You know Texas is a great, proud state. What you might not know is that Texas is also a very hungry state, in fact the second-most hungry in the United States.1 When it comes to hungry children, a USDA study found that Texas leads the nation, with more than 22% of Texas children younger than 18 facing food insecurity on a daily basis.2
Hungry for Help
Approximately 35.5 million Americans are food insecure (unable to consistently access adequate amounts of nutritious food necessary for a healthy life), and more than 3 million of them are right here in Texas — that’s 1.3 million food insecure households.3,4
Hungry children are 30% more likely to be hospitalized, not to mention facing potential struggles with inattention and lack of concentration, absenteeism, grade repetition, an increased risk of suicide and a higher chance for development of lifelong disease.2,5
That’s Why We’re Putting Food First™
To change all that, we’ve made fighting hunger our No. 1 cause. In May 2010, First Choice Power launched our Food First program, and we challenged ourselves to provide 1,000,000 meals throughout Texas. We jumped into action, creating a unique summer and holiday food bag program for kids, taking part in volunteer projects with employees, promoting the cause through social media, sponsoring canned food drives with business customers and making grants to nonprofit partners such as food banks and soup kitchens. In September 2011, during Hunger Action Month, we met our goal, and we started working toward our next million meals.
We don't want to brag, but the program has already received national recognition, including a Corporate Social Responsibility Award from PR News.
Want to see what we’re up to? Ready to help out? Check out our blog, The Current, or take part in one of the events below. Together, we can make a difference.
Food First Programs
Food First Hunger Kick-off, Lufkin
Food First Hunger Kick-off, McAllen
Food First Hunger Kick-off, Odessa
Food First Hunger Kick-off, Tyler
1 Hunger and Child Nutrition. Center for Public Policy Priorities (PDF document)
2 One in Six Young Children Live at Risk of Hunger in 26 U.S. States According to New Feeding America Report. Feeding America
3 Hunger Fact Sheet. Feeding America
4 Commissioner Staples Challenges Texas Mayors to Feed More Hungry Children This Summer. Texas Department of Agriculture
5 The Implications of Food Insecurity for Children. Feeding America