City of Houston launches 100 Pantries in 100 Days to address food deserts

Houston’s food insecurity rate is 4% higher than the national average.


FILE: A Houston Food Bank volunteer helps box food. The city of Houston announced its 100 Pantries in 100 Days initiative which is aimed to combat food insecurities.

The city of Houston on Tuesday launched a new initiative to battle food deserts in the area — 100 Pantries in 100 Days.

The hope is to combat food insecurity in Houston and allow local nonprofits to partner with the city to provide better food quality for those in need.

District J council member Edward Pollard leads the food insecurity board and says there are more than 738,000 Houstonians with no access to healthy food and 360,000 children are experiencing food insecurity.

"If you think about it, the city of Houston has about 2.3 million people, so almost 1/3 of Houstonians are facing food insecurities," Pollard said.

Houston’s food insecurity rate is 4% higher than the national average.

"Over the past year and a half, I have all been involved in numerous food distribution drives. I am continuously in awe of how many people wait for hours for basic food items," Pollard added. "This drove me to find solutions to the food needs of our city and issues related to the root cause."

Pollard said the Houston Food Bank and nonprofits will provide fresh produce, meat, dairy and non-perishable foods to those in need. Whirlpool will donate refrigerators to help with the upkeep with donations.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the initiative is well-needed especially for his home community of Acres Home.

"Some of us standing here today have found ourselves in similar situations including myself," added Turner. "As mayor I still reside in one of those communities that we would define as underserved and under-resourced, in an area that’s a food desert."

Any nonprofit looking to help in this endeavor can apply online through the city’s food insecurity board page. The city of Houston is now accepting applications.