NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A collaboration is underway in Nacogdoches to ensure children don't go hungry this summer. The Texas Hunger Initiative and Davis Memorial Church in Nacogdoches are partners in the fight against food insecurities.
Not all summer lunch programs open with such fanfare as what's found at Davis Memorial Church.
However, this congregation goes all out to attract children because they want to tackle the very serious problem of childhood hunger.
"The area where we serve the children who do not get meals," said A.L. Shaw, the pastor of Davis Memorial Church. "Many of them go without."
It's happening across the state according to the Texas Hunger Initiative, a Baylor University project working to end the hunger in Texas.
"According to Feeding America and Map the Meal Gap, Nacogdoches County has a 30.3-percent childhood insecurity rate," said Grace Norman, the campaign manager for No Kid Hungry.
The federal summer lunch program happens all over the state. As a host the Davis Memorial raises the bar. Volunteers cook and serve a daily hot meal at not only the church, but at other sites.
One cook said, "no cold cuts" served here. The church provides transportation through its Neighborhood Partners for Kids program. It invited service agencies at today's kickoff to possibly gain more support.
"When they see us taking the time to care and do these things that will make them feel like that they could come help and it brings in more," said Vanessa Curl, the chair of Neighborhood Partners for Kids.
The collaboration between local, state and federal agencies is essential in combating a widespread problem.
"Hunger is a tricky topic, and I think there are many reasons and it's intertwined with so many different things," Norman said. "I think it can be a low -indicator of poverty, but at the same time they're not synonymous by any means."
Texas Hunger Initiative will provide tools and resources for Davis Memorial and other participants that will help them in the fight of childhood hunger.