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Posted by: In: MCHC News 12 Apr 2017 1 comment

To view this article on WacoTrib.com, please click here.

Bill Gaventa, guest columnist: Why we need Medicaid — you know the people it helps

Medicaid: It’s not just about hospitals and doctor visits. It may be helping you, your neighbor or co-worker.

When most of us hear about Medicaid, we also think Medicare, a health insurance program that helps pay for hospital visits, doctors and other parts of health care. About 28 percent of the time, we would be right.

We also think that it is health insurance for people on welfare, even though the term “welfare” has been outdated for a long time. If by welfare we mean people who receive benefits from the government — well, almost everyone is on some form of welfare, including some of the largest businesses in this country (e.g. the oil industry and agriculture) and large employers who pay so little that the only way their employees can often survive is by being eligible for food stamps or other benefits (e.g., Walmart). But that’s another story.

If we mean health insurance for people below or near the poverty line, then in fact, the Affordable Care Act — “Obamacare” — did expand Medicaid eligibility to people making up to 138 percent of the poverty line. For one person, that translates to an annual income of $15,800; for a two-person family, $21,300; three-person family, $26,800; and a family of four, $32,300. Most people and families making that level of income can in no way afford to pay for health insurance out of their own pocket and many have jobs without health-care benefits.

And without Medicaid, the only place you could go would be the emergency room — and that costs we the taxpayers much, much more. Those people are in that 28 percentile.

But Texas chose not to expand Medicaid eligibility through the Affordable Care Act, so about 700,000 people with incomes under those amounts are thus not actually eligible for health insurance at all. That is a little less than the number of people who live in the 17th Congressional District. But that is also another story.

So where does the other 72 percent of Medicaid funding get used? You might have been reading about the Texas Legislature battling over early-intervention therapies for young children with severe disabilities. In 2015, the Legislature cut huge amounts from that program. Some legislators are now trying to restore it.

What do we know? Early intervention is the most important time to provide therapies that will help children with disabilities develop for the long run. Many of these kids are on Medicaid, which means their families are not ruined financially by therapies and complex medical issues. These parents still work (and pay taxes). You may know some of these families. We often call them “heroic.” I guarantee you: They are grateful for the support, as you and I would be if we were in their shoes.

But early intervention is only a small piece. Think about most of the people in nursing homes in Central Texas. They are somebody’s mothers and fathers who cannot afford retirement centers. Medicaid pays for ongoing care: nurses, aides, meals, recreation, housekeeping, and more. Think about the programs supporting adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities — both those who live in group homes and those who live at home with their families. In the latter case, supporting someone living at home is much more cost-effective than residential programs. Both options are far cheaper than an institution. Plus, they get to be part of the communities in which they grew up rather than being uprooted and sent away.

In the past decade, Texas has done some good work to redirect general revenue that paid for some of these supports into Medicaid. And they were able to use Texas taxes to draw down more federal dollars. However, the American Health Care Act — the Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act, some call it — would cut federal Medicaid dollars significantly, which means longer waiting lists for aging parents.

Then think about people with psychiatric issues who, if they cannot afford treatment, can often end up unemployed and homeless or in the largest treatment facility in most of the country — the county jail or a state prison. You may now be able to think of people you know. And through the help of Medicaid, the Heart of Texas MH/MR program has been able to start several creative programs to provide treatment that keeps people with mental illness with minor offenses out of jail, avoids admission to Austin State Hospital, and keeps them from being homeless. If Medicaid funding is cut dramatically, those cases might very well overwhelm community-based nonprofits and county services — or, to put it differently, end up falling totally on local and state taxpayers.

After its defeat last month at the hands of ultra-conservative House Republicans as well as Democrats, new attempts have arisen to revise the AHCA — this time by not just cutting Medicaid but also by eliminating the requirement for “essential health benefits,” which means required coverage for mental health issues and substance abuse that the ACA required. Think about people you may know who are addicted to drugs or alcohol or whose insurance is now paying for treatment and recovery programs at whatever income level. The new AHCA being crafted would also allow for insurance plans that would not cover pre-existing conditions — something President Trump once thought necessary. How many people in the 17th Congressional District have pre-existing conditions before they get to Medicare age? Around 400,000, about half of the 17th District population. You would know a lot of those people. You, like me, might even be one of them.

