Be an Advocate
How to Reach Your Representative and Senator
in the Texas State Legislature
The 84th Texas Regular legislative Session convened on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015.
The Houston Food Bank is working with many partners to increase funding of a Texas Department of Agriculture grant to purchase surplus produce from Texas farmers so we may make fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables to more children and their families.
Issues the 84th Texas Legislature has already identified as high priority include:education (providing for Pre-K);energy (responding to oil prices); environment (groundwater management); ethics (undisclosed donors and some non-profit organizations);social issues (gay rights initiatives); taxes (property and other tax reduction); and,transportation (assuring all gas tax moneys are directed to the Texas highway fund).
Legislators have been preparing for months; as of Friday before Tuesday’s opening of the 84th Texas Regular legislative Session 748 bills had been pre-filed in the House and another 263 in the Senate.
How to Reach Your Member of Congress
Please click the link below to find Your Member of Congress and Contact Information - Who is my Representative
Food insecurity continues to be a persistent challenge in Texas and across the country, as shown by data from the 2014 Map the Meal Gap report, issued by Feeding America. And things could get worse for people in the middle class or low income families, if Congress accepts the federal budget recently passed in the House.
According to Map the Meal Gap, overall food insecurity in the Houston Food Bank’s 18-county service area decreased slightly, but child food insecurity increased by .5%, or 11,000 kids. Many of these kids don’t have a safety net. Roughly one third of children who are food insecure are not likely eligible for any federal food program benefits, including reduced/free school lunch or school breakfast, if the schools they attend don’t offer the meals to all students.
Given this stunning reality, House-passed budget cuts are completely unacceptable. They would harm children and their families while granting important tax reductions for millionaires. The House-passed Budget provides for an $87,000 tax break for each of our 27,347 millionaires, and a $2,000 average increase in taxes for each of our middle class families.
Other House-proposed budget cuts would affect the population served by the Houston Food Bank:
- 296,014 Texan seniors would pay more for medicine through reinstating the prescription drug “doughnut hole”;
- 44,260 college students would not receive Pell Grants;
- and, 12,350 more children would lose access to Head Start programs.
A Call to Action
Please communicate with your Congressional Representative to ask how (s)he voted on the House budget. If (s)he voted for it, please tell them that:
- you vote;
- further cuts in nutrition and other provisions which help Texas children and families are not acceptable;
- and, neither are additional tax breaks for the richest among us.
Did you know?
- Texas has one of the highest rates of child food insecurity in the country
- Every day 66,200 people in Houston are hungry - 5,000 of them children
- Each year the Houston Food Bank feeds 800,000 people - 47% are children
- 43% of hungry families must choose between food and medicine
YOU have the power to help end hunger. Let your elected officials know today that you want them to support comprehensive anti-hunger initiatives. Take a stand now because hunger is unacceptable.
If you have not done so, please register to vote now so your voice counts in future elections.
Make a call to Senator (R-Texas) John Cornyn Office
Phone: (202) 224-2934
District Phone: (972) 239-1310
Make a call to Senator (R-Texas) Ted Cruz's Office
Phone: (202) 224-5922
District Phone: (512) 916-5834
Click here for addtional information hunger resources.
For additional questions, please contact Dr. Pamela Berger at 713-547-8611.