East Texas Food Bank Distributed 15 Million Meals This Year
The East Texas Food Bank is helping families avoid having to make difficult choices between paying heating bills and buying food, or paying their rent and affording groceries. With nine different programs, ranging from Kid’s Cafes to Senior Feeding Programs, the agency is serving Texans in 26 east Texas counties via partnerships with over 200 nonprofit organizations. Through these strategic partnerships, the Food Bank is able to maximize the funding that it receives from various public and private sources and expand its impact.
Photos source: http://www.easttexasfoodbank.org/Programs
Abilene Independent School District Sees Participation Double in Breakfast Program with Implementation of Breakfast in the Classroom
Six elementary schools in Abilene Independent School District (AISD) launched Breakfast in the Classroom programs this fall, in which every student receives a free breakfast after sitting down for their first class of the day. Campus administrators report significant reductions in tardy students and a doubling of participation in the breakfast program. The district plans to expand the program to additional high-need elementary schools this year and will look to middle schools in the future. Click to watch video on AISD Breakfast in the Classroom!
Southwest Regional Hunger Summit Draws Hundreds of Advocates to Waco to Discuss Solutions to Food Insecurity, Poverty
Representatives from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma convened in Waco on October 17 and 18 to share best practices, success stories, and strategies on how to continue to reduce hunger, food insecurity, and poverty in the region. The Texas Hunger Initiative at Baylor University hosted the “Together at the Table” summit and held expert panels, workshops, and programs for attendees to build skills and relationships. THI has the goal of ending hunger in Texas by 2015.
(Photos courtesy of Austin YNN and Dallas Baptist Standard)
The Interfaith Hunger Project Aims Decrease Senior Food Insecurity in Amarillo
In partnership with the United Way and the High Plains Food Bank, The Interfaith Hunger Project (IFHP) provides free, nutritious food to seniors in need. Each month they place an order with the Food Bank and use the food to stock the shelves of their own small grocery store. Every month low-income seniors can visit the store and choose the food items that they need at no cost. ITHP also delivers a monthly food supply to 100 seniors who are unable to visit the store.
In addition to running the grocery store, the IFHP also provides holiday baskets to low-income families and a Christmas event including gifts, Santa, and a holiday meal for families in need. All of the services provided by IFHP are driven by volunteer efforts. Click here to learn more.
Catholic Charities in the Rio Grande Valley Offered Healthy Meals and Daily Activities to Children Throughout the Summer
Photo courtesy of USDA Blog.
In Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties in South Texas, Catholic Charities teamed up with USDA to offer the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to school-aged children. The federally-funded meals help to combat food insecurity in low-income areas during the summer recess. It its second year of operating the program in the Rio Grande Valley, sponsors like Catholic Charities are vital to the success of the SFSP in Texas.
USDA Highlights Program in Farmers Branch, TX - Partnership between Tarrant County Food Bank and Metrocrest Social Services
USDA Food and Nutrition Services Administrator, Audrey Rowe, recent visited Farmers Branch, TX to get the scoop on a program that offers unlimited access to free fresh fruits and vegetables, recipes, cooking instruction, and SNAP application assistance. Fresh produce is donated by three local community gardens and nearby high school garden. Volunteers wash and prepare the produce for distribution and help to administer the various programs offered by the Metrocrest agency. Rowe was impressed by the amount of collaboration and community giving involved in making this program a reality.
Photo courtesy of USDA blog.
School District Bus in San Marcos Was Transformed into Mobile Meals Provider this Summer
In addition to expanding the number of sites that offered free summer meals to local children, the San Marcos Consolidated School District also added a mobile component to their program this year. The bus, painted with the district colors, traveled between apartment complexes, mobile home parks, and community centers to serve children who didn't have easy access to one of the stationary sites. Participation in the San Marcos summer meals program increased by over 1,000 meals served per month. from 2010.
Photo courtesy of Austin Statesman.
