Celia Cole is an expert in food and nutrition policy with experience at the state and federal level. Prior to Feeding Texas, Celia was a senior policy analyst with the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) for 14 years, where she covered food and nutrition, welfare, and family economic security issues. She also has worked in a policy capacity with the Texas Department of Human Services and for Laurel Consulting Group, a private consulting firm in Washington, D.C. Celia serves on the advisory committees of the Partnership for a Healthy Texas and the Texas Food Policy Roundtable, and is actively involved as a board member of her local YMCA. Celia holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Columbia University and a master’s degree from the Institute of Latin American Studies at UT-Austin.
July 15th, 2021
Feeding Texas respectfully urges the Texas House to protect legal and fair access to the ballot box for Texans by opposing the passage of HB3. According to a 2020 analysis of voting records, eligible voters with incomes less than twice the federal poverty line routinely vote at a much lower rate than their higher-income peers.
June 17th, 2021
SB 224 simplifies the SNAP certification and recertification requirements for households comprised of senior citizens or individuals with disabilities SB 224, authored by Texas State Senator Charles Perry and sponsored by Rep. Armando Walle, became law yesterday after being signed by Governor Greg Abbott. The legislation creates a simplified certification and recertification process for Supplemental
University of Texas Student E-Cookbook Promotes Sustainable Food Sourcing and Raises Funds for Feeding Texas
June 17th, 2021
A team of 17 students from The University of Texas at Austin created a donation-based e-cookbook titled “A Taste of Austin Through the Lens of Sustainability” that showcases local restaurants and businesses focused on sustainability. The students make up this year’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD), a three-semester pre-professional program in nutritional sciences where those
February 18th, 2021
Texans running low on food are finding empty grocery store shelves. Food pantries are running out of supplies. And the freeze has wiped out substantial portions of the state’s citrus and vegetable crops. This story was originally published in The Texas Tribune.Photo Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune The state’s week of weather hell started
January 25th, 2021
The Biden Administration recently announced three executive actions that could significantly curb rising hunger in Texas, especially among children. Under these new orders: USDA will increase the value of the P-EBT program, which provides additional food-purchasing power to families whose children are missing free or reduced-price school meals while they are learning virtually at home. The administration
January 18th, 2021
In his iconic speech at the 1963 March on Washington, Martin Luther King urged solidarity and perseverance in the fight for equality: “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back.” Despite the inspiration in his words, we can’t forget that King
December 10th, 2020
More than 2.5 million households in Texas didn’t always have enough food to eat in November, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. About two-thirds of those households were either Hispanic or Black. This story was originally published in The Texas Tribune. Food banks across Texas are projecting food shortages in coming months due to the
December 10th, 2020
Bipartisan legislation filed in advance of the 87th Texas Legislature would streamline access to nutrition assistance for Texas seniors and people with disabilities, according to advocates. The companion bills, filed in the House by Representative Armando Walle (D-Houston) and in the Senate by Senators Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and Royce West (D-Dallas), would direct the Texas
December 4th, 2020
The following statement is attributable in whole or part to Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas: “We are heartened to hear that Congress is back at the negotiation table to pass a COVID relief bill by the end of the year. Many Texas families are near the end of their rope. Unemployment benefits are expiring,
November 17th, 2020
Thanks to the generous support of donors and partners, Feeding Texas and the statewide network of food banks were able to feed hundreds of thousands of Texans since the start of the COVID-19 economic downturn and make a commitment to be there for the long term with increased levels of support. Over 400 million pounds of
November 11th, 2020
Attributable to Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas: Feeding Texas congratulates the projected winners of last Tuesday’s election across our state and nation. We celebrate the conclusion of an election season challenged by a global pandemic, an atypical voting process, and profound differences of opinion among voters. We celebrate Texas voters, especially the Texans served
October 1st, 2020
The Texas Department of Agriculture slashed food bank funding by 44% today, despite record need related to the COVID-19 health crisis. The $1.9 million cut is to the Surplus Agricultural Product Grant, which helps food banks procure fresh produce from local growers. The cuts are aimed at satisfying a directive from the Governor to trim agency budgets
July 13th, 2020
