Lubbock Regional Office

About the Lubbock Office

The Texas Hunger Initiative's Lubbock Regional Office exists to empower residents across the South Plains to gain equal access to healthy food.

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Contact Our Staff

Grace Norman

Regional Director, Child Hunger Outreach Specialist

Wes Gaddie

Field Organizer
AmeriCorps VISTA

What we do...

Together at the Table: South Plains Hunger Summit

Help Communities Addres Their Needs

Changes Systems to Strengthen Families

Address Child Hunger Year-Round

Together at the Table: South Plains Hunger Summit

Lubbock Save the Date

Join local leaders in learning how to more effectively fight hunger and poverty in Lubbock. Hosted by the Texas Hunger Initiative's Lubock Regional Office and First United Methodist Church, the South Plains Hunger & Poverty Summit will bring together nonprofit leaders, educators, clergy, and community members to collaborate, learn, and exchange ideas on reducing hunger and poverty in the Lubbock area. We are planning an engaging program and invite you to take part on May 4, 2015, at First United Methodist Church. Visit to register. Or, for more information, contact Grace Norman at the Texas Hunger Initiative - Lubbock office at or 901-277-3018.

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Hunger-Free Lubbock

Our regional office works toward a hunger-free Lubbock by assessing needs and establishing suitable collaborations. Our Neighborhood Guide to Food and Assistance, provides an in-depth overview of food resources in the South Plains. (Take a look at the interactive version of the Lubbock Food Assistance map here.) Another part of our work involves coordinating volunteer resource projects. Examples of available volunteer opportunities include helping Texans navigate benefits applications, supervising and working in various community gardens around town, cleaning computers that provide benefits application access, and designing graphics to provide a visual of Summer Meals locations. Our volunteers have the opportunity to serve with a variety of neighborhoods and organizations around Lubbock, and we work to match different skill sets with creative outlets to increase food access. Our current list of volunteer opportunities can be found at the Lubbock Volunteer Center as well as

For further information about how you can join with us to work toward a hunger-free Lubbock, please contact Wes Gaddie.

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Community Partner Recruitment Initiative (CPRI)

The Community Partner Recruitment Initiative (CPRI) is an initiative of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) that assists community-based organizations in helping people apply for and manage their public benefits online via the HHSC web portal:

In Lubbock County, 43,830 residents are food insecure. Many of those families may be eligible for but not currently receiving benefits. In the South Plains area, around $75 million dollars allotted for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) went unused because many families are not accessing these benefit programs. Community Partners hope to link those families with available resources by providing convenient locations for residents to apply for public benefits. To see a current list of existing Community Partners around the South Plains, use the search feature tool at the Texas Community Partner page.

Contact a member of the CPRI Regional Team to learn how your organization can become a Community Partner.

CPRI Regional Team
Andres Pedroza Texas Association of Community Health Center

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Child Hunger Outreach/No Kid Hungry Campaign

No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in five children struggles with hunger. We're working to end childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. And we need your help to accomplish this in the Lubbock area!

Here's how we do it:

School Breakfast

Research demonstrates the importance of providing breakfast to children and youth. Children who eat a good breakfast tend to:

  • perform better in school;
  • have a better attendance record;
  • exhibit fewer behavioral problems;
  • develop healthy eating habits;
  • visit the school nurse less frequently; and
  • are less likely to be obese.

  • Despite the benefits of breakfast, for a variety of reasons, many families can't provide a healthy breakfast for their kids every morning. The Texas Hunger Initiative (THI), Share Our Strength's lead partner for the Texas No Kid Hungry campaign, works to help schools and school districts implement universal alternative breakfast programs. THI works in partnership with the USDA and Dairy MAX to reach out to superintendents and school nutrition directors in large school districts across the state and discuss the importance of the federal School Breakfast Program and innovative delivery models, such as Breakfast in the Classroom. Several districts across the South Plains serve Breakfast in the Classroom or Breakfast in the Hallway.

    For more information about School Breakfast Expansion, contact Grace Norman.

