Hunger Hits Home: 1 in 4 Texas Children at Risk

June 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Summer Food Service Program Kickoff with Chef David Bull

On Monday, Feeding America released the findings of their recent “Map the Meal Gap” study, highlighting food insecurity in the United States. The research revealed that Texas leads the nation as 11th in levels of food insecurity, with 1 in 4 children at risk of hunger. This finding is shocking and difficult to fathom, however it describes daily life for too many Texas families: the face of hunger is a child’s.

The consequences of food insecurity for children ripple across their lives, impacting their ability to learn in school, their potential to grow into healthy adults, and become contributing members to the community. Without reliable access to nutritious food, what will happen to the next generation of Texans?

In Central Texas, the Capital Area Food Bank serves 48,000 people, with 20,000 children receiving nutritious meals through our hunger fighting programs. In the Austin Independent School District, 2 in 3 children receive free or reduced lunch. The gap between end of the school year and the beginning of the next one is a long, hungry summer for these students.

At the Capital Area Food Bank, we believe no child should go hungry. This year, CAFB launched the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to bring free meals to children when school lunches are not available during the summer vacation. Our goal is to provide 30,000 snacks and lunches to children at risk of hunger in Travis County.
Yet even more needs to be done, which is only possible with the support of community members. Summer is here, but hunger doesn’t take a vacation. Check out the links below to see how you can fight hunger too:

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New Data Shows Pervasive Hunger Crisis Cripples Communities: 1 in 6 Central Texans at Risk of Hunger.

April 27th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, today released “Map the Meal Gap 2012,” which provides estimates of food insecurity at the state, county and congressional district level for 2010. Food insecurity  is a social and economic condition where there is limited or uncertain access to adequate food, commonly known as “those at risk of hunger”.

The map also provides updated data on the additional money required to meet food needs, the average cost of a meal, and income bands within food insecure populations.

How many in Texas and in CAFB’s service territory suffer from hunger?

Similar to the rest of the nation,  there is no county in Central Texas free from food insecurity.  Texas and our 21-county service territory, fares worse than the national average of 16.6%. One in six Central Texans is at risk of hunger.

What would it take to solve this problem?

We know that providing millions of dollars in cash assistance to every food insecure person would not end hunger.  Because hunger is both an economic and social condition, issues such as food systems and access, nutrition education, and sustainability must also be addressed.

Food banks play an important role in providing hunger relief, but the data shows that we cannot do it alone, nor should we. Hunger isn’t a charity problem, it’s a national problem that requires the commitment of our nation’s leaders.

What can you do today?

Yesterday, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved a Farm Bill that includes a $4 billion cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) also known as food stamps.  While the proposed budget cuts are not as severe as the House Committee on Agriculture’s budget which slashes SNAP by $33 billion, it still speaks to the misguided priorities of many in Congress.

We need you to call and write to your Congressional leaders today and let them know that hunger is unacceptable and that reductions in anti-hunger programs is not the way to address the hunger crisis.   You can contact your elected official and learn more about the Farm Bill through our website.

How can I learn more about the Map the Meal Gap?

Visit  http://j.mp/MapTheMealGap.