City of Tyler wins second place in statewide Mayors Challenge


Texas Department of Agriculture:

AUSTIN - Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today named the city of Tyler and Mayor Barbara Bass second-place winners of a 2011 Mayors Challenge award for promoting child nutrition and making healthy food available to more Texas children through the Texas Department of Agriculture's Summer Nutrition Programs.

"Children who eat nutritious meals often perform better academically and are healthier overall, which decreases their dependence on medical care," Commissioner Staples said. "These Summer Nutrition Programs are intended to offer a temporary bridge toward self-sufficiency while providing short-term assurance that Texas children don't go hungry during the summer months when schools are closed. I commend Mayor Bass and the Tyler community for accepting my Mayors Challenge and making it a priority to improve the health of Texas children."

A report by Feeding America ranked Texas as having one of the highest rates of food-insecure children in the United States. Through the Mayors Challenge, Commissioner Staples brings together Texas cities, schools, non-profit organizations and churches to work together to increase community awareness and participation in the Summer Nutrition Programs.

In recognition of Tyler's second-place award, Mayor Bass received a check for $1,000 provided by H-E-B in support of the Mayors Challenge. Winning mayors donate the funds to a charity of their choice. Mayor Bass will donate the award money to the East Texas Food Bank.

Mayor Bass credited the Tyler Parks & Recreation Department with increasing participation through its Summer Playground Program, which partners with the East Texas Food Bank to serve lunch to children and provide supervised activities.

"This year in particular, with the tough economic times, we wanted to make sure our at-risk kids had a good meal," Mayor Bass said. "Once we committed to the Mayors Challenge, we wanted to make sure we did everything we could to be successful."

The city of Navasota and Mayor Bert Miller earned first place in the 2011 Mayors Challenge.



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