The Houston American Heart Association (AHA) has identified hunger and food insecurity as one of the main problems facing Harris County. The challenge of food insecurity has only intensified with COVID-19. Before the pandemic, food insecurity in Harris County was as high as 23% in some communities. Recent estimates from Feeding America predict that Texas will be the most food insecure state in the nation due to the pandemic with its associated job losses and economic impact on families.
At the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, the AHA collaborated with the City of Houston’s Complete Communities initiative to serve as a connector between food distribution non-profits such as Common Market and the resource challenged community of the Third Ward. Our collaborative partner, the University of Houston College of Medicine, helped us distribute the farm fresh boxes with community health workers in Cuney Homes Apartments. Thank you to everyone involved in this community project!
At AHA we seek to find ways to create healthier food systems. During the pandemic, many of our more permanent systems such as farmers’ markets have temporarily paused service. Yet, working with community partners we continue to find ways to facilitate access to healthy foods. Stay tuned for more information as we work with the community and our partners to determine how AHA can best support community priorities moving forward and as the pandemic continues.