Hunger Action Month is a campaign to spread awareness about food insecurity and hunger in the United States. With more than 34 million people considered food insecure, 9 million of which are children, it’s an ongoing and important issue for the country. As we’re in the first week of Hunger Action Month, we thought it would be a good time to write about the state of hunger in Texas and in our service areas. According to Feeding America, over 4 million people are facing hunger in Texas, which amounts to about 1 in 7 people in our home state. How many people are in your office? In your child’s classroom? How many of your neighbors? You might know someone who is hungry!
No lack is felt more acutely, and causes more dire consequences, than a lack of food. And each day in Harris County and throughout Houston, almost 15% of residents are struggling to survive in a state of chronic food insecurity, a number higher than both the state (13%) and national (10%) average. In Target Hunger’s primary service area which focuses on the underserved populations within the northeast and east region of Houston, the percentage is even higher with between 19-24% of the population being food insecure.
We also know that children are no strangers to the issue of hunger: 1 in 6 children face hunger in Texas, and 53.4% of households receiving SNAP have children. Hunger in children is a particularly detrimental issue. Children who are hungry face learning difficulties, educational setbacks, nutrient deficiencies, and other health issues.
Imagine you are back in elementary school, enjoying the fun and adventure that 3rd grade brings. Now imagine going to school without breakfast, sitting through the first several hours of class before you can enjoy the lunch provided by school. Would you be able to focus on your schoolwork? Many students facing hunger struggle with focus.
Target Hunger served 17,276 unduplicated individuals in 2022 and distributed the equivalent of over 1.2 million meals. Additionally, about 30% of our clients were under the age of 18. As we make our way through Hunger Action Month, these numbers loom large in our heads. Food continues to be a very real need in our community year-round. As long as there is a need, we will be here to serve. We hope you will join us in the fight against hunger by making a donation or signing up to volunteer. You can also spread awareness by sharing this post with your friends and colleagues and following us on social media.