POSTED: Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 9:08am
UPDATED: Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 9:09am
Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) was recognized with CHILDREN AT RISK's "Voice for Children Award" for his work combatting childhood hunger, most recently by passing a bill to increase participation in public school breakfast programs.
"I am deeply honored and humbled to receive the 'Voice for Children Award.' This award recognizes the hard work of a diverse coalition of stakeholders, all committed to advocating for the food-insecure children of Texas," Senator Lucio said. "It is my firm belief that no child should go through a day hungry. Growing up in and representing an economically distressed region of the state, I have witnessed hunger first hand. That is why I have committed much of my career to eliminating childhood hunger. I have put particular attention on improving nutrition in public schools, the only place many low-income children can count on receiving a nutritious meal."
CHILDREN AT RISK, a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the lives of children, gave Senator Lucio the Voice for Children Award during its Accolades Luncheon, held today in Houston. For more information about the luncheon, including contact information for CHILDREN AT RISK, please visit childrenatrisk.org/event/accolades-luncheon/ .
Senator Lucio was given the award to recognize him for successfully passing Senate Bill 376, which increases participation in the federal School Breakfast Program, obliging school districts to make available a free breakfast to each of their students if 80 percent or more of those students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. This bill, which was the cornerstone of Senator Lucio's education agenda this Session, will dramatically increase students' access to breakfast.
Other legislation passed by Senator Lucio includes Senate Bill 89, passed during the 82nd Legislative Session in 2011, which requires school districts with 50 percent or more students who qualify for free or reduced price meals to offer food service for at least 30 days during the summer break. The Senator passed a follow-up bill in 2013, House Bill 749, which requires the Texas Department of Agriculture to work with the Texas Hunger Initiative to create a five-year plan to provide school children better access to summer meals.
In addition to his work in the state legislature, Senator Lucio was recently appointed to the National Conference of State Legislatures Foundation Hunger Partnership, a group of legislators and staff from across the country tasked with raising the visibility of, and highlighting innovative and lasting solutions to hunger in America.