The Texas Grocery Access Task Force is a statewide, cross sector coalition of organizations committed to improving access to healthy food in both rural and urban communities throughout Texas.
The Task Force is leading an effort to advance a statewide Healthy Food Financing Initiative that will give more Texas families the opportunity to purchase healthy food. This initiative will improve local economies, create jobs, engage civic and community partners, address health disparities among our underserved and low-income communities, and reduce obesity.
The Task Force’s goal is to establish the Texas Grocery Access Investment Program to provide public funding to incentivize food retailers to build in underserved communities.
Task Force Members
If you are interested in joining, please contact Christopher.Walker@heart.org.
Texas Grocery Access Investment Program
In the 85th Texas Legislature, House Bill 3324 (authored by Representative Eddie Rodriguez) and Senate Bill 2156 (authored by Senator Judith Zaffirini) were introduced to create a Texas Grocery Access Investment Program to extend access to capital toward developers who want to create a food retail outlet in an underserved area. This initiative gained support from across many sectors, including retail, public health, and economic development, and while there is not yet legislation enacted, momentum continues to drive forward during the interim.
March 23, 2017 - Texas Grocery Access Task Force advocates for "A Healthier Future for Texas"
On Thursday, March 23, 2017, the AHA Voices for Healthy Kids Texas campaign team hosted "Advocating for Heart: A Healthy Future for Texas" at the State Capitol to provide an opportunity for You’re the Cure volunteers and Texas Grocery Access Task Force members to advocate in support of policies to help make the healthy choice the easy choice for Texas children and families. The event was hosted during National Nutrition Month, and drew 46 advocates from across the state.
Advocates prepared ahead of time through a training call held a week before the event and with an advocate guide distributed ten days ahead of the event, so they were ready to hit the ground running when they arrived at the Capitol. The day-of programming consisted of a survivor panel and a brief training session, followed by time for advocates to share stories and strategize for specific legislative meetings within their small groups. Nine advocate groups dispersed to 36 legislative meetings, discussing early childcare, grocery access investment, and quality physical education legislation introduced in the Texas House and Senate.
Thank you to volunteers Amanda Cox and Amanda DeJesus (National GRFW Real Woman Spokeswoman) for sharing their personal stories during the survivor panel, and for providing great models for all of the advocates in the room on how to connect their stories to the legislative issues. Thank you to AHA Communications Directors Suzie Flores and Madeline Pena, who captured the perspective of the youth advocates in attendance, and produced the video below. Thank you to Youth Market VP Amy Newman for attending with her daughter, Erin, and to HEQ Director Veronica Sanchez for hosting a group of her committee members from Houston.
Susan Patten from the AHA State Advocacy Committee and Tania Boughton and Beatriz Champagne from the AHA State Leadership Council for Obesity Prevention added incredible value to the legislative meetings, as did special guests Diana Everett and Rachel Naylor from Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, and coalition partners from United Way of Dallas, Bike Texas, Texans Care for Children, Methodist Healthcare Ministries, and Faith in Texas. Thank you to our volunteers and partners!