Report: Food Insecurity in Texas Tops National Average
Thursday, September 8, 2016
AUSTIN, Texas – While the state's economy has improved in recent years, a new report says 1 in 6 Texas households still struggles to avoid hunger.
Statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show more than 15 percent of households in the state experienced food insecurity in 2015, meaning they faced hunger or sought assistance to avoid it.
Celia Cole, CEO of the statewide food banks association Feeding Texas, says the problem is prevalent across the Lone Star State.
"There are definitely areas of the state and populations where we see a greater extent, greater degrees of food insecurity,” she states. “But really, the underlying factor of economic insecurity for everyone – lack of enough resources to afford food – and that's the underlying problem."
The USDA defines food insecurity as being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food at least once during a year.
The report puts the rate in Texas well above the national rate of 12.7 percent.
Cole says 1.5 million Texas households are food insecure, more than any other state except California.
The USDA report, published this week, found that most families in the U.S. that face hunger do so because of poverty, rather than a lack of access to nutritious foods.
Cole says although unemployment is down in Texas, food insecurity remains a major problem.
"It's stagnating,” she stresses. “The levels that we're looking at this year are similar to the levels that we looked at over the past three years.
“The big take away is obviously, we've seen improvements in our economy, so why are people at the lower end of the economic ladder still struggling? "
She says extending programs such as SNAP, also known as food stamps, and free school lunch programs are important short-term solutions, but more can be done.
"The underlying factor is economic insecurity,” she states. “So, if we want to really decrease food insecurity and make sure that every Texan has the opportunity to get ahead, we have to deal with the economic access."
Feeding Texas is a coalition of 21 food banks that provide assistance in all 254 counties in the state.
get more stories like this via email
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- New congressional and legislative maps will soon start to take shape in Ohio. The Ohio Redistricting Commission convenes for the …
DENVER -- Today marks the day Black women in the U.S. will finally earn as much as a white, non-Hispanic man was paid in 2020. Ashley Panelli…
CHICAGO -- As Illinois residents get ready for more high temperatures this August, utility watchdogs are urging people to practice energy efficiency …
WARREN, Pa. -- A temporary animal-feeding ban is being proposed for the Allegheny National Forest after a captive deer tested positive for chronic …
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Parents are gearing up for their children to return to the classroom for the first time in over a year, and public health …
LITCHFIELD, N.H. -- A 63-acre parcel of land along the Merrimack River is becoming part of the New Hampshire Agrarian Commons. The property, known as …
RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …
ROSLINDALE, Mass. - A new report finds Massachusetts residents would rather repair electronic devices than send them to landfills, but manufacturers …