Overview of Texas Hunger Initiative Strategy
The Texas Hunger Initiative believes that Texas has enough food to feed the people of Texas, but that the system making food accessible needs to be organized. Based on the disaster relief model adopted in Texas after Hurricane Katrina, THI proposes that Texas create an efficient system of jurisdiction and accountability for food delivery in the state.
Texas Hunger Initiative organizes both in policy and on a community grassroots level. The left side of the chart illustrates the policy part of the strategy. The United States Department of Agriculture, Texas Department of Agriculture, and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission have joined with the Texas Hunger Initiative to coordinate efforts around hunger on the State Operations Team. We are also collaborating with the Food Policy Roundtable (FPR), which meets quarterly to discuss issues that prevent communities from having food and then work together to bring a common voice to address the issue with the appropriate organizations through policy change.
The Texas Hunger Initiative also works collaboratively with USDA, TDA, HHSC, the Texas Food Bank Network and local community leaders involved in the food system to establish Food Planning Associations (FPAs) across the state (see the right half of the chart). These associations are functioning as strategic planning teams to assess local food systems, identify resources and gaps, make plans to address the gaps using existing resources and evaluate the process in order to move forward toward food security in their communities. The regional food banks have committed to work with us to establish these grassroots associations in each county in their region, functioning as Regional Operation Teams. We are working to bring the voices of those living in hunger into the FPAs and are also working to connect the FPAs with the Food Policy Roundtable in order to help policies reflect the reality of hunger in the local communities. Texas Hunger Initiative believes that by addressing hunger from the policy level and from the grassroots level, coordinating services and resources across the state, the state of Texas can bring food security to its citizens.