflected, “Just when we think we can’t have more people, more people come.”

Though rooted in a food distribution site, Inspired Vision Compassion Center has flourished into a myriad of opportunities, bringing together all walks of life. The team created a baby room, adult diaper room, clothing area, furniture area, pet food room, hygiene area, and more. Teadran knew, “You adapt to whatever needs to be done. The better you are adapting, the more successful you are.” The center also holds two rooms with men’s dress suits and a similar area for women dresses, slacks, jewelry, and makeup, encouraging job opportunities. The center’s team represents how motivation and drive to make a difference can genuinely alter the course of someone’s life.

Although offering countless resources, the center still aims for bigger goals. Teadran expressed her passion to translate this project into other areas of poverty and aid in raising the general income. The center does not plan on stopping expanding any time soon.

In the meantime, stories are rewritten each and every day: mothers who come in with a newborn baby but have no formula, diapers, or clothing; children who have never eaten vegetables before; the elderly who do not qualify for food stamps but have no extra money to buy groceries. However, they no longer have to stress over where they will acquire their next meal. In the basic needs offered by Inspired Vision Compassion Center, recipients can find refuge, hope, and peace. 

The FarmLink Project helped redistribute 100,000 pounds of potatoes from Mountain Valley Farms in Dallas, Texas to the center. Uber Freight aided in the transportation of the vegetables. The delivery will be one of the 4 semi-trucks and 5 box trucks the Inspired Vision Compassion Center receives per day. Everything counts, and together, there is change. 

 

Ultimately, food insecurity can be solved through the works and commitment of inspirational people like Karen and Teadran. “We all got to work on this together. It is a monster problem,” asserted Teadran, “We are not in this for glory, publicity. We are in this to solve the problem.” Inspired Vision Compassion Center illustrates how food insecurity cannot be separated from other aspects of life; food affects everything, from education to poverty to health. Each thread is interwoven in putting the pieces back together of a broken distribution system. Every redistributed vegetable is a step towards a brighter future for communities, farms, food banks, and our planet.

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