Monday, July 11, 2011

Tackling Childhood Hunger With Help from Deion Sanders

Last week I had the pleasure of teaming up with NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders at his youth camp in Duncanville. Deion’s camp, called TRUTH, partners with the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Summer Nutrition Programs to help feed hungry children during the summer months when they no longer have access to school meals.

Texas currently ranks second for childhood food insecurity, and this is simply unacceptable. With more than 4,000 sites open this summer to feed Texas children, there is no reason children should go without the essential nutrition they need.

While we must take into account these federally-funded resources are available to provide a temporary bridge to a better lifestyle, they must be utilized. Far too many Texas children and their parents are unaware of the feeding sites in their communities – and all they have to do is dial 211 to locate a site in their respective communities.

Participants at Deion’s camp not only have access to a healthy meal, but they are also getting academic and athletic training, which accomplishes the 3E’s of Healthy Living – Education, Exercise and Eating Right! These types of programs make sense for taxpayers, as they help to equip students with the skills they need to avoid many problems that stifle economic growth and individual independence later in life.

I appreciate the commitment of Deion Sanders and all of our sponsors across the state who are working to meet the goal of feeding more children this summer. It is critical we spread the word and help feed the children that depend on these meals for their daily nutrition.

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