What I Saw in Texas
I felt it was my responsibility to be (there) last week, joining our volunteers to distribute food and supplies to thousands of families.
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Even before the ‘weather’ crisis hit Texas, due to COVID-19, the rate of food insecurity in Texas has more than doubled. According to the Institute for Policy Research/Northwestern, 23% of households overall experienced food insecurity.
As we have seen in many data sources, Hispanics have been hit harder by the Covid-19 pandemic, not only from the health (cases & deaths) perspective but also from the economic perspective that has huge consequences regarding food insecurity. Hispanics rates of food insecurity hit 32% (1 in every 3 Hispanic Households!)
And then the storm hit.
Leaving millions of Texans without power and reliable water. The food insecurity crisis has grown and even more Texans are running out of food, on one hand, due to the fact that power outages disrupted the food supply chain and on the other, their food supplies were spoiling in dark refrigerators. Moreover, citrus and vegetable farms also anticipate massive losses expecting to lose thousands of tons of grapefruit and orange crops.
Since the pandemic started we, at We Are All Human, have been partnering with corporations to provide relief to as many families as possible through our Hispanic Star Hubs network. Unfortunately when the storm hit, the situation grew exponentially and I felt it was my responsibility to be in Texas last week, joining our volunteers to distribute food and supplies to thousands of families in Texas, mainly -but never limited to- Latinos, who have been horribly affected by the storm.
The emergency campaigns took place in Dallas, Austin, and Houston, distributing basic supplies, such as water, food, and blankets to highly affected communities, including Galena Park in Houston, which President Biden visited last Friday. It was inspiring to see the maturity of the Hispanic Star network and how it was ready and able to have such rapid action.
What I saw in Texas was inspiring. A group of companies, local organizations, and volunteers working together as one with the only objective to let people in Texas know that we care and that we were there for them.
What I saw in Texas, motivated me, even more, to continue to advocate for our Hispanic community. I was moved to hear the stories of Latinos, see the faces of relief when mothers received their bags and knew that they would be able to feed their kids today, tomorrow, and in Dallas actually for three weeks. One lady opened her bag and saw a face cream and started crying. She told me “I haven’t used one in so long”.
I want to thank the companies, local partners, and volunteers that made this possible in such a short amount of time. This emergency relief effort could not have been possible without the support that -P&G, NRG, Barilla, Conagra Brands, Licor 43, La Moderna, Jarritos, Ketsali, Celebration Nation, Chilangos Tacos, and Matthew 25- provided to support the Hispanic community in this difficult time.
But what I saw in Texas is a crisis that is far from over, so I call upon everybody that can make a contribution, volunteer, or help in any way possible to do it. It was never more urgent.