Monday, November 23, 2009

No Texan deserves to be hungry

Last week I spoke to more than 250 representatives at Texas at the Table: Baylor University Hunger Summit. The forum was created to share solutions to end food insecurity in Texas by 2015. Unfortunately, right now we lead the nation in children who are food insecure.

USDA recently released a study showing that food insecurity hit a record high in 2008. The number of food-insecure U.S. households was up 31 percent in 2008. With so many food-insecure homes in the U.S. and Texas, I am concerned that the Obama administration and some in Congress are contemplating policies that will make food more expensive. For example Washington’s recent ideas to implement a cap-and-trade system and to require additional EPA permits for pesticide applicators and feedlots will undoubtedly drive food costs higher, widening the gap between those who can afford food and those who can’t.

To truly end hunger in Texas, we must work together and create programs where people who don’t make enough to support their families can earn the skills they need to be able to get better paying jobs. Americans enjoy the safest, most affordable food supply in the world. Texas is a prosperous state with tremendous resources. We must match those resources with those who are truly in need.

No Texan should ever go hungry. We can and must do better. You can make a difference by volunteering at your local food bank, offering to help with a home-delivered meals agency or by getting your mayor to accept the Texas Department of Agriculture Mayors Challenge. Click here to find out more.

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