Last month, You’re the Cure advocates joined us at the Capitol for committee hearings on school health and food deserts. While the committees cannot pass new bills until next session, they meet in the interim to discuss the implementation of laws from last session and issues likely to be on the agenda in 2023. This is a great time to grab the attention of lawmakers, and they really appreciate hearing from advocates who take time to visit in a non-session year.
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A virtual round of applause for Jaelene Luper, Taiylar and Devin Williams and Yamaceeta Thompson who committed time this past month to advocating at the Texas State Capitol with us! In addition to delivering their messages to the committees directly, their testimony gave us opportunities to follow-up with committee members who had additional questions and wanted to learn more.
Pictured: Alec Puente, AHA Texas Government Relations Director, Jaelene Luper and Simone Benz, Sustainable Food Center Advocacy Manager
Pictured: Alec,Taiylar and Devin Williams and Yamaceeta Thompson.
We've started talking with legislators about the need to address healthy food access in our state, and especially to support Texans’ ability to afford healthy fruits and vegetables. Programs like Double-Up Food Bucks offer Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients incentives to purchase healthy food by offering a matching coupon or discount when they spend benefits on fresh fruits and vegetables.
While these programs operate in some parts of Texas, there is an urgent need for more resources to expand programs to other, especially more rural, parts of the state. With more than 3 million SNAP recipients in Texas and the increased pressures on families’ budgets, we plan to push the legislature to support Double-Up Food Bucks across Texas next session.
We will be in touch with further updates and more opportunities to take action soon! In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you if you have a story to share related to healthy food access. Contact us at [email protected] and let us know your thoughts!