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Thursday , October 18 2018
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Tag Archives: el pasoans fighting hunger

EPISD Community Schools Partners to Open Community Food Pantries

Families in El Paso’s South Side will get some help in putting healthful food on their tables thanks to a partnership among the EPISD Community Schools program and El Pasoans Fighting Hunger and Project Vida.

The three entities have come together to open the first two school-based food pantries in EPISD at Guillen Middle and Zavala Elementary. The two pantries will serve 150 families in three campuses starting later this month.

“El Pasoans Fighting Hunger has been working with our schools for a long time with the mobile food pantry, but this is the first school-based food pantry in EPISD,” said Simon Chandler, EPISD’s Director of Community Schools. “I was happy we are part of project that is responding to a need. It’s another way to support the families that we have here.”

To qualify, families had to register for the service.

“We sent flyers homes with the students, put up posters and made calls to get the word out,” Chandler said. “At the end of each month, the families that are registered will get a basket with food. Once you’re registered that’s good for 12 months.”

The schools will receive up 1,000 pounds of food to start, but for now students are doing their part to chip in with a food drive of their own.

Eighth-grader Mariana Chavez thinks the pantry is a great way to make sure more students have access to healthful food once they go home.

“It’s great to help out other people,” Chavez said. “I brought a couple things, and it feels good to be able to part of this project.”

Guillen and Hart will share a pantry due to their proximity to the Community Schools family resource center on the Guillen campus. The pantry will be run with the help of parents and students, who will keep the food organized and stored correctly until it is collected.

“This is another way we can engage parents,” Chandler said. “They can come volunteer and learn more about some of the other programs we have available, such as the ESL and computers classes.”

For more information on how make a food donation contact 230-2550.

 Story by Alicia Chumley /Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD

PdN’s Institute for Healthy Living: Food Insecurity Remains a Challenge in Area

With the holidays drawing to a close and a new year virtually upon us, food insecurity and the need for donations – especially to area food banks and pantries – remains high throughout the Borderland.

The Paso del Norte Institute for Healthy Living (IHL), in partnership with the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, is working to address food insecurity in our region.

According to a recent report by the IHL, although economic times seem to have improved since the Great Recession, many people still struggle to make ends meet.

One measure of this is food insecurity – limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.

Nationally, food insecurity has come down in the past 2 years. Data from 2014 show food insecurity in the US at 15.4%. El Paso fared better at 11%. However, if data from households with children is included, food insecurity rates in El Paso climb to 25.5%, well above the US rate of 20.9%.

Officials the Paso del Norte Institute for Healthy Living say “To think that more than 1 in 4 of the children living in our county does not have enough food to eat is heartbreaking, but it also means they are at greater risk of many health problems. When children live in a food insecure environment, they are more likely to be hospitalized and have a higher risk of obesity, asthma, and behavioral and social issues such as fighting, hyperactivity, anxiety, and bullying.”

“We have a unique environment here along the border,” Miriam Manon from The Food Trust says, “It is important to take into consideration the culture of the border as it relates to how people purchase and access food. The border dynamic can present challenges, but also great opportunities. We look forward to working with the IHL and other stakeholders in the region to discuss the state of access to healthy food and the role that public policy and philanthropic efforts can play in helping to address these issues.”

Manon and the Food Trust are studying the border dynamics and how they affect food access in our region

The Paso del Norte Institute for Healthy Living (IHL), and the PdNHF say among their outreach and assistance programs are:

  • A project in partnership with The Food Trust, a national non-profit organization that specializes in assessing the food access landscape, convening stakeholders to develop recommendations, and providing training to build local capacity to implement healthy food access programming.
  • Re-establishment of the Food Policy Council in El Paso in partnership with Margaux Dalbin from United Way and Gary Williams from El Paso Community Foundation.
  • A program called Fresh Start at Kelly Memorial Food Pantry.
  • A project called Growing Food Connections out of Doña Ana County in partnership with the Mesilla Valley Food Policy Council and La Semilla Food Center.
  • Many community-based organizations in Juárez working to provide food to food-insecure children and families including Ciudadanos Comprometidos con La Paz (CCOMPAZ), Centro de Asesoria y Promoción Juvenil (CASA), and Arbol de Vida.
  • Working with local school lunch programs to help increase participation.

