New Food Insecurity Board launched to fight hunger in Houston

Council Member Edward Pollard announced the establishment of the new Food Insecurity Board, which was approved by a unanimous vote by Houston City Council.

The Houston Food Insecurity Board will be an effective and comprehensive approach to addressing the issue of food insecurity by providing policy suggestions, guidance, and best practices to policymakers.

Over 738,000 Houstonians have little to no access to healthy food, and 360,000 children in Harris County are experiencing food insecurity. This includes over 500,000 Houstonians living in “food deserts” with little to no access to healthy food. Because of the pandemic, the Houston Food Bank distributes 1,000,000 pounds of food per day, compared to 450,000 pounds a day before COVID-19. After Winter Storm Uri, this number spiked to 1,200,000 pounds of food per day as mass distributions took place in worship spaces, schools, and parking lots throughout the city.

“Over the past year and a half, I have all been involved in numerous food distribution drives. I am continuously in awe of how many people wait for hours for basic food items. This drove me to find solutions to the food needs of our city and issues related to the root cause,” Pollard said. “In collaboration with the Minaret Foundation, I learned that Houston was one of the only major cities in the country that did not have a Food Insecurity Board. As such, my office worked diligently in order to create this board before the new year so we could begin 2022 ensuring that this issue would be a top priority at city hall.”

The Food Insecurity Board will consist of 19 members, who will each serve one-year terms, with the first term expiring on January 2, 2023. The members include:

Shariq Abdul Ghani (Chair of the Board), Valhalla Clack, Billyssia Pierce, Gabrielle S. Dirden, Warren B. Luckett, Kandace Cooks, Charmaine A. LeBlanc, Sandra Rodríguez, Vipin Kumar, Zahoor A. Gire, Rudy Rasmus, Kathy Flanagan-Payton, Megan Hoag, Shannon G. Strother, Nipa Kamdar, Katherine H. Byers, Daphne C. Hernandez, Tanweer Kaleemullah, and Lisa Helfman.

Within the first two years, the Food Insecurity Board is expected to focus on key food, nutrition, and agriculture policy issues and opportunities that are affected by government and legislation; create recommended policy priorities that best suit the needs of Houston, with an emphasis on community food security; and educate the public and policymakers about food system.


October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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