Monday, July 12, 2010
Guest Blogger Veronica Obregon, Chief Communications Officer
I visited Camp Wesley in San Antonio last week with Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples to kick off the second session of their Summer Nutrition Programs - federally funded programs that offer free meals in the summer to children who typically rely on the free or reduced priced meals served during the school year.
Camp Wesley is just one of more than 4,600 sites across Texas participating in the Summer Nutrition Programs. While the programs are a great resource to alleviating hunger during the summer, they are only a temporary solution. People do not choose to be hungry, and the reality is that there is usually a bigger problem in food insecure households - such as unemployment, low salaries, etc. To truly end hunger in Texas, we must connect families with opportunities such as education and job training that will help them become self-sustaining.
A nice thing to note about many of the locations sponsoring the Summer Nutrition Programs is that they actually provide more than just free nutritious meals. At Camp Wesley, for instance, they also offer educational activities and physical fitness challenges. This three-pronged approach to being healthy is exactly what Commissioner Staples has been encouraging schools and kids to adopt through his initiative the 3E's of Healthy Living - Education, Exercise and Eating Right.
Thank you to the folks at Camp Wesley, and other sponsors across the state, for helping us at the Texas Department of Agriculture fight hunger and obesity in Texas.