Part 2: 81st Texas Legislative Priority
February 17, 2009 § 5 Comments
Advocacy and Online Marketing Director
Address the obesity epidemic by improving children’s access to healthy foods.
Are we passive participants (consumers), waiting for that perfect opportunity or product to come our way? Or do we choose how we want to live (citizens) and seek out people and opportunities to make that world a reality? Regardless of your approach, there’s an opportunity, today, to address the obesity epidemic.
Texas food banks are a solution:
Texas food banks are one way to provide access to healthy foods to children in low-income families. With the efficiency to move more than 205 million pounds of food every year, Texas food banks have the public trust and community access needed to put the right food in the right hands. The Texas Food Bank Network (TFBN) consists of 19 food banks, serving all 254 counties in Texas. The 3,600 local feeding agencies TFBN works with including 355 agencies in CAFB’s 21-county service area help feed hundreds of thousands of children each year.
Texas food banks are a direct source of food for many children in need.
Food pantries, Kids Cafes, weekend backpacks and other programs of the Texas food bank system specifically address the issues of food insecurity in low-income households with children. Demand for these programs has increased 11-12 percent since last year. CAFB’s Partner Agencies have seen an up to 50 percent increase in need since this time last year, many seeking food assistance for the very first time. So, although the shelves aren’t empty, food is moving off of them faster than ever. The largest month of distribution in our 27-year history was last October. We are replacing 1.8 – 2 million pounds of food every month.
YOU are a solution:
Our commitment to nourishment is about giving beyond what is comfortable or easy, and doing what is right for Texas and its children. If we simply fill bellies and do not engage our community leaders, we will not succeed in our mission. And we believe Texans want children to eat well.
Former senator Paul Wellstone, who was known for articulating his values, said it best:
“A society that abandons its children with inadequate health care, child care and nutrition, is a society that has failed in its mission.”
We need your help.
As a citizen, you have a valuable role in making important issues part of the public debate. As an individual, you can strengthen the public policy dialogue by bringing useful information and perspective to that conversation. It is your right to participate. Leaders need you to do their job well, and to serve our community.
In working for an organization whose mission is in part to “lead the community in ending hunger,” I think about the type of leader our organization can be. The most effective leaders care about results. They don’t just talk, they do. And more importantly, they give others the ability and capacity to achieve their goals. We must nurture leadership, in addition to nurturing bellies.