4,057,910 people struggle with hunger in Texas. Locally, 1 in 7 East Texans, including 1 in 5 children, are facing hunger and we find this unacceptable. The East Texas Food Bank advocates to protect and defend policies that seek to close the hunger gap at the federal, state and local levels. For a real and lasting impact in the fight against hunger, we need your voice to make ending hunger a priority. Working hand in hand with community leaders and policymakers, we can solve this problem.

How to be an advocate

When creating or changing policy, our elected officials must make tough decisions that may impact our ability to help close the hunger gap in East Texas. Faced with decisions that can impact millions of people, they are counting on hunger-fighters to help provide them with accurate and timely information. That’s where we need your help.

We know that when people contact their lawmakers, they listen. Help us make meaningful, sustainable progress toward a hunger-free Texas by advocating for your neighbors experiencing hunger. Here are resources on how to find and contact your representatives:

2023 Legislative Session “Wins”

1. Updating the SNAP Vehicle Asset Test (HB 1287): Texas uses a Vehicle Asset Test to determine SNAP eligibility, placing limits on the value of the vehicles that a household may own and still qualify for the program. HB 1287 makes a one-time inflationary adjustment to the Vehicle Asset Test to better reflect today’s car values, increasing limits from $15,000 to $22,500 for the first car and from $4,650 to $8,700 for additional vehicles. The bill was authored by Rep. Ryan Guillen and sponsored by Sen. César Blanco.

2. Implementing pre-release SNAP registration (HB 1743): Early access to SNAP benefits ensures formerly incarcerated Texans have immediate resources for food so they can begin rebuilding their lives. HB 1743 supports people exiting the criminal justice system by allowing eligible individuals to apply for SNAP before their release so that they have access to food upon release. This supports the reentry process and reduces recidivism. The bill was authored by Rep. Jeff Leach and sponsored by Sen. Royce West.

3. Increasing funds for produce rescue: The Surplus Agricultural Products Grant helps food banks rescue surplus or unsellable produce from Texas farmers for distribution to hungry Texans. 100% of program funds go to farmers and transportation providers to offset the cost of harvesting, storage, packaging, and freight. The network achieved a $10.2M increase in funding for the Surplus Agricultural Products Grant, doubling funds to $20.4M for the biennium. This is a win-win-win for hungry Texans, farmers, and the environment.

4. Exempting state transportation-related taxes and fees for food banks (HB 3599): State transportation-related fees are significant food bank expenses. HB 3599 will give food banks an exemption from fuel taxes and registrations for their fleets, meaning food banks can reinvest those costs into feeding their communities. The bill was authored by Rep. Shawn Thierry and sponsored by Sen. Chuy Hinojosa.

Advocacy Contact

Rebecca Berkley
Communications & Marketing Director