Austin YMCA, Capital Area Food Bank, and WalMart Partner to Provide Free Summer Lunches to Children in Y Camps
Through a $5000 grant from WalMart, the Austin YMCA will provide more than 12,000 meals to 200 children in their summer camps. Each meal costs around $3. The Capital Area Food Bank teamed up with the camp to provide the meals each day.
The Y reports that one in four children in the summer program receives financial assistance. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 21 million children across the nation lose access to free or reduced-cost meals once the school year ends.
There are 30 other locations that offer free lunches to children during the summer. For locations and hours go tohttp://www.austinfoodbank.org/sfsp/.
Chef, Legislators, and Celebrities Come Together in Austin to Raise Awareness of Summer Food Insecurity
Chef David Bull, of Second Bar & Kitchen in Austin, prepared a summer lunch for over 100 children at El Buen Samaritano. He was joined at the event by some all-star "servers" including state Representatives Elliot Naishtat and Donna Howards, Telemundo anchor Karla Leal, and Monica Williams of the Austin Community Foundation. The Capital Area Food Bank partners with USDA and local organizations like El Buen to ensure that students who eat free and reduced-price meals do not go hungry during the summer months.
The Houston Food Bank
Brian Greene, Director of the Houston Food Bank, talks about the challenges of feeding thousands of hungry folks in our community - many of whom are children. Greene shares how Houstonians, in partnership with the food bank, have responded to the spiking need to feed our neighbors in this economy, and where the passion for the effort comes from within.
Breakfast in the Classroom
Dallas ISD Launches "Wake Up! Fuel Up!" Universal Breakfast in the Classroom Model
In order to make sure more Dallas ISD students start their day well nourished and ready to learn, Dallas ISD’s Food and Child Nutrition Services offers universal free breakfast in the classroom; meaning all students and classroom teachers are able to start their day with a free healthy balanced breakfast eaten together in the classroom. Fourteen schools started the program in the Spring 2011 with support from the SNA Foundation Start-up grant. By the end of the 2011-2012 school year, sixty schools are now serving universal free breakfast in the classroom. And the list continues to grow. Elementary, middle and high schools are participating. There are three different serving models used, including delivery to the classroom in a breakfast delivery cart, students pick up from a kiosk in the hallway or from the cafeteria line. Schools select which model works best for them.
Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County
Client Success Story
by Lilly Frawley RD, LD
I received a call from J.S. with questions about our menus. During the course of our conversation, J.S. said she was so glad to be receiving our meals. She stated she has home health care a few times per week, but when they’re not there, it is very difficult for her to even microwave a frozen meal, much less make a home-cooked meal like we provide. She said that usually, she will get a bowl of cereal or have cottage cheese if she does not have our meals to help her. J.S. also stated she is glad we provide nutrition information for our meals because she has some weight to lose. She also appreciates the fact that we have dietitians on staff who can answer her nutrition and meal questions.
To learn more about Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County click here.
Austin's Sustainable Foods Center Launches New Farmers' Market East:
Increases Access to Healthy, Local Foods for SNAP and WIC clients.
SFC Farmers’ Market East
Open Year-Round, Rain or Shine
Tuesdays, 10 am to 1 pm
51st and Hwy 183 - YMCA East Communities Branch - 5315 Ed Bluestein
This market -- and only this market – has a Double Dollar Incentive Program/Doble Dolares Programa. Come purchase $10 in fruits and vegetables with your SNAP – Lone Star Card, or your WIC Lone Star Card cash benefits F/V, and the Market Information booth coordinator will give you $10 DDIP/Doble Dolares money to spend on more fruits and vegetables. We will match your fruit and vegetable purchases every week!There will be at least 8 fruit and vegetable farmers at this market on a regular basis, along with meats, eggs,cheese, honey, plants, and breakfast/lunch food vendors for a quick coffee and scone, or healthy lunch.Click here to read more about the SFC Double Dollar Incentive Program.