Food Insecurity and Hunger in Texas
Many in America would be quite surprised to hear of hunger in America. Unfortunately, this is a fact. Hunger in America is real, and it affects the most vulnerable in our country such as children and women. What may shock you, even more, is that in Texas the number of those in hunger is staggering.
Texas and Food Insecurity
One in six Texas households have struggled to avoid hunger from 2012 to 2014. The national hunger rate in America is about 14.3% but in Texas, the number is higher, 18.5%. To state in plain numbers, 1.7 million Texans are suffering from hunger. That is more people in any state except for California. Food security has affected Texas so much that its hunger rate has remained unchanged in three years.
Worse, some of the victims of food insecurity are the ones who can do little about their situations, which are more often than not children. In 2015, children who were at risk of hunger went up, increasing by 18,630 in southeast Texas. Food insecurity has worsened for Texan children from 24.7% to 26%. In plain numbers, one in four children are consistently hungry. That amounts to almost half a million children, a heartbreaking number of 448,490 children. These kids do not have consistent access to nutritious food.
Unfortunately, because these children do not have regular access to nutritious food and are often living in poverty, their food options are also limited. Those living in poverty and their children cannot afford fresh produce, meat, and other nutritious food items that would be vital to a healthy life. Instead, they are reduced to eating processed food that is high in sugar and fat because those are the cheaper alternatives and all that they can afford.
This can have devastating long-term health problems for those living in poverty and especially tragic for children who may suffer from early childhood obesity, which can lead to more severe illnesses, ultimately reducing their life span.
The Houston Food Bank Combats Food Insecurity in Texas
The Houston Food Bank is America’s largest food bank and was named “Food Bank of the Year” by Feeding America in the year 2015. The Houston Food Bank mission is to combat hunger and food insecurity. The Houston Food Bank distributes nutritious food through their networks of 600 partners of hunger relief charities. Houston Food Bank feeds approximately 800,000 people a year through their hunger relief charities. On an average day, Houston Food Bank feeds 66,200 people that are hungry and cannot afford to buy food. Of that number, 5000 are children.
Some facts about Food Insecurity to share:
- One out of five households faces food insecurity in southeast Texas. They live under the stress of being hungry and being unable to buy food that is nurturing and healthful.
- Children are often affected the worse; the number affected is far greater than adults. One in four children are hungry in southeast Texas.
- Often those who face food insecurity or hunger outright also struggle with other expenses needed to survive such as household expenses. Since they must struggle to survive day to day, they are distracted from achieving other goals that would make life better.
- According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, Texas is either the second or third state with the highest rate of food insecurity at 18.5%.
Making a Difference
Hercules Movers and Packers believe that with the help of communities and business we can make a difference in ending food insecurity and hunger. We are honored to be affiliated with the Houston Food Bank and aid in their mission to combat and end food insecurity in America.