Thursday, July 31, 2008

Partnerships Fighting Hunger, Pt. 2

In another example of public-private innovation, the East Texas Food Bank has partnered with the federal Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to tackle the growing problem of hunger among working families in that area.

According to KETK News in Tyler, children are showing up "in record numbers" at the Food Bank's summer meals sites - 1,600 more per day than last summer (a 12% increase). "We do think that's a direct effect of high fuel and food costs," said Food Bank Executive Director Robert Bush.

Thankfully, through SFSP the cost of these additional meals will be reimbursed by the federal government. SFSP is an example of a public program built to combine the large-scale efficiencies of government with the local knowledge and mission-driven passion of private charity.

(Update: new data from the Food Research and Action Center shows that Texas is forgoing $38.4 million in potential aid from the SFSP program due to under-participation - evidence that more partnerships between the state and local charities should be encouraged.)

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