#8Pounds4Good: Good Charcoal Visits Sunny South Dallas

Story by Jennie Trejo and Jedarrian Jones. Photos by RandalL Stewart Photography.

Last week, The Good Charcoal Company partnered with Aunt Bette’s Food Pantry in South Dallas to bring the Big D what they call the tripod of good: good for communities, good for the environment, and good charcoal.
Janet Silverman, Chief Operating Officer of The Good Charcoal Company, smiles alongside Kelvin Browning, Pantry Director of Aunt Bette's Community Pantry at St. Philip's School and Community Center in South Dallas.

“We find food pantries across the country and sponsor free hot meals for neighbors by bringing in local BBQ food trucks,” says Janet Silverman, Chief Operating Officer of The Good Charcoal Company.

Founded during the pandemic, Good Charcoal has a dual mission of addressing food insecurity and selling high-quality, ethically sourced charcoal. Dallas is the 25th stop to date, and the company has sponsored over 33,000 free meals in the last two years.

Aunt Bette’s Pantry Director Kelvin Browning said he was surprised when he heard Janet on his cell phone inquiring about a partnership. Still, he welcomed the idea when he realized they are a company that cares about others.

“A lot of partners just want to come and take pictures, but then you never hear from them again, you know?” says Kelvin. “I thought this was a great relationship because linking our clients, the food truck, and getting the charcoal makes sense.”

Aunt Bette’s community pantry at St. Phillips School and Community Center is a pillar in South Dallas, which is largely a food desert. It started in 2014 as a client-choice food pantry that provides quality food to hungry individuals and families. This program supplies critical nutrition to households experiencing food insecurity.

“It does a great deal to your spirit to help others with basic necessities like food,” Kelvin says. “A lot of the time, it’s not just about providing food. It’s also about listening to what families are going through and encouraging them.”

Twin Stacks BBQ was the family-run food truck on site for the event. It was owner Adam Jones’ first time parking his truck at the food pantry.

“Honestly, I’m just happy to be here,” shares Adam. “I love that I’m able to be a part of an event like this and to see the smiles on everyone’s faces.”

The Good Charcoal Company’s product is sustainably harvested from the Namibian brush in Africa. It is made from acacia, which is a denser wood than oak and hickory, meaning it burns hotter, cleaner, and more evenly.

Janet says that acacia is an invasive species in Namibia, so clearing it out helps animals roam freely and allows local farmers to use the land. They, in turn, make the acacia into charcoal. It is the only Forest Stewardship Council-certified charcoal sold in the US.

“I feel strongly about using environmentally friendly and sustainable products,” Janet says. “And I’m also passionate about helping communities and families in need. So combining these– it’s a win-win all around.”

The Good Charcoal can be purchased at most Target and Sam’s Club stores throughout the metroplex. Janet says buying it supports their ability to continue having BBQs for neighbors in need nationwide.

To support Aunt Bette’s food pantry, Kelvin says that he tells everybody that the easiest way is to donate your time. “You get to walk and shop with the clients, and speak to other people. You get to be kind and help. That’s all we ask. Just come and lend some time.”

If you want to donate to St. Philip’s School and Community Center or volunteer, you can visit stphilips1600.org/get-involved.