WNBA San Antonio Stars’ General Manager Fights Food Insecurity

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJune 15, 2017 1:22 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

President Donald Trump’s overall approval ratings are continuing to slide nationally, and in Texas. But among the state’s Republicans, support remains high.

That’s according to a new poll out today from the University of Texas and The Texas Tribune.

Trump’s overall approval rating in Texas is only 43 percent, but among Texas Republicans, he’s got an 80 percent approval rating.

Texas is helping the nation set records for renewable energy.

Wind and solar power hit record highs nationally this spring, mostly thanks to the Lone Star State, reports Houston Public Media’s Travis Bubenik:

Texas leads the nation in the amount of power it generates from wind and solar. And in March – for the first time – wind and solar grew to more than 10 percent of all electricity generation in the U.S.

The numbers come from the Energy Information Administration, which says on the national level it’s natural for renewables to spike in the spring. That’s when winds are stronger in Texas and other plains states with a lot of wind power capacity.

A lot of Texans don’t know when they’ll get their next meal.

“One in six Texans live in households that can’t always afford enough food. That puts Texas near the bottom nationwide,” says Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America. The nonprofit works to promote policies that reduce hunger across the country, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Food insecurity hits home for Ruth Riley, the general manager for the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars.

“My father walked out when I was young, leaving my mom to raise – I have an older sister, a younger brother and myself and she did everything she could but there were times where there just wasn’t enough,” Riley says. “Programs like SNAP and free and reduced lunches in our schools were a supplement.”

Riley says as a kid, she didn’t really understand that the programs were benefitting her. But as a former WNBA All-Star, NCAA Champion and Olympian, she can’t imagine where she would have been without them.

She’s decided to team up with Hunger Free America as a board member to make sure kids get access to the nutrition they need.

“I think it’s incredibly important when you just look at the educational piece,” Riley says. “But for me, if you overlay that with my athletic dreams, then I’m doubly grateful for these programs.”

Approximately 42 million Americans live in food-insecure households.