“This data makes it clear that the new normal of COVID-19 includes a significant increase in hunger…A modest, fifteen percent boost to SNAP while the pandemic continues would begin to counter this increase.” Photograph by Tamir Kalifa New research suggests food insecurity has doubled among Texas families on the four-month anniversary of Texas’ disaster declaration
June 10th, 2020
Feeding Texas stands in solidarity with the Black community in calling for racial justice and mourning the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the many others before them. We commit to learn from, and act with communities of color and other marginalized people to dismantle the systemic and structural racism that infects
May 13th, 2020
Feeding Texas applauded USDA’s approval of a $1 Billion state plan to help some Texas families buy groceries during the health crisis. Households containing children up to 21 years old who received free or low-cost lunch at school this year will be eligible for the new Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program. Families will receive a one-time benefit of
April 27th, 2020
USDA announced the details of a new, $3 Billion Coronavirus relief program for growers, producers, and families facing the economic effects of COVID-19. The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will deliver boxes of dairy, produce and meat through an open solicitation to local and regional food distributors, who must partner with food banks or other
April 22nd, 2020
Food banks and nutrition advocates urged Congress to adopt proposals strengthening SNAP this week as the need for food assistance continued to rise across the state. “Our food banks are being overwhelmed,” said Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas. “We need to deploy every tool in our toolkit to address this crisis.” Proposals to
April 8th, 2020
Demand for assistance from food banks is off the charts. But volunteers are staying at home, and grocery stores, which typically are key donors to pantries, are seeing their shelves depleted. This story was originally published in The Texas Tribune. Across the state, demand for assistance from food banks is off the charts as thousands
March 12th, 2020
Feeding Texas, the statewide network of food banks, announced plans this week to address the potential for increased hunger resulting from the COVID-19 coronavirus. As the economic impacts of the virus begin to mount, we expect to see a rise in demand at food banks. Low-wage workers, who often live without health coverage and/or paid
February 17th, 2020
Three recent proposals to change SNAP, the federal nutrition program — one of which was formally adopted in December — will worsen food insecurity in Texas and across the nation for the poorest among us. The Trump administration’s proposed changes would cut almost 4 million people from the program, while also reducing benefits for another
February 10th, 2020
Today the White House unveiled a budget proposal that would slash spending on the needs of low-income Americans. The cuts include a $182 Billion reduction to SNAP, the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program. While unlikely to become law this year, this proposal signals the president’s priorities for the coming decade. Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding
November 14th, 2019
At Feeding Texas, we aim to support the nutritional needs of every Texan whose circumstances prevent them from accessing enough food for a healthy life. This goal is particularly relevant for households with specific dietary needs; for example, those living with diabetes. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Nutritional management is critical for individuals living
October 30th, 2019
October is the month of ghosts, pumpkins and eating way too much candy. Surprisingly, it is also National Vegetarian Month—a time to celebrate eating vegetables! A vegetarian is “a person who does not eat meat or fish and sometimes other animal products, especially for moral, religious, or health reasons” (WHRO 2015). There are also pescatarians,
October 15th, 2019
Feeding Texas policy analyst Jamie Olson explains how the ‘public charge’ ruling affects low-income immigrant families. This story was originally published in the Dallas Observer. Immigration advocates across Texas are breathing a sigh of relief after a new rule targeting low-income immigrants was blocked in federal court. Three federal judges have issued nationwide preliminary injunctions
September 6th, 2019
The report found that Texas’ food insecurity rate was higher than the national rate during the same time period. In raw numbers, nearly 1.5 million Texas households were food insecure, more than any other state except California.
August 26th, 2019
Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security published a new rule that may lead to increased hunger in immigrant communities across the nation.
August 1st, 2019
Feeding Texas Policy Analyst Jamie Olson weighs in on how proposed changes to SNAP would affect working families and children.
June 24th, 2019
Feeding Texas CEO Celia Cole weighs in on the importance of finding long-term solutions in Texas cafeterias.
This story was originally published on Civil Eats.
June 1st, 2019
The Disaster Response Mobile Pantry will serve the 19 counties of the West Texas Food Bank, and is on-call and available to other areas in the state should an emergency or disaster arise.
March 22nd, 2019
And we’re off! Every two years, the Texas Legislature convenes for a 140-day regular legislative session, during which our legislators set the state budget and enact laws to provide for the health, welfare, education, environment, and economic well-being of the citizens of Texas.