Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Texas State Senators Urge Action to Address Food Insecurity in Lone Star State

In recent months, we've posted  data from Feeding America and the Annie E, Casey Foundation about increased food insecurity in New Mexico, and how Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan are responding to the situation.

Logo from Think Progress
The crisis is also affecting our neighbors to the east, and some members of the Texas State Senate have taken note. "Some 2 million Texas children will go to bed hungry tonight, and many of their moms and dads are struggling to stay nourished, too," Sen. Eddie Lucio (Brownsville) and Sen. Letitia Van de Putte (San Antonio) wrote in an opinion piece in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram at the end of August. That’s truly a tragedy and one that demands our attention and our action."

The opinion piece also pointed to the feeding gap that occurs every summer. "More than 2.3 million Texas schoolchildren participate in the free and reduced-price meal programs during the school year. But, when school is out for summer, far too many of those children experience difficulty accessing healthy meals," said Lucio and Van de Putte.

The numbers are quite staggering. More than 685,000 young Texans missed out on the summer meal programs available to them. The drop-off in participation can be due to a number of contributing factors, including logistics and promotion for the local community agencies that work to bridge the gap for these young people."    Read Full Op-Ed

The information has also attracted attention in the broadcast media.  In June, the NBC affiliate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area reported that food insecurity in Texas was higher than the national average.  Beyond the media attention, The Texas Hunger Research Project  has been tracking trends in the state for many years.

Still, it is always good to see the issue of hunger and food insecurity get some press, especially via an opinion piece from lawmakers who can work on trying to address the problem. Now Lucio and Van de Putte's challenge is to convince their fellow lawmakers in Austin to join their efforts.

No comments: