New CAFB Program Provides Family Food Boxes This Summer

June 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

 

In our Hunger in America 2010: Central Texas Report, 43 percent of the pantries, 29 percent of the kitchens and 14 percent of the shelters said they serve more children in the summer.

While hungry Central Texas families wait for an improved economy with well-paying job opportunities, and for Texas Health and Human Services to process SNAP (food stamp) applications accurately and in a timely manner, the Food Bank has ramped up services to make this summer a happy, healthy summer.

We were recently awarded a $10.6 million reimbursement grant funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and are using these funds to nourish hungry Central Texas children at risk of hunger and obesity.  Through the Summer Family Nutrition Program (SFNP), qualified families will receive monthly Family Food Boxes containing a nutritious balance of pantry staples such as cereal, beans, rice and canned vegetables; nutrition education materials; and resources for additional assistance.  We estimate that 114,000 Central Texas families are eligible for the program.

Here’s a recap of the other initiatives we’ve started this summer in addition to our ongoing programs:

In our Hunger in America 2010: Central Texas Report, 7.1 percent of households with at least one child younger than 18 reported that they participate in the Summer Food Service Program that provides meals to children when they are not in school.  Nearly onethird of those households said they don’t participate in the program because they didn’t know about it.  

 

We’ve responded with outreach and support of the Summer Food Service Program by sponsoring (for the first time) 22 sites in Travis County.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says two-thirds of American adults and 15 percent of American children are overweight or obese. “Food deserts,” higher prices for healthy foods, and a lack of resources to help families make healthy choices can make it difficult for children living in low-income households to access healthy food.  We’ve also conducted our own experiments to understand the financial impact of making healthier meal-time choices.

We’ve responded with a new CHOICES Nutrition Education Program class called Kids in the Kitchen. This class teaches children basic kitchen safety and cooking skills, along with MyPyramid nutrition guidelines.

SFNP ensures children have the nutrition they need so they are ready to learn when school starts in the fall, and families have the resources and nutrition education they need to provide their children with healthy, nutritious food.  When we take care of the children in our community, all Central Texans benefit.

How can you help?

1. Help us spread the word about the Summer Family Nutrition Program so we can reach the estimated 114,000 Central Texas families who qualify for the program.

2. Take the Happy, Healthy Summer Pledge

PLEDGE your support. Donate now and help us get through the increased demand this summer. And donate again in July to help us meet the increased need during these summer months.

PARTNER with us to stay informed. Make sure you check to receive special reminders and updates about our efforts.

PASS IT ON by asking others to take the pledge.  Add a twibbon to your avatar to help spread the word on Facebook and Twitter.

Send your friends and family a special e-card letting them know you are providing healthy meals for children in need this summer, and that they should too!

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