WACO, Texas – The Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty is partnering with the McLennan County Hunger Coalition – launching the “Food Security Initiative.”
The initiative has 15 volunteers across Texas, including one in Waco. The full-time volunteer will work for a year combating food insecurity.
Katie Nye is the Statewide Field Director with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty. She says she excited to help the McLennan County Hunger Coalition continue the great work in the community.
“The partnership in McLennan County, we are especially excited. Because that coalition has been around for a long time, and have been doing an amazing job,” Nye said.
The Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty grew out of the Texas State Initiative, serving local and national issues.
The initiative will start this Spring, with the shared goal of combating food insecurity.
“We are here to help them do it better and to create sustainable programs that will keep going and be better prepared,” Nye said. “If, God forbid, these kinds of disasters like the winter storms and COVID hit again, that we have a shared response and shared responsibility.”
The partnership will allow McLennan County to have a full-time AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) working to reduce hunger and poverty.
“A full-time professional position. But you are receiving a living allowance that’s commensurate with the cost of living in your community at the minimum wage level,” Nye said. “So they are really experiencing a bit of the financial hardship that a family who is experiencing poverty and hunger themselves might.”
Nye says she has also been a VISTA, and it creates an extra level of empathy towards the community while getting entry level experience in non-profit work.
“To give a year of their life to creating the program that feeds people,” Nye said. “So if there needs to be a food pantry in an area that doesn’t have one, or a fresh produce distribution, they are going to figure out where that is, and they are going to make that happen.”
With 16 positions open across the states, there is only one in McLennan County – and Nye says narrowing it down will be hard.
“We have our work cut out for us. We’ve got some amazing candidates,” Nye said.
Applications are open now, but will close in a few weeks.
“It’s a year-long service commitment. So from April 12th of this year to April 11th of the next year, they are with us, and they committed to that year of service,” Nye said.
To learn more, you can visit TexasHunger.org.