Did you know that approximately 12,000 households receive food each month from member agencies of the Southeast Texas Food Bank? Additionally, our partner agencies preparing meals provide approximately 90,000 meals to people in need each month. In the State of Texas, 1 in every 4 children lives in poverty and about 15% of the elderly in Southeast Texas live in poverty. With numbers so high, it is our duty to do something to fight against the crippling effects of chronic hunger. Our vision is to eliminate hunger and inadequate nutrition in Southeast Texas. The following programs have been established to do just that. With your help we can continue to provide these programs to your friends and neighbors in the Southeast Texas region.
The Southeast Texas Food Bank BackPack Program provides sacks of kid-friendly, healthy meals to some of the neediest children in the rural areas of Southeast Texas. We have qualifying schools in seven counties – Jasper, Jefferson, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, and Tyler – and deliver to 30 schools to serve over 1,200 children. The supplemental food that these children receive each week may help offset or reverse some of the developmental delays caused by even mild malnutrition that is associated with poverty.
The Mobile Pantry Program is a direct service to reach those who are struggling to access the help they need. With this program the Food Bank brings the pantry to the neighborhood. We partner with an agency or organization that wants to help, but does not have the ability to operate a regular pantry. This innovative program has improved nutrition in rural areas where fresh produce and basic food items are often hard to come by.
Nutrition Education Classes
The Southeast Texas Food Bank has teamed up with the Lamar University Dietetic graduates to offer nutrition education classes to all age groups. In the class, our Nutrition Education Specialist makes a presentation accompanied by a cooking demonstration and tasting. The fun, interactive presentations include useful information for kids, adults, seniors, and expectant mothers on healthy eating, games, and sometimes a healthy snack!
Social Services Enrollment
Southeast Texas Food Bank staff regularly visit partner agency sites or other locations in proximity to low-income communities around the region to promote enrollment in social services programs, especially SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The purpose of this program is to afford those who can qualify for social services assistance an enrollment opportunity that can provide them with supplemental assistance to improve situations such as their nutrition, overall health care, insurance benefits, and economic need. Through this program, those who face barriers to food access because of competing economic demands in their lives can receive some economic relief that may help improve their food access situation.
Retail Store Pickup Program
The Retail Store Donation Program is a strategic initiative that enables the Southeast Texas Food Bank to increase our emergency food distribution by collecting food from participating grocers that would otherwise be thrown away. Because of strict guidelines, stores often need to discard items even though they are nutritious and completely safe to eat. These goods are then distributed to our agencies in our eight-county wide service area. The Southeast Texas Food Bank works with participating stores to procure these otherwise expensive and difficult to obtain items such as meat, dairy, produce and baked goods— enabling low-income residents throughout Southeast Texas to prepare well-balanced nutritious meals for themselves and their families. The program also exemplifies green business practices by redistributing fresh products that would unnecessarily become waste. Approximately one million pounds of high quality, nutritious food that might otherwise be discarded is rescued each year and delivered to where it’s needed most. The Southeast Texas Food Bank follows all necessary food safety guidelines, transports product via our fleet of refrigerated trucks and inspects donated product at pick-up and distribution points.
Our School Tools program provides school supplies to 30 elementary schools in Southeast Texas that have a large percentage of low-income students. Our free store allows teachers at those schools to access the supplies once a month during the school year. The teachers in turn distribute the supplies to the children whose families cannot provide them. This program helps keep low-income children motivated in the learning environment and excited about classroom activities. Not having adequate supplies can embarrass children and set them on a course of a dislike of school. Our goal is to ensure these children have the tools they need to succeed early in the educational process.
Senior Food Box Program (CSFP)
The USDA sponsored Commodity Supplemental Food Program is oriented towards providing free monthly boxes of food to seniors who are 60 and older and who economically qualify for the program by having an income level that is 130 percent or less of the poverty level for their household size. Pre-enrolled seniors receive a monthly box of food with a variety of senior-friendly menu items to help supplement proper nutrition for this vulnerable population.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) distributes food purchased by the USDA, using state and local resources to make that food available to those in need. The amount of food received by each state depends on its low-income and unemployed population and state agencies work out details of administration and distribution with partner local organizations, like food banks, that either directly distribute to households or serve meals, or distribute to other local organizations that perform these functions.
Standard USDA Statement of Non-Discrimination
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.