Waco Regional Office

About the Waco Office
Through creative problem-solving and engaged collaboration, the Texas Hunger Initiative's Waco Regional Office exists to empower Waco area residents to gain equal access to healthy food.

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Contact Our Staff

Kelsey Miller

Child Hunger Outreach Specialist

On Our Page:

Helping Communities Address Their Needs

Changing Systems to Strengthen Families

Addressing Child Hunger Year-Round

Engaging Community Members

Helping Communities Address Their Needs

Food Planning Association (FPA)

Over the past three years, the Food Planning Task Force of McLennan County, a coalition of organizations, churches, businesses and community members met together to create a strategic plan for ending hunger in McLennan County. Together, we mobilized six work groups that each collected data, developed best practices and created particular strategies to address hunger issues in greater Waco. The compilation of the data from each work group resulted in our final product: the strategic plan. Our hope is that this strategic plan will serve as a resource for the City of Waco, nonprofit organizations, churches, foundations and anti-hunger advocates. Several of these strategies are already being implemented locally but could always use more support and creativity! The Texas Hunger Initiative - Waco Regional Office, as well as the McLennan County Hunger Coalition, are currently working toward connecting people to these projects and would love your partnership. If you want to stay connected to anti-hunger initiatives and/or are interested in volunteer opportunities, the THI - Waco Regional Office would be happy to get you plugged in to your area of interest. Email us at THIwaco@gmail.com.

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Changing Systems to Strengthen Families

Community Partner Recruitment Initiative (CPRI)

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.

How You Can Help

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, you can contact Shamethia Webb, THI - Waco’s CPRI Specialist, or Elizabeth Wagner. You can also go directly to the CPP interest form to apply to become a Community Partner or visit TexasCommunityPartnerProgram.com to learn more about the program.

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Address Child Hunger Year-Round

Expansion of the School Breakfast 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.

Expansion of the Summer Meals Program

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 Waco Regional 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 FOODTX to 877-877.

Expansion of the Afterschool Meals Program

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.

Too learn more about the ways we are addressing child hunger and to get involved as an individual or an organization contact Kelsey Miller, THI - Waco’s Child Hunger Outreach Specialist.

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Engage Community Members

The Waco Regional Office is always interested in engaging community members around issues of hunger and poverty.

We believe that people are experts in their own experiences, and we appreciate the opportunity to engage with our local experts via dialogue, discussion groups and cross-agency collaboration.

Contact us if you’d like to be involved in these community conversations.

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