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Monday, May 27, 2024

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At least 15 dead as severe weather sweeps across central US; on Memorial Day, IA labor leaders honor fallen workers; Medical center installs microgrid to safeguard clinic power supply; 'Second look' laws gain traction, but MS sticks to elderly parole; Will summer heat melt New Mexicans' cravings for ice cream?

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One congressman cites ways Biden could get more support from communities of color. A new Louisiana law reclassifies two abortion medications as controlled substances. And Ohio advocates work to boost youth voter turnout.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Texas food bank, schools team up to help needy families

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Thursday, March 21, 2024   

To reach more hungry families, one Texas nonprofit is setting up mini food markets in schools.

The Tarrant Area Food Bank in North Texas provides 60 million meals a year to families in 13 counties.

It's taking the food directly to school campuses in some lower-income neighborhoods, with what it calls "Ready-to-Learn-in-School Markets."

Food Bank President and CEO Julie Butner said the markets have changed the way they're helping the community.

"And the markets are very much like a retail experience," said Butner, "where the kiddos or the parents can go in and do shopping and get the foods that they want, that they know their families will enjoy."

The area served by the food bank has food insecurity rates that range from just over 10% in Denton County, to more than 17% in Hamilton County.

Butner said more food banks across the country are partnering with school districts to operate on school campuses. She said they hope to have 100 in-school markets by the end of the year.

The markets are established in areas that are deemed food deserts, meaning there isn't a grocery store within a one mile radius of the school - and at least half of the students qualify for free breakfast or lunch.

In addition to addressing the need for food, Butner said the markets also teach valuable skills to students.

"They're helping stock the shelves, helping family members select products, checking family members in that are receiving products," said Butner, "because you do need to qualify in order to enter the market."

According to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture data, the number of households experiencing food insecurity rose from almost 34 million in 2021 to more than 44 million in 2022.





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