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About the Austin Office
The Texas Hunger Initiative's Austin Regional Office exists to empower Austin area residents to gain equal access to healthy food.
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Contact Our Staff
Regional Director, Child Hunger Outreach Specialist
Community Partner Recruitment Coordinator
|Community Health Assesment/Community Health Improvement Plan (CHA/CHIP)|
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
Addie Woods, THI-Austin's CPRI Specialist, Lauren Tarin, THI-Austin's Outreach Coordinator 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 Fort Worth 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.
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.
To learn more about the ways we are addressing child hunger and to get involved as an individual or an organization, contact Katie Hardgrove, THI - Austin's Child Hunger Outreach Specialist. back to top
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Our community is working together to improve health and wellness in Austin/Travis County. In collaboration with community members, partners, and stakeholders, the Austin/Travis County Health & Human Services Department, Travis County Health and Human Services and Veteran’s Services, Central Health, St. David’s Foundation, Seton Healthcare Family, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Heath Austin Regional Campus is leading a comprehensive community health planning effort to measurably improve the health of Austin/Travis County residents.
A Community Heath Assessment (CHA) engages community members and local public health system partners to collect and analyze health-related data from many sources.
CHIP is an action-oriented plan that outlines the priority community health issues based on CHA findings. The community and partners work together to identify how issues will be addressed and how to measure progress. The long-term goal is to ultimately improve the community’s health. (Source: National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).) The process began in Summer 2011 and plans will be completed by December 2012.
Utilizing the best-practice model of Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships developed by NACCHO, we will follow a structured process to assess and prioritize needs, develop and implement improvement measures, evaluate plans, and continuously improve quality.
Why is it so important to discuss what affects health and how we can improve these factors?
Attention to health must begin long before illness--in our homes, schools, and jobs. Our opportunity for health starts long before we need medical care. All Americans should have the opportunity to make the choices that allow them to live a long, healthy life, regardless of their income, education or ethnic background.
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