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CST: 08/05/2021 12:20:22   

North Texas Food Bank and other local hunger relief organizations join forces in Austin to work with legislators to increase food access and remove barriers for hungry North Texans

808 Days ago

Annual Lobby Day effort to feature 21 Texas Food Banks and dozens of other hunger relief partners

DALLAS, Feb. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The North Texas Food Bank is focused on fulfilling their mission of closing the hunger gap in North Texas by providing access to nutritious food. The state and federal government play a large role in the success of hunger relief work, as such on Tuesday February 19th, during the 86th legislative session, The North Texas Food Bank convened with hunger fighters from 21 food banks from across Texas at the Texas Capitol to advocate for policies that increase food security for Texans.  

This annual lobby day effort is part of the Food Bank’s critical strategy to raise awareness about the issue of hunger to key stakeholders.  This year the NTFB as well as other Feeding Texas Member Food Banks have four key priorities that framed their discussions:

  • Increase funding for the Surplus Agricultural Product Grant commonly known as “Texans Feeding Texans” providing $19.4M for Fiscal 2020-21 (Article VI-7, Rider 10). If funded, this effort would reduce waste and increase critical produce distribution by Texas food banks to food insecure Texans via local Partner Agency networks.
  • Adopting a simplified SNAP Application for seniors age 65 or older. Currently the process is quite lengthy, is available on small print and requires people to reapply frequently to continue to receive benefits. Member Food Banks assert that a simplified process would help to help enroll more seniors in need, simplify the verification process, and reduce unnecessary recertifications.
  • Reject bills that require unnecessary and expensive alterations to SNAP benefit cards. There is a proposed bill that would mandate SNAP benefit cards to include a photo. Implementing this idea will result in unintended consequences for recipients (ex HB 1250) and make it harder for households to maintain their food security via SNAP.
  • Understand that the network of food banks, food pantries, partner agencies, and community partners are at the front lines in times of emergencies, crisis and disaster. Our elected officials should use us as a resource when their constituents require basic needs assistance.

“Hunger relief has always been bipartisan,” said Dr. Valerie Hawthorne, Government Relations Director for the North Texas Food Bank. “That’s why it is always so powerful to see a coalition of determined hunger fighters advocating for the needs of our hungry neighbors. Our mission while in Austin is to ensure that our elected officials understand the full impact of the bills that are being filed this session, while also sharing the sobering statistics of hunger in their districts.”

Joining the Food Bank in this effort are partner agencies and community partners including Dallas Coalition for Hunger Solutions, City Square, Pleasant Grove Food Pantry, Tarrant Area Food Bank, Texas Hunger Initiative, Good Samaritans of Garland, Baylor Scott & White Health and Wellness, Community Council, Allen Community Outreach, Crossroads Community Services and individual anti-hunger/anti-poverty advocates. 

To learn more about the Food Bank’s advocacy efforts please visit twitter.com/NTFBVoice.

The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) is a top-ranked nonprofit hunger-relief organization, serving 13 counties. The Food Bank’s administrative headquarters is located in the Dallas Farmers Market, and its new distribution and volunteer center – the Perot Family Campus – opened in Collin County in September 2018. Each day, NTFB provides access to more than 190,000 meals for hungry children, seniors, and families through a network of more than 1,000 programs and more than 200 Partner Agencies. In fiscal year 2018, NTFB provided access to 72 million nutritious meals. While the NTFB is making steady progress toward closing the hunger gap, much work remains to be done to reach the organization's 10- year goal of providing 92 million nutritious meals annually by 2025. To donate, volunteer or advocate, visit www.ntfb.org

Anna Kurian
North Texas Food Bank 

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