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About the Houston Office
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|Contact Our Staff
Megan HoagRegional Director, CPRI Specialist
John PuderChild Hunger Outreach Specialist
Vet HinesField Organizer, AmeriCorps VISTA
Ann Marie GarciaCommunity Partner Recruitment Coordinator
Texas Impact AmeriCorps *VISTA Michael.Apata@texasimpact.org
Dang NguyenTexas Impact AmeriCorps *VISTA
There are good people doing great work in every community in Texas, but too often they are not connected with each other. Our office helps bring these groups together to assess the work being done in the community, identify gaps in services and collaborate to work toward food security.
Food Planning Associations (FPAs) are composed of government and civic leaders, food security stakeholders, corporate representatives, people experiencing food insecurity, and volunteers from the community. THI relies on FPAs to work on the local level in communities, assessing the structure and procedures of food delivery systems, identifying resources and gaps, making decisions for change, and implementing their action plans in order to provide healthy and nutritious food to an increased number of people.
The Houston FPA is in its beginning stages and is always looking to add members. If you are interested in participating in the FPA, contact Megan Hoag.
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In an effort to make it easier and more efficient for Texans to apply for and manage their benefits, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is partnering with community-based organizations to help people learn how they can get the most out of the HHSC's benefits application and management website, YourTexasBenefits.com.
HHSC has partnered with the Texas Hunger Initiative (THI), the Texas Association of Community Health Centers (TACHC) and Texas Impact to recruit and support Community Partners throughout Texas. These three organizations make up the CPRI Team. Team members are located across the state and are available to help your organization become a Community Partner and to answer questions about the program.
To support this effort, HHSC is building a statewide network of community-based organizations that can help people apply for and manage their HHSC benefits, including food, cash and medical assistance, online at HHSC’s YourTexasBenefits.com. This Community Partner Program (CPP) is a growing network of organizations trained and capable of teaching Texans how to put YourTexasBenefits.com to work for them.
Community Partners represent a wide range of nonprofit, faith-based, local and statewide community groups. As a Community Partner, your organization can work with HHSC to decide what level of service you can provide to your community. HHSC provides online training and certifies Community Partner staff and volunteers that complete the training. Your organization would also receive reports from HHSC showing how many people you are helping.
If you are interested in becoming a partner, contact Megan Hoag or go directly to the CPP interest form to apply to become a Community Partner or visit TexasCommunityPartnerProgram.com to learn more about the program.
Our office reaches out to school districts across the area to discuss the importance of breakfast in the daily lives of students. Beyond that, we help school districts implement Universal School Breakfast programs and alternative breakfast delivery models such as Breakfast in the Classroom and Grab-and-Go Breakfast.
For families who count on school breakfast and lunch, the summer months can stress tight food budgets. The USDA offers free meals to children age 18 and younger through the Summer Food Service Program to help alleviate some of this strain. The THI Houston Office recruits new Summer Meal sites, helps sites develop and enhance activities offered, and creatively works to increase participation at Summer Meals sites.To learn more about the Summer Meals Program or to find a site near you visit, www.summerfood.org. You can also find your closest Summer Meals site by calling 211 or texting either FOODTX or COMIDA to 877-877.
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.