The truth is that Medicaid helps thousands of people in our own congressional district live lives that keep them out of more expensive medical and health services that someone would end up paying for. That someone, ultimately, would be you and me. It helps families at multiple income levels to provide care at home while they also work and pay taxes. It provides the opportunity for children and adults with physical, intellectual and/or psychiatric disabilities to learn, grow and/or recover where they learn and grow best, in community settings that enable relationships, participation, and contribution. When given a fair shot, many have the possibility of a job and becoming a taxpayer themselves.

To make this come alive, you plug in the stories of the people you know whose lives are more secure because of one of these kinds of programs, all made possible by this state/federal partnership we call Medicaid. Tell your stories to our elected leaders. If Texas was willing, we could do something about the ongoing stigma of being one of the states with the lowest quality of long range services for people with disabilities and the highest percentage of people who have no insurance at all.

In one of the richest states in the country, and within sight of some of the world’s best health care systems, this is not just a moral shame. It is obscene.


Rev. Bill Gaventa is president of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and a member of the Planning Network Advisory Committee, Heart of Texas MH/MR. He lives in Woodway, Texas.

Posted by: In: MCHC News 12 Apr 2017 0 comments

To view this article on the Texas Hunger Initiative website, click here.

March 20, 2017

Grant will continue outreach for child nutrition programs, conduct research to evaluate effectiveness

Media Contacts: Kasey Ashenfelter, Texas Hunger Initiative, 254-366-9844 and Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275

Follow Lori on Twitter at @LoriBaylorU
Follow Baylor Media Communications on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia
Follow the Texas Hunger Initiative on Twitter: @Texas_Hunger

WACO, Texas (March 20, 2017) – The Texas Hunger Initiative (THI) at Baylor University has received a $3 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to continue its work to end hunger in Texas.

With this grant, THI will build Hunger Free Coalitions across the state, continue child nutrition program outreach and conduct university-based research to evaluate and improve upon its work. The new funding will allow THI to go deeper in its current efforts as well as expand on projects working to find long-term, community-driven solutions to hunger and poverty.

More than 4.5 million individuals in Texas are food insecure. THI’s innovative model addresses the hunger problem at all levels – local, state and federal – by organizing systems and helping people work together to create more efficient and effective programs and policies that reduce hunger in Texas.

“There is so much great work happening in Texas communities, but without coordination, this work is pushing upstream,” said THI senior director Jeremy Everett. “We fill a unique role. We are getting people to work together – nonprofits and legislators and businesses and state agencies – and it’s untangling some complicated systems, allowing local organizations to maximize their work and getting existing resources to the people that need them.”

This model has proven to be successful for THI and its partners. Since 2009, 300,000 more students are eating breakfast at school every day, and 10 million more meals are served in school programs. In addition, there are 2,000 more summer meal sites in Texas that have served 21 million more meals each summer than compared with participation rates in 2009.

In Waco, THI has partnered with organizations such as the McLennan County Hunger Coalition, Waco NAACP and Waco Regional Baptist Network, among others, to support child hunger programs and raise awareness about resources to address hunger in Waco and McLennan Country. During summer 2016, nine sponsors of the summer meals program in McLennan County operated 72 sites, which together served 147,456 lunches and a total of 226,146 meals, including breakfast and lunch. These increases mean that more children and families in local communities have access to nutritious meals.

Along with its efforts to coordinate and support child nutrition programs, THI will be able to strengthen its efforts to build Hunger Free Communities across the state. These coalitions will bring together local individuals and organizations to foster collaboration, helping community members plan for and coordinate anti-hunger and anti-poverty efforts in their own cities and towns.

“We are excited that our new funding from the Walmart Foundation will allow us to continue existing relationships and grow deeper roots in and with communities,” Everett said. “We are looking forward to continuing to work with Texans to better serve all of our neighbors.”


Baylor University’s Texas Hunger Initiative (THI) is a capacity-building, collaborative project dedicated to developing and implementing strategies to end hunger and reduce poverty through policy, education, research, community organizing and community development. THI convenes federal, state and local government stakeholders with nonprofits, faith communities and business leaders to create an efficient system of accountability that increases food security in Texas.


Posted by: In: MCHC News 09 Mar 2017 0 comments

From a story on FRAC…

WACO, Texas — Texas is among the top states in the country for public school participation in the national School Breakfast Program. The 2017 School Breakfast Scorecard from the Food Research and Action Center ranked the Lone Star State eighth-best in the nation for the number of schools providing breakfast to low income students.   Kathy Krey, director of the Texas Hunger Initiative at Baylor University, said it’s important for students who participate in school lunch programs to be included in the breakfast program.  …


Congratulations to the good works that is making a difference in child hunger!

