FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/29/09 Contact: JC Dwyer, 817-721-9352 jcdwyer@gmail.


New Data Shows Rise in Texas Hunger, Millions in Poverty
Census Reveals Vulnerable Families, Children Hit by Recession as Early as 2008
Detailed poverty data released today by the U.S. Census confirmed the economy’s impact on vulnerable Texas families as early as 2008. 3,760,431 Texans (15.8%) were found living in poverty. A survey of Texas food banks also found a universal rise in demand due to the recession. The Census numbers revealed a startling number of Texas families living under the federal poverty line of $17,163 for a family of three. 1,497,803 Texas children (22.5%) were found living in these households, which often coped with rising costs and stagnating wages by turning to nutrition programs like those run by the Texas food banks. “Every one of our food banks has seen a large increase in demand,” said Barbara Anderson, state director for the Texas Food Bank Network (TFBN). “Today’s numbers underscore the need for increased community support and federal action to address the needs of these families.” The food bank survey, conducted by national group Feeding America, found that Texas food banks have seen a dramatic increase in families requesting assistance as a result of the recession. The food banks were also found to be serving a significant number of new clients (see Chart 1 below for local numbers). Legislation now being considered by Congress could ease the burden on food banks by expanding existing child nutrition programs. Lawmakers have pledged that any expansion of these programs will not add to the federal deficit. “We hope our Texas Congress members will help us meet or exceed the President’s request for child nutrition program expansion,” said JC Dwyer, State Policy Coordinator for TFBN. “In the face of growing need, we cannot afford not to act.” Detailed Census numbers are available on the attached grid and at Full reports from each Texas food bank are available at The Texas Food Bank Network provides a unified voice among nineteen food banks serving every county in Texas in support of a common mission to end hunger.

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Chart 1: Poverty, Increased Demand For Food Go Hand in Hand
Food Bank South TX Food Bank East TX Food Bank Capital Area Food Bank Food Bank of the RGV Concho Valley Food Bank Houston Food Bank Food Bank of Corpus Chr. W. Central TX Food Bank Southeast TX Food Bank Brazos Valley Food Bank North Texas Food Bank High Plains Food Bank Tarrant Area Food Bank Wichita Falls Food Bank South Plains Food Bank Victoria Food Bank San Antonio Food Bank
Montgomery Cty Food Bank

Increased Demand
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Increase in 1 Time Clients?
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Poverty in Largest Local County
Webb: 62,963 (26.9%) Smith: 24,732 (12.6%)

& in Poverty

Local Children
31,185 (36.2%) 9,638 (19%) 47,723 (19.1%)

11% 40%
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Yes Yes Yes
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Travis: 144,336 (14.8%) Hidalgo: 253,798 (35.2%) Tom Green: 12,826 (12.5%) Harris: 606,338 (15.3%) Nueces: 54,203 (17.2%) Taylor: 19,612 (16.4%) Jefferson: 36,687 (16.7%) Brazos: 43,448 (26.9%) Dallas: 414,272 (17.4%) Potter: 26,189 (22.2%) Tarrant: 211,379 (12.2%) Wichita: 13,105 (11.3%) Lubbock: 37,907 (14.8%) Victoria: 13,902 (16.3%) Bexar: 273,347 (17.2%) Montgomery: 39,833 (9.4%) Ector, El Paso:

119,368 (46%) 4,873 (18.3%) 260,682 (23%) 20,931 (24.6%) 7,199 (22.3%) 16,634 (28.5%) 8,472 (22.4%) 176,894 (26.2%) 10,502 (30.2%) 85,402 (17.5%) 4,319 (13.7%) 10,818 (16.4%) 5,727 (24.8%) 108,208 (23.9%) 15,291 (13.2%) 6,676 (17.1%) 81,657 (35.9%)

23% 9% 15%
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Yes Yes Yes
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Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
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44% 20% 19% 33% 32% 31%
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West TX Food Bank

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18,809 (14.5%)
186,344 (25.5%)

More detailed Census numbers are available at Full reports from each Texas food bank are available at


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