Houston’s Hunger Problem

A family receives their monthly pantry box.

Houston has a hunger problem.  Across our city, many of our neighbors lack access to nutritious food.  It is part of, and grows out of, a wider set of challengesmany of our neighbors face—access to health care, affordable housing, and job training.  Similar to how we tackled chronic homelessness, in order to solve our hunger problem, Houston needs to comprehensively attack its causes.  Target Hunger is at the epicenter of that fight and is uniquely positioned to help win it.

Target Hunger is one of the largest distributors of food relief in Houston, helping those in some of the most under-served and vulnerable parts of our city.  Our team puts boots on the ground in these neighborhoods, seeing first-hand the challenges and needs of our neighbors and, through our Navigation Services, connecting them to job training, nutritional education, and critical social services.  By both providing immediate hunger relief and tackling its root causes, we are helping our neighbors build an enduring path out of hunger.

A Postpartum Mom Struggling to Provide

Stephany shops for her family at her monthly pantry distribution.

One of those neighbors is Stephany, a mom of 2 rambunctious little boys – ages 4 and 1. She also lives with, and cares for, her disabled mother. When having her youngest son, she was out of work with unpaid maternity leave. Her dependent family relied on SNAP to assist in covering basic costs. It was during this time that she found out about, and joined, the Target Hunger pantry program. The food received through the program greatly helped by supplementing what she was purchasing with her SNAP benefits.

Stephany has since returned to work and is still trying to pay back expenses she accrued during her maternity leave, on top of the ongoing expenses she currently has. As a result of returning to work, she no longer receives the SNAP benefits her family still greatly needs. The continued assistance from the pantry program has given her and her family a reprieve during this time of struggle. “It’s been hard. I’m struggling to pay back everything from the months I didn’t work. We’re struggling, so the pantry program means a lot to us.”

This summer, Stephany and her boys have also benefitted from being a part of the Summer Breakfast & Lunch program, in addition to their monthly pantry box. “I’m not able to buy so much milk, so the boys are able to get the food they need.” Stephany said, with a giggle, her boys loved the food. “We appreciate all your help and support. Even if you don’t think it’s a lot, it means a lot to us.”

This Hunger Action Month, you can help families like Stephany’s receive the assistance they need during moments of hardship. By donating today, you can help Stephany and other struggling moms like her get access to nutritious, fresh food for themselves and their children.

We hope you’ll join us today in the fight against hunger in Houston.

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