Letter to the Editor: Hungry Texas Children Should Be a Top Priority
May 16, 2009 § Leave a comment
The following is a letter to the editor of the Austin American-Statesman by David Davenport, President & CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank. Similar letters were sent to newspapers in our 21-county service area. It is re-printed here in its entirety:
Over the past year, social service providers in Travis County supplied by the Capital Area Food Bank have noticed an unsettling trend – the rates of both child hunger and child obesity are rising.
Last week, a national report confirmed the worst: Texas has the highest rate of child hunger in the nation.
Thankfully, the Texas Legislature just approved a measure that could help.
HB 1622, the “food bank bill” passed unanimously in the Senate this week, promising to distribute $20 million in nutritious food to at-risk children across the state. HB 1622 is an opportunity for food banks and the state to work together, but the bill is only a promise – in order to work it must be funded by the budget conference committee, including local Senator Steve Ogden.
HB 1622 can supply the nutritious food needed by hungry children in Travis County, and provide a crucial link in the fight against child obesity. Our state budget offers tough decisions this year, but in this economy it is more important than ever that hungry children receive top priority. After all, if the health of our children isn’t “basic,” what is?