She Is An Advocate For Hurricane Harvey Recovery In Houston’s ‘Food Deserts’


Dec 17, 2018

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Meet Tiffany Stafford, a 2018 Disaster Feedback Fellow of the Disaster Recovery Network at GlobalGiving.


 

Imagine a nonprofit already at full capacity working to provide food assistance to Houston’s most vulnerable communities—and then Hurricane Harvey hits.

Target Hunger, which works to alleviate hunger and its root causes in Houston, found itself in the middle of a city in crisis. In the course of one storm, Target Hunger’s target population more than doubled.

Tiffany Stafford, Director of Fund Development, shares this about the communities they serve:

“People that were on the brink before the disaster—well, the storm just amplified their need.”

She explained, “If you needed food before the storm, you probably still need food. Houston is very resilient and strong economically so things got back to ‘normal’ quickly, but that doesn’t mean communities aren’t still struggling, still recovering. It is going to take years to recover.”

The communities Target Hunger serves are concentrated in five zip codes—all five are among Houston’s 15 lowest-income areas and considered “food deserts,” according to the USDA.

“The storm didn’t discriminate based on income—recovery doesn’t work like that. Once the media leaves, that’s the part of the story that people don’t get. The middle class assumption is that everybody recovers the same way,” Tiffany said.

In the face of an already-tough year, Target Hunger was able to ramp up their work, serving more than 47,000 people affected by the storm between Sept. 1, 2017 and Aug. 31, 2018 (compared to 21,000 in 2016). Tiffany says this is what makes her most proud.

When asked what she would like others to know about the Harvey survivors they serve, Tiffany had this to say:

“You want people to know that even though this is a different community and people may live differently, some things are the same. Everybody wants to be able to take care of their family.”

Tiffany is a 2018 Disaster Feedback Fellow of the Disaster Recovery Network at GlobalGiving. Learn more about the fellowship.

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