CASTRO COUNTY, TX (KFDA) - Dimmit's AgriLife extension office is now preparing to help food-insecure families in the surrounding area.
AgriLife and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) are now partnering with AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) to provide fresh produce for under-served communities across Texas.
Within the Texas Panhandle, families and children in Deaf Smith, Castro, Parmer and Lamb counties will be the first to receive resources.
AgriLife says there is a higher population of low income families in these counties.
"Texas Department of Agriculture approached the extension service about being a partner mainly because we wanted to bridge the gap between fresh fruits and vegetables in local schools and then help provide healthy meals for families," said Angela Burkham, AgriLife Family and Consumer Sciences State Program Leader. "AgriLife was kind of a natural fit to bring together the resources from TDA and the VISTA volunteers."
This collaboration is in the process of selecting an employee for the area who will take over the health and wellness program.
Though this volunteer will be headquartered in Dimmitt, he or she will work with both schools and area organizations in Hereford, Friona, Bovina, Farwell and Littlefield to find those families in need.
"We hope that they can engage people in the process of creating that healthy environment," said Burkham. "One of the programs that we will focus on is Farm to School, which actually promotes the utilization of local produce from local counties in the Panhandle of Texas within schools in need."
Right now, there are five positions statewide that will help bring programs like Farm to School to under-served communities for up to three years.
If this partnership proves successful, there are plans to bring more positions into Texas Panhandle.
To lean more about this position, you can visit the Square Meal, Texas Department of Agriculture website.