WACO, Texas – Google is launching a new food support hub in response to the economic crisis of food insecurity, and Baylor University’s “Meals to You” program is one of five videos of food pantry staff featured on the site.
Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty Communications Director Craig Nash says it feels good knowing their labor of love over the past two and a half years is being recognized.
“They looked all around the country to find programs that they really wanted to feature, and we were one of five programs that they wanted to tell the story of,” Nash said.
Google’s search engine spiked in food searches during the pandemic, and they created this tool as a solution.
The Find Food Support site helps people nationwide find food pantries and school lunch programs in their area.
“The Baylor University Collaborative has done amazing work with their Meals to You program delivering free meals to children in rural communities,” Google Communications Manger Julie McAlister said. “This website includes a video of the great work that they are doing to connect people all over Texas with free meals.”
Through the Meals to You Demonstration Project and Emergency Meals Program during the pandemic, the Baylor Collaborative delivered 39 million meals to children in rural areas across the country – including Puerto Rico.
The Google site will allow Texans to quickly find close to 7,000 locations for food resources.
“Our primary role is to be both advocates for those who face food insecurity, but also kind of educators for those who may not be aware,” Nash said. “There are people in our own town and in rural communities around us, all around the country, who may go to bed hungry tonight.”
Nash says around 20 percent of all individuals in McLennan County are food insecure, and the number for children is sometimes higher.
“This work is really personal for all of us on our team, and we will continue to do the work until we see numbers of food insecure Americans go down drastically,” Nash said.