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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
Child Hunger Outreach Specialist
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 HungerVolunteer.org.
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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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 Grace Norman. 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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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 Amarillo 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.
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.
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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