FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11/16/2016
Feeding Texas Grant Championed by Rep. Helen Giddings Helping Millions of Hungry Families
Austin- Last session, Rep. Helen Giddings secured a $5.9 million rider to Feeding Texas to provide surplus agricultural products to food banks and other charitable organizations that serve at-risk communities. Today, the "Texans Feeding Texans Surplus Agricultural Grant" has allocated $5.6 million of the total- amounting to nearly 23 million pounds of food delivered to needy Texans.
"With this new funding, our food banks across the state have stepped up to the challenge," Representative Giddings said. "They are bustling with volunteers, providing healthier options, and helping more and more communities in need."
There are twenty-one different vendors benefiting from the program, including Capital Area Food Bank in Austin, North Texas Food Bank in Dallas, and the Houston Food Bank.
Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas, cited the successes of the investment and how it has impacted food delivery across the state: "The increased funding for produce from the legislature has enabled us to combine healthy food distribution with proven interventions to improve health and lower state health costs. This is good for the needy Texans we serve and for Texas."
A September 2016 analysis by Texas economist Dr. Ray Perryman finds that every dollar the state invests in food banks yields $3.27 in return in the form of reduced healthcare and education costs.
Texas has a long way to go before widespread hunger issues are solved, with 18.5% of Texas families experiencing some form of food insecurity. Texas is in the top eight in food insecurity rates and second in terms of the number of food insecure households.
"Despite the successes of this program in putting food on the plates of needy families, we must redouble our efforts in the 85th legislative session," Representative Giddings said. "I look forward to working with leadership to build on the successes of this critical investment."
Representative Helen Giddings proudly serves the cities of House District 109: Dallas, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Glenn Heights, Hutchins, Lancaster, Wilmer, as well as part of Duncanville.