Summer break signals the end of the school year, which means children and families across Texas will struggle to avoid hunger. To help combat the problem, H-E-B will donate 1.5 million apples to 17 food banks across the Lone Star State this week, including the South Texas Food Bank and Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley.
“In Texas, one in seven households is at risk of hunger, and the need for food grows during the summer break,” said Winell Herron, H-E-B Group Vice President Public Affairs, Diversity and Environmental Affairs. “H-E-B is committed to providing our communities and vulnerable families with nutritious food and the necessary resources to avoid hunger.”
Throughout summer, food banks across Texas see a surge in demand for food. Without access to daily school lunches, children are especially at risk of facing hunger. H-E-B, through its Food Bank Assistance Program, works directly with food banks that are affiliated with Feeding Texas, a member of Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief organization. Last year, Feeding Texas food banks distributed more than 300 million pounds of food to communities throughout the state.
“We are incredibly grateful to H-E-B for this generous donation,” said Feeding Texas CEO Celia Cole. “Many food bank clients struggle with diet-related illness due to their inability to afford healthy foods. With H-E-B’s support, we’re able to provide nutritious food and move closer to closing the hunger gap in Texas.”
In 2016, more than 15.5 million U.S. households were faced with the threat of hunger, a recent report from the United States Department of Agriculture shows. From 2014-2016, 1.4 million (one in seven) Texas households faced the threat of hunger, and last year, one in four children in Texas were at risk of facing hunger. During this period, Texas was one of just fifteen states with greater food insecurity than the entire nation.
Throughout the year, the H-E-B Food Bank Assistance Program works to raise awareness and battle hunger. Last year, the program donated nearly 26 million meals to families in need, and since 1982, the year the program was founded, H-E-B has donated more than 1 billion pounds of food to 5,500 non-profit organizations in Texas and Mexico.
Altogether, more than 650,000 pounds of apples will be delivered to the 17 food banks in Texas.