Federal, state, and local nutrition programs make a difference for families. Nearly 500,000 people living across the 13 counties that make up the Tarrant area face hunger. Stagnant wages and skyrocketing prices for food, shelter, gas, and utilities continue to make it harder for families who are facing hunger to access enough to eat. Rising costs due to inflation have also impacted food banks’ ability to provide and distribute food to meet the high rates of need.
The Tarrant Area Food Bank works daily to alleviate hunger alongside our state and national associations, Feeding Texas and Feeding America. Together, we work daily to ensure that the lived experiences of our neighbors facing hunger inform and inspire proven solutions to protect and expand vital programs so that everyone in our community has the food they need.
Food banks will be unable to meet the increased need in Texas due to inflation without additional support from the state.
The Texas Legislature should ensure that food banks can continue to provide healthy produce to struggling Texans across the state by increasing funding for the Surplus Agricultural Products grant to $20M for the biennium.
View our Surplus Ag Grant factsheet here.
A simple change in policy will allow low-income students in vocational and technical degree programs to access SNAP while they pursue their educational goals.
The Texas Legislature should instruct the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to identify college degree programs that are vocational or technical in nature, so that students enrolled in these programs can receive SNAP.
View our College SNAP Access factsheet here.
Several states have decided to address this issue by allowing people who are incarcerated to apply for SNAP prior to release, so that benefits can be available immediately upon release. Ensuring access to food upon release means that people leaving the criminal justice system can focus on finding a job and reuniting with family.
Texas should allow people who are incarcerated to pre-register for SNAP prior to release. This commonsense policy ensures that formerly incarcerated people can meet their basic needs, supports the reentry process, and reduces recidivism.
View our Re-Entry SNAP Access factsheet here.
Texas must modernize the SNAP Vehicle Asset Test by applying an inflationary adjustment to the current limits. No family should be denied help simply because they own a reliable vehicle, and no family should lose their ability to put food on the table because of inflation in the car market.
View our SNAP VAT Fact sheet here.
Food banks are key partners in the fight against hunger, but they alone cannot end hunger permanently. SNAP is the nation’s first line of defense against hunger, providing food benefits that are timely, targeted and temporary. Around 40 million people receive monthly SNAP food benefits, delivered through debit cards that can be used to purchase groceries at retailers nationwide. Food banks are the largest nongovernmental providers of SNAP application assistance in the country.
Congress must protect SNAP’s funding and structure while addressing systemic barriers to access to ensure everyone who qualifies for benefits receives them by:
View our SNAP factsheet here.
View our “The charitable sector can’t solve hunger alone” flyer here.
TEFAP is a means-tested federal program that provides food at no cost to individuals in need of emergency food through organizations such as food banks, food pantries and emergency shelters. TEFAP helps food banks augment the other food they provide to families in need.
TEFAP also has a strong, positive impact on the farm economy. According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, TEFAP purchases give U.S. growers and producers an average of 27 cents per dollar, compared to about 16 cents per dollar from retail.
Lawmakers must increase TEFAP mandatory funding by $250 million per year for food purchases. This level of investment will ensure the flow of TEFAP foods remains steady throughout the food assistance network, continue to help people facing hunger, and support the U.S. agricultural economy. Congress should also authorize $200 million per year for TEFAP storage and distribution funds and $15 million per year for TEFAP infrastructure grants. This additional funding will better cover the cost of moving TEFAP foods from farms to food banks to families in need, especially in rural communities.
View our TEFAP factsheet here.
CSFP is a means-tested program for low-income older adults ages 60 and older. Every month, CSFP provides boxes of nutritious food to around 760,000 older adults (age 60+) who are low-income. CSFP helps to prevent the health issues often experienced by older adults facing hunger. Feeding America network members, like TAFB, are the primary distributors for CSFP food.
Congress should streamline reporting requirements to reduce the administrative burden for program participants and increase program efficiency.
View our CSFP factsheet here.
Between 25-40% of the food grown, processed, and transported in the U.S. does not end up on a dinner plate. Each year in the U.S., around 70 billion pounds of food do not make it from farm to plate.
Feeding America network food banks, like TAFB, partner with growers, producers, food companies, retailers and restaurants to rescue this nutritious food and distribute it to people in need. In one year, Feeding America rescues 3.5 billion pounds of food that might have otherwise gone to waste and helps distribute it to people in America facing hunger.
Congress must act to help increase food donations to communities in need. Congress should increase funding for this program, remove the state match, and allow states to prioritize projects for donated food or food purchased at a low cost from local growers and producers.
View our Food Rescue online resource here.
Develop policies to encourage the donation of surplus wholesome food, and tax incentives like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) that help lift working families out of poverty.
TEFAP is a means-tested federal nutrition program that purchases and distributes food to low-income Americans through emergency food providers like food banks and in partnership with USDA. TEFAP helps food banks augment the other food they provide to families in need. TEFAP provided around 600 million meals of the 4 billion meals distributed by the Feeding America network last year.
View our TEFAP investments resource here.
CSFP is a means-tested program for low-income seniors ages 60 and older. It provides nutritious food to help supplement their diet and it operates in all but one state. Local nonprofits are key anti-hunger partners in CSFP distribution; in 22 states Feeding America network members are the primary distributors for CSFP food.
View our CSFP investments online resource here.
WIC provides food to low-income women, infants, and children who are at nutritional risk. The program provides nutritious foods, nutrition and breastfeeding education, and healthcare access in order to safeguard low-income women, infants, and children dealing with, or at risk of developing, nutrition-related health problems.
View our WIC investments online resource here.