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Protecting East Texas Food Supplies During Hurricanes and Crises

protecting East Texas ribbon cutting

At Amerigroup Texas, we take a broad view of health to improve lives of our members and our communities. We recognize the importance of whole-person health, and we know that food is medicine.

That’s why we support Newton Food Share — and why we want to make sure it keeps its lights on, no matter the emergency.

Newton Food Share, a partner agency of the Southeast Texas Food Bank, is a key source of fresh, healthy food for more than 300 families and 700 people each month who live in and around Newton County, located 110 miles northeast of Houston.

But the shelter, along with the people who count on it, is regularly in the crosshairs of catastrophes such as hurricanes. If the power goes out during an emergency, then Newton Food Share’s produce, meat, dairy products and other perishable items would be at risk — along with the people who count on them.

That’s why Amerigroup provided $50,000 for the purchase of a natural gas-powered generator to keep the refrigerators and freezers cold at Newton Food Share. A partnership with Newton County officials — Judge Kenneth Weeks and Commissioner Gary Fomby — made it possible to obtain the generator despite supply chain delays, and to ensure its timely installation.

Judge Weeks joined Newton Food Share Board Chair Joe Miller and Amerigroup Community Relations Representative Carlene Womack last month for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Newton.

Reliable access to healthy food plays an absolutely essential role in achieving whole health and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. But food insecurity — when a person or family lacks consistent access to healthy, nutritious food — is one of the most reported unmet issues in the United States.

Data suggest that nearly 4 million Texans, and one in five children, live in hunger. Feeding Texas estimates 1.4 million households in the state lack access to proper food.

This crisis has a direct impact on people and communities in Texas and beyond. That’s why Amerigroup’s parent Foundation has committed to investing $30 million over the next three years to support programs that address food insecurity and help people reach optimal health through good nutrition.

That also drives our support of Newton Food Share. We want to help this amazing organization continue serving its community, no matter the circumstances.

This generator will ensure that healthy food continues to be available in Newton — even in the toughest circumstances.

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