FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 25, 2013
General Counsel & Press Secretary
AUSTIN — Today (Friday), Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) addressed a group of leading experts on hunger and food insecurity at a Hunger Summit co-hosted by the Texas Hunger Initiative at Baylor University in Waco. Senator Lucio discussed legislation he passed over the last two legislative sessions to improve children's access to food in Texas public schools.
"I have committed much of my time in public office toward eliminating childhood hunger in Texas. I have put particular attention on improving nutrition in Texas public schools. The reason for this is obvious: for too many low-income children, school is the only place they can count on receiving a meal," Senator Lucio told Summit attendees. "With help from advocates like the Texas Hunger Initiative, we have taken some important steps forward in combatting hunger by increasing the availability of meals in schools."
Senator Lucio was an invited speaker at the Together at the Table Hunger Summit at Baylor University. The Summit, co-hosted by the Texas Hunger Initiative and the United States Department of Agriculture (UDSA), included presenters from across the nation, including regional anti-hunger groups, business leaders, university professors, community organizers, and public policy advocates.
The Texas Hunger Initiative at the Baylor University School of Social Work organizes public policy and community grassroots leaders around the issue of eliminating hunger in Texas. The Initiative collaborates with partners such as the USDA, state agencies, the Texas Food Bank Network, and local community leaders. More information about the Initiative and Summit may be found at www.baylor.edu/texashunger.
During the 83rd Texas Legislative Session this year Senator Lucio passed through the Senate House Bill 749, which requires the Texas Department of Agriculture to work with the Texas Hunger Initiative to create a five-year plan to provide school children better access to summer meals. This is a follow-up to the Senator's Senate Bill 89, passed during the 82nd Legislative Session in 2011, which requires school districts with 50 percent or more students who qualify for free or reduced price meals to offer food service for at least 30 days during the summer break.
This Session, the Texas Hunger Initiative was one of several groups which endorsed Senate Bill 376, a bill passed by Senator Lucio this Session to increases participation in the federal School Breakfast Program by obliging school districts to make available a free breakfast to each of their students if 80 percent or more of those students qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
In addition to his work to eliminate hunger in Texas, Senator Lucio is a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures Foundation Hunger Partnership, a group of legislators and staff from across the country tasked with raising the visibility of, and highlighting innovative and lasting solutions to hunger in America.
Senator Lucio addressing attendees at the Together at the Table Hunger Summit at Baylor University, October 25, 2013
(photo credit: Senator Eddie Lucio Jr.)