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The House votes to condemn President Trump’s attacks on women of color in Congress as racist. Also on our Wednesday rundown: A new report forecasts big losses for some states if the ACA is repealed. And a corporate call to flex muscle to close the gender pay gap.

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New Report: Texas Hunger-Risk Rate 2nd Worst in Nation

September 14, 2011

FORT WORTH, Texas - Texas ranks second worst in the nation in "food security," according to a new U.S. Department of Agriculture report which says almost 19 percent of Texas households don't have consistent, dependable access to enough food for active, healthy living.

Barbara Anderson, who heads the Texas Food Bank Network, representing 19 food banks across the state, thinks many Texans would be surprised to learn that hunger and food insecurity are prevalent even in some of the wealthiest areas. The network teamed up with Baylor University's Texas Hunger Initiative to create a hunger scorecard by county.

"This puts the true numbers down, where we can show the people that run those areas or those cities, 'This may not be what you want to see, but here it is in black and white, and this is the truth.'"

More precise information about who's going hungry can lead to better coordination of services, she says.

The food-insecurity rate is 24 percent in Hidalgo County, 18 percent in Harris County, 16 percent in Travis County, and 15 percent in Montgomery County, home to The Woodlands and other affluent communities.

It can be a challenge to transition from unemployment to partial employment, Anderson says. A small boost in income might mean a family is no longer eligible for food assistance, but still doesn't earn enough to guarantee food security.

"And that's where the food banks and the communities can come in, with the pantries and the other help to tide them over."

Food donations in Texas have gone down slightly in recent years, Anderson says. Monetary donations for hunger relief, however, have remained fairly stable...

"But the problem is, the need has increased about 30 percent, so we needed those donations to rise about 30 percent, rather than remain level."

The USDA report says that only Mississippi has a greater rate of food insecurity than does Texas.

The USDA report is online at The county scorecard is at

Peter Malof, Public News Service - TX