Friday, May 8, 2009

Texas #1 in Child Hunger - Legislature Reacts

Yesterday the national group Feeding America released newly calculated Census data revealing that 22.1% of Texas children live in households facing hunger, the highest rate in the nation.

In response, State Senator Judith Zaffirini and Representative Helen Giddings have introduced a bill that would help food banks provide healthy foods to at-risk children. The bill passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee this week.

“This legislation can help us combat the growing crisis of hunger among Texas youth by providing access to food choices that are vital for nutrition education and behavioral change," said Zaffirini in a statement. "What’s more, it would support and extend existing efforts by nonprofit agencies.”

The Texas bill, HB 1622 would address the problem by distributing healthy staples among existing networks maintained by food banks statewide.

“The passage of House Bill 1622 would go a long way to help get healthy food to children who are food-insecure, the children who linger in the school cafeteria and look for leftovers, those that return to school on Monday tired and weak from a weekend of undernourishment,” Eric Cooper, director of the San Antonio Food Bank told the Express News.

Legislators are meeting this week to decide the fate of the bill. You can tell your state legislator to support the bill here!

More coverage: HoustonWichita Falls, Tyler (1,2), Austin

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