Posted by: In: MCHC News 08 Mar 2017 0 comments

Help us eradicate hunger in McLennan County!  All donations help our organization in continuing efforts to increase awareness of hunger in our community.  Your support also makes it possible for us to offer grants and additional resources to local member organizations.  You can make a one-time donation or recurring payments via PayPal.

All donations are greatly appreciated!

Posted by: In: MCHC News 17 Feb 2017 0 comments Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted by: In: MCHC Advocacy, MCHC News 13 Oct 2016 0 comments
Posted by: In: MCHC News 30 May 2016 0 comments

Here it is!

We at the McLennan County Hunger Coalition work diligently throughout the year to ensure our list of community resources is up to date. Please download and share!

If you know of an organization that is not listed and would like to be included, please let us know! Email Esther Morales at foodoutreach@grandecom.net.

Click here to download: Waco/McLennan County Food Pantry 2016 revised52416


Here is the most up-to-date list of pantries and feeding sites in Waco, Texas. They are listed by day of the week for your convenience. Sites that provide federal benefit assistance as well as rental and utility assistance or available at the bottom of the list. If your site is not listed, please contact us at Email Here. Thank you!

Waco Food Pantries Distribution List

  Waco Food Pantries Distribution List

Monday                                         Location                                                            Time

Care Center -754-8923        3100 Trice Ave. (rear entrance)                  Pick up application

Caritas -753-4593                 300 S. 15th Street                                            8:00 am-4:00 pm

Church of the Open Door-799-2656     900 N. Loop 340                       10:00am-12:00pm

Operation Assist – 297-7801   400 So.4th Street                                       9:00am- 11:00am

Crestview Church of Christ-776-0711   7129 New Delhi Rd. (off Sanger)  Every 3 months- 8:30am-11:00am

Columbus Avenue Church-752-1655   1300 Columbus Ave.                  Call every 2nd Monday@ 8am

St. Francis Church-752-3254                301 Jefferson Ave.                       9:00am-11:00am

Salvation Army-756-7271                      4721 W. Waco Dr.                        8:30am-1:00pm

Brazos Meadows Baptist Church -666-7314     625 So. Hewitt Dr.       7:30pm-8:30pm


Care Center -754-8923           3100 Trice Ave. (rear entrance)              Pick up application

Caritas -753-4593                    300 So.15th St.                                            8:00 am-4:00 pm

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry-754-4248   3300 North 22nd St.            10:00 am-12:00 pm (1st   40)

Wheels of Sharing Mobile Pantry (MART)  123 East Texas Ave.    1st Tuesday of each month 10-12 pm

Wheels of Sharing Mobile Pantry (WACO)       TSTC Campus    3rd Tuesday of each month 11-1 pm

Hands of Mercy-752-2293     3301 Clay Ave.                                                   3rd Tuesday of each month 2-5 pm

Operation Assist – 297-7801   400 So.4th St.                                             9:00 am- 11:00 am

Salvation Army-76-7271        4721 W. Waco Dr.                                        8:30 am-1:00 pm


Caritas -753-4593                     300 So.15th St.                                             8:00 am-4:00 pm

St. Francis Church-752-3254   301 Jefferson Ave                                     9:00 am-11:00 am

Church of the Open Door-799-2656  900 No. Loop 340                        10:00 am-12:00 pm

Care Center -754-8923            3100 Trice Ave. (rear entrance)             Pick up application

Bellmead  Calvary  Baptist-799-0229  910 East Loop 340                     4:00 pm- 6:00 pm

     *Service only residents in these zip codes:  76704, 76705, 76640, 76624, & 76684. Call for additional information.

