Food insecurity is defined as the limited access or availability to nutritional foods, and is typically an economic and social indicator of the community’s health. Two factors that predict food insecurities within communities are unemployment and poverty. According to a study done by Houston Food Bank and Harris County Public Health, there are approximately 724,750 food insecure individuals in Harris County alone.
With Precinct 2 having one of the hightest rates of low-income families, food insecutiy is a common occurrence for its residents. Thus, Commissioner Garcia worked to create an initiative that will help the communities suffering from this issue.
The Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) was passed by Commissioners Court on December 3, 2019. This initiative’s primary purpose is to increase the availability of fresh and nutritious foods, including fruits and vegetables, all across Harris County. Some communities that are most affected by this are located in Precinct 2, including Aldine, Crosby, and North Channel. The HFFI seeks to provide funding to support healthy food retail, nutrition education, and urban agriculture throughout the region.
“I want to help bring nutrition education into the families of Precinct 2 for better health,” said Commissioner Adrian Garcia. “This creates an opportunity to improve the diets of our communities and address an issue that many of our residents suffer from food insecurity due to the lack of accessibility to healthy foods,” he continued.
Providing communities with nutrition education and access to fresh fruits and vegetables promotes the adoption of healthy eating behaviors, improves physical health as well as economic outcomes. Even though this initiative has passed, the Harris County Community Services Department (CSD) is still working to announce the official start date. Once announced, for-profit and non-profit organizations will have to apply for grant funding from the CSD to begin the process for their communities. For more information, continue to follow up with hcp2.com for the latest updates.