    Summer Meals

    For families who count on school breakfast and lunch, the summer months can be stressful as family food budgets have to be stretched even further.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers free Summer Meals to kids across the Lubbock Region similar to School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, except meals are free to all kids that come to a registered Summer Meals site.

    These Summer Meals Programs can help families save money and stretch their already tight summer food budgets. Many Summer Meals sites, which are registered with the USDA, offer fun learning and recreational activities so kids and teens can eat a healthy meal while staying active and hanging out with friends

    Families across the South Plains can find free Summer Meals sites during the summer time by going to, calling 211, or texting FOODTX to 877-877.

    Last year, Lubbock County hosted more than 30 meal sites. However, the Summer Meals participation rate hovers around 8 percent. To increase the participation rate in Lubbock County, once every two months, Summer Meals sponsors, site managers, and community advocates convene to discuss strategies for increasing access to and participation in Summer Meals. If you are interested in sharing your ideas with this forum, please contact Grace Norman.

    Afterschool Meals

    Afterschool programs help to keep young people safe, help working families and inspire learning. These programs are also critical in providing many children with healthy, nutritious meals after school. For many of these children, that meal or snack they receive at their afterschool program is the last food they will have until a school breakfast the next morning.

    The federal Afterschool Meals Program funds afterschool meals and snacks year-round. THI is working to expand participation to ensure that all children have access to afterschool meals.

    Currently, students participating in 66 afterschool care programs in the Lubbock area receive either a meal or a snack. If you know of an afterschool program that might be interested in providing federally funded, free meals as part of their program, learn more by contacting Grace Norman, THI Child Hunger Outreach Specialist. Local government agencies, faith-based groups and private nonprofits are eligible.

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    AmeriCorps VISTA Internships

    Current VISTAs:

    Wes Gaddie, our NYCCAH Field Organizer for the 2014-2015 year, is from Corpus Christi, Texas. He graduated from Baylor University in 2014 with a degree in Professional Writing and a minor in Museum Studies. He enjoys going to the farmer’s market and playing the guitar.

    Past VISTAs:

    Kelsey Hilton served as our NYCCAH Field Organizer from July 2013 to July 2014. She graduated from Abilene Christian University in 2013 with a degree in psychology and minors in math and computer science. During her term, Kelsey compiled a Neighborhood Guide to Food and Assistance specific to Lubbock and launched the pilot of the Texas Hunger Initiative’s Photovoice project, Snapshots of Hunger. After her term as a VISTA, Kelsey joined a team at CoNetrix, an information technology and security firm, as a Web Application Developer.

    Cynthia Lopez served as our NYCCAH Summer Associate during Summer 2014. Cynthia will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science and Dietetics from Texas Tech University in May, 2015. During her time with our office, Cynthia visited nearly every Summer Meals site in Lubbock, created fun activities for the children at sites, and supported event planning for our Summer Meals kickoff events. Cynthia developed newsletters to inform advocates about Summer Meals activities. She also compiled all the media coverage the office received throughout its existence. Cynthia took photographs at sites and compiled them into a video we will use throughout the year to promote Summer Meals. Ultimately, Cynthia broadened her knowledge and interest in Community Nutrition and Food Insecurity and will use her experiences with the Texas Hunger Initiative as she works towards her goal of becoming a registered dietician.

    Joseph Saahene served in our regional office during the summer of 2013. He will graduate from Texas Tech University in May 2014 with a degree in Agricultural Communications. During his time at THI, his basketball skills and friendly nature made him famous with the children at almost every community center in Lubbock. He also worked with CitiBus to create a map showing the locations for Summer Meals along the bus routes. After graduation, Joseph plans to intern with Elanco.

    Stephana Villarreal served as a Texas Impact CPRI Coordinator from July 2013 to July 2014. She is from Lockney, Texas, and graduated from Texas Tech University (Go Raiders!) in 2013 with a degree in Communication Studies. As a THI team member, Stephana travelled to almost every small town in the counties immediately adjacent to Lubbock County. She made great strides in expanding the Community Partner Program in our region and she walked alongside existing Partners to provide support as needed. Steph now serves as the Executive Assistant to the Lubbock YWCA’s Executive Director.

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