Black History Month: Hunger Heroes

During Black History Month in February, the East Texas Food Bank wanted to celebrate the stories of both national and local Black “Hunger Heroes” who help our neighbors keep food on the table all year-round.

The Honorable Shirley Chisholm

Many Americans know the Honorable Shirley Chisholm as the first African-American woman to be elected to Congress in 1968. Paving the way for Black women in U.S. politics, Representative Chisholm (D-NY) also played an essential role in the creation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), ensuring that low-income mothers everywhere could access free, healthy food for their young children. (information courtesy of FRAC)

Chris Thompson. ETFB Volunteer

Chris has been volunteering for about three years, helping with our produce distributions in Tyler. After working with the Department of Public Safety for 27 years, Chris told us volunteering allows him to continue to serve the community.
“Volunteering is so valuable,” Chris said. “You are serving the person and also you are fulfilling yourself. I’m proud to say I’m a part of the food bank.”

Valencia Watson, ETFB Child Hunger Programs Manager

“I really love helping people and especially children since they can’t advocate for themselves,” says Valencia Watson, East Texas Food Bank Child Hunger Programs Manager. “That’s what brought me here. I can do some ‘hands-on’ with being able to help families and children.”
Valencia joined the East Texas Food Bank almost seven years ago and has worked in our Child Hunger Programs since her first day. While she loves all the programs she supervises, the Summer Food Program is her favorite.
“You can expand to so many different cities and have kids from all over that come to get food from parks and other areas,” she said. “It’s a way for more kids to be fed, which is great!”