I participated in a panel at Austin’s annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference this week to talk about hunger and its impact on Texans. The event was a unique opportunity to spread Feeding Texas’ message about the need for equitable food access in Texas and ways we can all act now to help combat hunger in our communities.

Celia Cole

The panel discussed the root causes of hunger, and a vital question was posed: If Texas has the world’s 9th largest economy, why are so many Texans going hungry? We explored the systematic barriers that propel inequity and unequal food access in Texas. We also discussed obstacles to access federal nutrition programs, the importance of listening to Texans with lived experience of hunger, and the ever-present need for advocacy.

A chance for an open and collaborative dialogue like the SXSW panel is crucial to ensuring that hunger is at the forefront of future conversations. We can all agree that Texans deserve access to healthy, culturally relevant food. The Feeding Texas team is working tirelessly to change the policies and systems that keep people from getting the food they need. Our ongoing efforts include actively fighting for policy change during the current 88th Texas legislative session.

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Editor’s Note: The above commentary was penned by Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas. The commentary first appeared in a Feeding Texas e-newsletter. The Feeding Texas network is the largest hunger-relief organization in Texas. Together with 21 member food banks, the group reaches over 5 million Texans annually with food and resources.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above commentary comes from the Feeding Texas website.

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