Childhood Nutrition & Access to Healthy Foods: A Foundation for Lifelong Success

Testimony to the Senate Committee on Finance

Thank you for the opportunity to provide input regarding the Senate Finance Committee’s filed budget bill for 2018-2019, Senate Bill 1, and in particular Article VI (Natural Resources). I write to urge you to support increased funding for “Texans Feeding Texans” (Surplus Agricultural Product Grant) to $10M for Fiscal Year 2018-19 (SB 1, Article VI-7, Rider 10). This funding supports Texas food banks in their commitment to help needy Texans reach their full potential for a healthy, productive life.

Texans Care for Children is a statewide non-profit, non-partisan, multi-issue children’s policy organization that works to drive policy change to improve the lives of Texas children today for a stronger Texas tomorrow. We collaborate with community leaders and local partners around the state to identify challenges facing children and families and develop potential policy solutions to improve the well-being of Texas children and families. Thousands of bills may be filed during this legislative session, but in many ways, the most important one for Texas children is the state budget bill.

Texans Care for Children supports increased funding for Texans Feeding Texans because this program is an effective strategy for combating childhood hunger and improving children’s health. One in six Texas households struggle to avoid hunger, despite low unemployment statewide. While kids of all backgrounds live in families that struggle to consistently put food on the table, children of color in Texas are at higher risk of going to bed hungry on any given day: 17 percent of White children, 38 percent of Black children, and 31 percent of Hispanic children live in families that struggle to put food on the table.

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