Mayor Appoints Col. Vipin Kumar to Houston’s First Food Insecurity Board

Houston: On Wednesday, December 1st 2021 India House’s Executive Director, Col. Vipin Kumar (Retired) was appointed as a board member for the City of Houston’s first Food Insecurity Board, approved by a unanimous vote by the Mayor and City Council. The board will be responsible for advising and making recommendations to the Mayor, Council, and Department Directors to address issues pertaining to food insecurity based on a topic of study which will be assigned by the Mayor each year.

Over 738,000 Houstonians have little to no access to healthy food, and 360,000 children in Harris County are experiencing food insecurity. This includes over 500,000 Houstonians living in “food deserts” with little to no access to healthy food. Because of the pandemic, the Houston Food Bank distributes 1,000,000 pounds of food per day, compared to 450,000 pounds a day before COVID-19. After Winter Storm Uri, this number spiked to 1,200,000 pounds of food per day as mass distributions took place in worship spaces, schools, and various venues throughout the city, including India House.

Over the past 3 years India House has been conducting bi-monthly food distribution drives feeding over 400 families every month, around 5,000 families every year. During the COVID-19 outbreak when the world shut down, Col. Vipin shifted gears and organized and gathered the resources needed to plan and execute a safe strategy to continue feeding the community, especially when they needed it most. With his pulse on National Health Guidelines, the safety of his team, and the needs of his community, he resumed the Food Distribution program at India House in July 2020 and has continued since then.

The Food Insecurity Board will consist of 19 members. Within the first two years, the Food Insecurity Board is expected to focus on key food, nutrition, and agriculture policy issues and opportunities that are affected by government and legislation; create recommended policy priorities that best suit the needs of Houston, with an emphasis on community food security; and educate the public and policymakers about food system.