First Baptist Church (GHOLSON) 829-2321  228 Wildcat Circle, Gholson Rd.  Wed. Night 6:30-7:30 pm (appt.only)

*Services provided for these areas only: West, Ross, Chalk Bluff, Aquilla

Victorious Life Church-662-5552     7459 S. Hwy I-35 Robinson          5:30- 6:30 pm

Salvation Army-756-7271                   4721 Waco Dr.                                 8:30 am-1:00 pm

Northside  Church of Christ               2500 Parrish                                    3:00 pm-5:00 pm


Care Center -754-8923                3100 Trice Ave. (rear entrance)          Pick up application

Caritas -753-4593                         300 So.15th St.                                        8:00 am-4:00 pm

Crestview Church of Christ-776-0711  7129 New Delhi Rd. (off Sanger)  every 3 months 8:30 am-11am

Operation Assist – 297-7801      400 So.4th St.                                          9:00 am- 11:00 am

Lake Shore Baptist-772-2910     5801 Bishop Dr.                                     Every 2 wks. 8:30 am-11:30 am

Shepherd’s Heart-722-9217       1401 No.34th St.                                       3:00-6:00 pm

  • Shepherd Heart will continue to open every Thursday and the 2Nd Saturday of each month to serve the community. You will be allowed to come twice a month to receive food. You have the option to pick any Thursday or the 2nd Saturday.

Antioch Community Church-754-0386    505 North 20th St.                  4:00-6:00 pm

Salvation Army-756-7271           4721 W. Waco Dr.                                     8:30am-1:00pm

Just As I Am-235-4009               610 Rotan                                                   1st&4th Thurs of each month 9 am -12 pm

Living Word COGIC-799-3796  1005 Dunbar Street                                  2nd & 4th Thurs 2 pm-4 pm


Caritas -753-4593                         300 So.15th St.                                            8:00 am-4:00 pm

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry-754-4248   3300 North 22nd St.                10:00 am-12:00 pm (1st   40)

Salvation Army-756-7271            4721 W. Waco Drive                                 8:30-1:00 pm

Carver Park Baptist Church-799-2766  1020 E. Herring Ave.                  1st & 3rd Friday-10 am-12:00 pm

2nd Missionary Baptist Church-799-6300   2001 Dallas Street                2nd & 4th Friday-10 am- 12:00


Wheels of Sharing Mobile Pantry (WACO) 1020 Elm St. (Paul Quinn Campus)  2nd Saturday of each month 10-12pm


Victorious Life Church-662-5552   7459 S. Hwy I-35 Robinson            12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


 Waco Feeding Sites Distribution List

Antioch Community Church-754-0386   505 North 20th St.          Friday’s 6:30pm

First Lutheran Church 752-4583              1008 Jefferson Ave.       Wednesday’s 5:30pm & Friday mornings 6:30am

Gospel Café- 753-5916                                825 South 10th St.           Wednesday/Thursday/Friday 11:30-1:30pm

Meyer Center                                                1226 Washington Ave.   Monday – Thursday & Saturday 6:30am

Salvation Army Community Kitchen       500 South 4th Street      Monday-Sunday Lunch 11:30am Dinner 5:30pm

Salvation Army Mobile Canteen               Every Tuesday @noon at Independent Center –Austin Avenue and

12:30 pm at the Brazos River (Downtown Waco Farmers Market Location)

Grace Temple Baptist Church                   3825 Bosque Blvd.          Wednesday evenings Dinner 5:30pm

Acts Christian Fellowship Church            13th  and Mary St.             Sunday evenings Dinner 5:00pm


Federal Benefits Assistance Sites

Texas Health & Human Services -211      612 Austin Avenue           Monday- Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

HELPINGS: SNAP Outreach Program-753-3545   300 South 15th Street Monday- Friday 8:00am-4:00pm

Noah’s Heart – 235-0355                          1401 No.34th Street           Each Thursday evening 3:00pm-6:00pm

Noah’s Heart – 235-0355                         1401 No.34th Street            Each 2ND Saturday 10:00am-12:00pm

St. Luke’s AME Church – 752-502         117 East Church St.            Call for appointment for Resource Center

Veteran’s One Stop Center-297-7171     2220 Austin Avenue           Tuesday’s only 8:30am-12:30pm


*You can also apply for federal benefits on-line at the Helpings Snap Outreach Program, and at our Texas Health & Human Service office, or at the www.yourtexasbenefits.com website.

 Utilities/Rent/ Assistance Sites

Salvation Army-756-7271                   4271 West Waco Dr.      Monday-Thursday 8:30am-1:00pm (UTILITIES/RENT)

Caritas of Waco- 753-4593                 300 South 15th St          Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:00pm   (Must call first) 

EOAC -756-0954                                  512 Franklin Ave.         Monday- Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm (Must call &fill out Application prior to appointment). 

Legal Assistance Sites

 Lone Star Legal Aid- 756-7944      900 Austin Avenue, 7th Floor       Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

Mission Waco Legal Services-296-9866  1226 Washington Ave.        Call for appointment