Be an Advocate
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
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) foods provided by USDA are important to the Houston Food Bank’s capacity to put nutritious meals on the tables of children, the elderly, and their families. Some TEFAP foods are provided through bonus commodities purchased by USDA when prices are low and farmers need support.
Unfortunately, TEFAP bonus commodities dropped to $230M in FY2013 (from $300M); unless USDA makes more purchases they will fall to $195M in FY2014.
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Representatives Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) are leading Dear Colleague letters to USDA, urging Secretary Vilsack to use the funding he has left to make additional bonus purchases.
Call your Member of Congress and ask them to sign the TEFAP Dear Colleague letters to USDA Sec. Vilsack urging more TEFAP bonus commodities purchases.
- In the Senate, ask our Texas Senators to sign the Senator Casey TEFAP letter. They may e-mail Liz in Sen. Casey’s office at Liz_Hermsen@casey.senate.gov to sign the letter.
- In the House, ask your U.S. Representative to sign the Representative Fudge/Representative Goodlatte TEFAP letter. They may e-mail Kellie in Representative Fudge’s office at Kellie.Adesina@mail.house.gov to sign the letter.
Please call your Member of Congress NOWand ask them to sign the Casey and Fudge/Goodlatte TEFAP letters. We only have until July 31, so please act immediately!
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.
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.