Participation in school breakfast programs is increasing, and that is good news in the fight against food insecurity among Texas families. School food programs are the primary providers of nourishment for many children. However, not all children eligible for free and reduced-price meals offered through the public school system take advantage of them, and that’s troubling. In Texas, 17.2 percent of households lacked access to adequate food in 2103 due to a lack of money and other resources, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Among children, the food insecurity rate was 27.4 percent for 2013.
More than 42 million people in the U.S. are food insecure, meaning they lack reliable access to affordable, quality food. More than 4 million Texans are food insecure, including nearly 1 out of every 4 children. It’s felt by some of our own neighbors, here in Waco and even on campus. Here are four ways Baylor is working to “love thy neighbor” and combat hunger.
Three Baylor University mission teams served in Texas over spring break to provide relief for those affected by Hurricane Harvey, as well as by hunger, homelessness and many other circumstances. More than 60 students, faculty and staff traveled across the state to serve in schools, nonprofits, neighborhoods, respite centers and community buildings.
There is good news for Texas school children who start their day off with a school breakfast, according to the Texas School Breakfast Report Card produced by Baylor University’s Texas Hunger Initiative. Thanks in part to the passage in 2013 of Texas Senate Bill 376 – the “Universal Breakfast Bill” – and the implementation of alternative service models, Texas has become a national leader in school breakfast participation, moving up to 10th in the state rankings.
Teams of Baylor University students, faculty and staff will partner with various community groups and relief efforts over spring break March 4-9 in order to bring hope to communities that were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Baylor Missions will work to identify needs, serve others and bring relief to the recently devastated and desolate areas in south Texas and along the Texas Gulf coast.
March 8, 2017
VIDEO: In partnership with the Texas Hunger Initiative, students from Baylor University are spending part of their spring break studying the issue of hunger across Texas. On Wednesday, the students visited schools in San Angelo to learn more about the district's breakfast in the classroom program. Interviewed for the story is Gabriela Fierro, a freshman political science/environmental studies major from Houston.
Feb. 28, 2017
Baylor’s Texas Hunger Initiative, Baylor’s Campus Kitchen and No Kid Hungry recently held a food drive and hunger awareness forum that focused on students who experience food insecurity. Quoted are Cara Cliburn Allen, a graduate student studying student hunger; Nathan Allman, Ph.D., associate professor of educational leadership in the School of Education; and Rebecca Peirce, a junior from College Station and director of Baylor Campus Kitchens. “At a private school, we incorrectly assume that everyone has money for basic necessities like food,” Allen said. “We must fight the stigma against hunger.”