According to the latest report from the U.S Department of Agriculture, Texas falls in second or third place as having the highest rate of food insecurity: that’s because Arkansas and Mississippi are tied for the first position.
Harris County alone is at 18.7% with 25.5% of them being children. According to the Houston Food Bank, on any given day 66,000 people are hungry and can’t afford to purchase food. One in five households in the same area suffer from not having enough food to not having any food at all. The problem has become increasingly worse for children.
Hunger as defined by these agencies, can include people living just above poverty and have food in their pantries, but they are usually not foods high enough in nutrition to sustain a healthy life style. The foods in the cabinets are usually high in sugar and fat which are a more affordable alternative.
Feeding A Community defines hunger as when we walk into a 250+ units low income apartment community that house almost 650 residents and 420 of them are children, and 300 of them show up on a daily basis at the community center – without their parents – poorly dressed – and hungry. Let’s just try and guess who has food in their pantry and who doesn’t.
Or we could try and define hunger as the 250 individuals, children, families and homeless persons that show up at our quarterly community feedings. Some have eyes that are filled with tears of gratitude, because they had no idea where or when they would receive their next meal. The statistics we see are live and dynamic, and dwell and walk among us daily.
While the overall food insecurity rate slightly dropped, the rate for children in Texas increased by 2%. One in four children in Texas is hungry daily. One in six households in Texas struggle daily to have enough food.
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