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Hunger Still a Problem in Harris County

Today is the fourth annual national Hunger Awareness Day, a time when food bank officials in Harris County are seeing increased demands on their services. It’s estimated that 250,000 children in Harris County live in poverty, and are likely “food insecure”, or in laymen’s terms, hungry. The Houston Food Bank serves around 230,000 people and […]

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Today is the fourth annual national Hunger Awareness Day, a time when food bank officials in Harris County are seeing increased demands on their services.

It’s estimated that 250,000 children in Harris County live in poverty, and are likely “food insecure”, or in laymen’s terms, hungry. The Houston Food Bank serves around 230,000 people and expects to deliver 30-million pounds of food into the community this year. “What the Houston Food Bank wants to do with the help of the community is to be sure that any person who is hungry, whether it’s Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, they have a resourse they can go to,” says interim CEO Beth Tanner, who expects to see the amount of food the bank distributes grow by 11 or 12 percent by 2006.

Although the Houston Food Bank has reliable funding sources, other nutrition programs like food stamps don’t and are facing the possibility of $3 billion in cuts when Congress considers a budget resolution later this year. Celia Hagert is a policy analyst at the Center of Public Priorities in Austin. “We’ve seen this before, when we are looking to balance the budget, we tend to look to balance it on the backs of the poor, whether it’s the federal budget or the state budget. I think that’s what we’re seeing here. We’re seeing an attempt to cut spending, cut social spending, in order to offset huge tax cuts and spending in other areas,” says Hagert.

In 2004, there were 297,000 people on the food stamp program in Harris County. A little over half of that total were children.

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Jack Williams

News Anchor

Jack is back in Houston after some time away working in public radio and television in Lincoln, Nebraska. Before leaving for the Midwest, he worked in various roles at Houston Public Media from 2000-2016, including reporting, hosting and anchoring. Jack has also worked in commercial news radio in Houston, Austin...

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