Texas Impact has a link to a new study released by the Texas Food Bank Network (TFBN) which finds that Three million Texas visited a soup kitchen or food pantry in 2009.
Three million Texans – or one in eight – including 1.2 million children were forced to visit a soup kitchen or food pantry to feed themselves in 2009, according to a new study released Tuesday by the Texas Food Bank Network (TFBN), the national organization Feeding America and the research firm Mathematica. The study revealed a 45% total increase in demand for charitable food over the previous five years, and an 85% increase in clients under the age of eighteen. 260,000 senior citizens were also among those served in 2009. “The pressure on private charity has become too great,” said TFBN State Director Barbara Anderson. “We need real solutions, and public investment to address this growing problem.”
The study comes on the heels of last week’s announcement of new polling data showing that nearly 21% of Texans had trouble feeding themselves or their families in 2009. Among those served by the state’s charitable food providers, the hungry were found to be getting hungrier. 53% of clients reported being forced to choose between paying for food or paying their utilities in the previous year. 42% reported choosing between paying for food or rent, and 37% reported choosing between purchasing food or needed medication. All were increases over the previous survey.
Here’s the link to the Press release and summary of findings [.pdf]. In Williamson County there is an outstanding group of concerned citizens headed by Joyce White, who are making a difference feeding some of the neediest in the county. See this EOW post from last year, Appeal for the hungry, to learn more and find out how you can help.
The increasing numbers going hungry in Texas and across this nation are often forgotten about. What is worse is the complete lack of discussion this gets in our political discourse. Here’s a paraphrase of what Texas Gov. Rick Perry said in his closing statement at the last debate, via Burkablog:
I get asked why texas is number one in so many categories
don’t spend all the money, use the rainy day fund
don’t allow for oversuing
We’ll need experienced leadership over the next four years.
Sure looks like don’t feed the hungry should be part of that too. For some reason he forgot to mention the 3 million Texans that are having trouble getting enough food to eat. While this is all our problem to solve, and not only the governor’s fault, it’s as if these people don’t exist in Rick Perry’s Texas.