Grandparent-led households experience food insecurity at twice the national rate, report finds

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According to a report by Generations United, grandparent-led households experience food insecurity at twice the national rate. 

An organization out of Brownsville works to fight that. 

Near La Posada in Southmost, a farm was created to teach the community to grow their own food. It's an area that is underserved, according to program manager and farmer David Vasquez.

“We’re trying to expose this area to the world, to Brownsville,” Vasquez said.

Brownsville Wellness Coalition is a nonprofit organization that works to tackle food insecurities. They also aim to create healthier lifestyles in different ways.

“This is why we have urban farms in certain areas where grandma and grandkids can come out here and learn about food and grow food and how to harvest food,” Vasquez said.

Grandparents lead more than 12,000 homes in the Valley, according to 2020 census data. Grandparent-led homes are when children younger than 18 live in the same home as their grandparents.

According to Generations United, 25% of grandparent-headed homes had food insecurity between 2019 and 2020. The study says different factors cause food insecurity, including poverty, disability, marriage status, and accessibility.

“We shouldn’t penalize caregivers because they’ve stepped up to raise a child and we shouldn’t penalize the child because their caregivers aren’t able to access food,” said Generations United Executive Director Donna Butts said. 

Butts says the need for nutrition is universal and every family deserves access to not only food, but nutritious meals.

The study suggested solutions, such as making families aware of available resources and expanding the number of government-funded benefit programs, such as SNAP. 

The Brownsville Wellness Coalition is also hosting its fresco mobile market, a food truck that will be parking at different locations throughout Brownsville that have less access to food services.  

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