A recent partnership with UTEP for the “UTEP Grand Challenge” event that challenged teams of students and faculty to “create innovative public/private policies or programs that will increase fruit and vegetable access to food insecure people.

 

In addition to the partnerships and outreach programs, officials say that residents can help as well.

IHL Officials suggest that, parents “encourage your children and others to participate in the school lunch program. These lunches are regulated through the USDA and provide low or no-cost nutritious meals for school children…(and) volunteer their time or give a financial donation to a local food pantry or food bank  here in El Paso or Las Cruces.

For more information about the projects and programs described here, contact the Institute for Healthy Living at contact@pdnihl.org

El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank to Benefit from Walmart’s “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.”

Walmart recently launched its “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign, a nationwide initiative calling on the public to take action in the fight against hunger, and a local food bank could reap the benefits.

The Feeding America nationwide network of 200 food banks, of which El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank is a member, stands to benefit from the campaign goal to secure at least 100 million meals for Feeding America food banks across the country.

“We appreciate Walmart’s ongoing commitment to fighting hunger and are thrilled that Walmart is asking the public to get involved and make a difference in their local communities through the ‘Fight Hunger. Spark Change.’ campaign,” said Victor M. Nevarez, CEO of the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank.

Nevarez adds, “This campaign will significantly boost our collective ability to raise awareness about the issue of hunger in America, allowing us to secure more local funds and ultimately provide food to more people in need in the El Paso area. We hope people across El Paso will take action and participate in the campaign.”

Working with customers, Discover and five of its national suppliers – Campbell Soup Company, General Mills, Kellogg Company, the Kraft Heinz Company and PepsiCo – Walmart is offering three easy ways for everyone to take action against hunger and help a local Feeding America food bank through social, online and in-store participation.

1.      Purchase: For every participating product purchased at U.S. Walmart stores from April 17 – May 15, 2017, the supplier will donate the equivalent of one meal ($0.09) on behalf of a Feeding America member food bank, up to applicable limits. For every Discover card transaction made at U.S. Walmart stores and Walmart.com during the campaign period, Discover will donate the equivalent of one meal ($0.09) to Feeding America and its network of member food banks, up to $1 million. See Walmart.com/fighthunger for further details.
2.      Online Acts of Support:  Generate meals for Feeding America food banks by engaging with the Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign on social media:
Facebook – Create original content that uses #FightHunger; like, share and/or react positively to campaign content; click on Walmart provided campaign content.
Instagram – create or share content using the campaign hashtag #FightHunger; like or share Walmart generated campaign content.
Snapchat – Use Walmart provided Fight Hunger. Spark Change. filters nationwide on April 21.
Twitter – Create original content that uses #FightHunger; like, share and/or make a campaign tweet a favorite; retweet a message featuring the campaign hashtag #FightHunger; click on Walmart provided campaign content.
For each online act of support, Walmart will donate the equivalent of 10 meals ($0.90) to Feeding America on behalf of member food banks, up to $1.5 million.
3.      Donate at the Register: Donate to a Feeding America member food bank at the register during checkout.

With Feeding America reporting that one in eight people in America struggle with hunger, the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign comes at a critical time. Here in El Paso, 90,730 people may not know where they will find their next meal.

“This campaign is an important part of our ongoing commitment to helping families who struggle with hunger,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “Together with suppliers, customers and friends at Feeding America, we’re dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of those who live and work in the communities we serve.”

This is Walmart’s 11th year working with Feeding America nationally to fight hunger and the 4th annual “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign.
To learn more about the campaign, visit www.walmart.com/fighthunger

Eastwood High School Hosts Community Food Drive Tuesday Night

Students and community members will have the opportunity to participate in a community food drive and health fair at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, in the school cafeteria.

Eastwood officials say, “The goal is to collect enough food supplies to benefit 200 families within the Eastwood Learning Community.”

The event is hosted by Eastwood

High School in conjunction with the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, their local Communities in Schools program, the PTSA, and Student Council.

Medical agencies and vendors will be available at the health fair to provide information as well.

What: Community food drive and health fair

When: 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 10

Who: Students, teachers, staff, and community members

Where: Cafeteria, Eastwood High School, 2430 McRae Blvd.

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