Over 250 Faith-Based Organizations Join Texas Food Banks in Call for a Strong Farm Bill

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For Immediate Release: 12/13/23
Contact: Wesley Story 

Over 250 Faith-Based Organizations Join Texas Food Banks in Call for a Strong Farm Bill

There is an inextricable connection between faith and food.

TEXAS – Today, Feeding Texas sent a letter signed by more than 250 statewide and local faith-based organizations to Texas members of Congress and their staff. The letter urges support for a strong Nutrition Title in the upcoming Farm Bill to protect and strengthen critical nutrition programs like SNAP and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).

“Food banks regularly work with faith-based organizations to get food to those experiencing hunger,” said Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas, the state association of food banks. “There is an inextricable connection between faith and food. Various faith traditions are united in the belief that providing food for the hungry is a moral imperative.”

Many faith-based organizations in Texas work to address hunger by offering regular food pantries, emergency food boxes, and by providing assistance to those applying for public benefits. They are often places of refuge for hungry families, offering not only sustenance but also support, encouragement, and a sense of dignity to those facing hardship. 

Even with that support, Texas is experiencing a rise in food insecurity as our neighbors struggle to put food on the table, pay rent, and keep the lights on. A recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that Texas has the second-highest rate of food insecurity in the nation at 15.5%, more than 4% higher than the U.S. average. 

Congress has an opportunity to reduce food insecurity by increasing investments in SNAP and TEFAP. While SNAP is the backbone of hunger relief in our nation, TEFAP is the cornerstone of emergency food assistance, accounting for over 20% of the Texas food bank network’s food supply. 

“Nearly 1 in 6 households in our state are food insecure, with over 4.6 million Texans at risk for hunger,” Cole said. “The level of need is far too great for food banks and the faith community to tackle alone — we need support from lawmakers. Together, the Feeding Texas network and faith-based organizations across the state are urging elected officials to reauthorize a bipartisan Farm Bill package that strengthens SNAP and TEFAP while protecting investments already made in these critical hunger-fighting programs.”

Congress passed a short-term budget deal in November that includes a one-year extension of the 2018 Farm Bill. Though the extension gives lawmakers until the end of 2024 to pass a new Farm Bill or another extension, decisions are already being made by members about what to include in the bill.

READ MORE: View the full letter sent to Congress members and a complete list of signatories 


Feeding Texas is a network of 20 food banks and leads a unified effort for a hunger-free Texas. Learn more and find your local food bank at www.feedingtexas.org. 

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