Child Nutrition

CDF-Texas Calls on Texas Leaders to Accept Federal Food Assistance in Support of State’s Young People


CDF-Texas Calls on Texas Leaders to Accept Federal Food Assistance in Support of State’s Young People

Multiple outlets reported this week that Texas leaders opted out of a newly permanent federal program that provides summer food benefits to eligible families.


John Henry,, Media Relations Manager, 708-646-7679

Austin, TX — On Wednesday, multiple outlets reported that nearly 21 million children in the U.S. and its territories expect to receive food benefits later this year through a newly permanent federal program provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Children’s Defense Fund-Texas was disappointed to learn that the state is among 14 others whose leaders have rejected this much needed assistance.

Children’s Defense Fund-Texas State Director Dr. Brandy Taylor Dédé released a statement in response to this latest reporting:

“Every day, Children’s Defense Fund-Texas works to make sure every child and young person in the state of Texas can thrive. To do that, we must make sure all young people in our state have basic necessities, including food to eat. Unfortunately, the reality is tens of thousands of children across the lone star state routinely go hungry. The most recent data provided by Feeding America shows that, in 2021, more than 1.3 million children, or roughly 18 percent of all residents under the age of 18, were food insecure in the state of Texas. For context, that is equal to the entire population of the city of Dallas.

“This is completely unacceptable.

“But what makes things even worse is that there is assistance being made available to right this wrong and our state leaders are refusing it. If Governor Greg Abbott had accepted the benefits provided by the USDA’s Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer program, every family in Texas with children eligible for free or reduced-price lunch could receive $40 per month per child during the summer. Texas leaders are once again failing to act when our children and families’ health are on the line.”

“Every young person deserves to live with dignity, hope, and joy. Our leaders must prioritize Texas children, who may not be able to vote but who are still among those whom leaders are elected to represent. We demand Texas leaders reverse this harmful decision or, at the very least, accept the funds from USDA when they are offered again next year.”

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About Children’s Defense Fund

Founded in 1973, Children’s Defense Fund envisions a nation where marginalized children flourish, leaders prioritize their well-being, and communities wield the power to ensure they thrive. The only national, multi-issue advocacy organization working at the intersection of child well-being and racial justice, CDF advances the well-being of America’s most diverse generation, the 74 million children and youth under the age of 18 and 30 million young adults under the age of 25. CDF’s grassroots movements in marginalized communities build power for child-centered public policy, informed by racial equity and the lived experience of children and youth. Its renowned CDF Freedom Schools® program is conducted in nearly 100 cities across 30 states and territories. Learn more at