In 1986, Marion Knight, a member of the Junior League of Fort Worth, began examining the problems of infant hunger in the Fort Worth area.
Knight discovered that while the federally funded WIC (Woman Infants Children) program offered food assistance, there were many barriers and delays for the families receiving the aid. Additionally, local food pantries typically did not stock infant formulas because of the associated high costs of this specialty product.
Her year-long research confirmed her belief that indeed, many area infants were going hungry due to a lack of immediate emergency food assistance. In response to Knight's startling research, the First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth offered to become a partner in addressing the problem. The church developed an infant formula program that fed approximately 3,000 babies in its first year.
Expanding the LIFE Program
With a successful start-up behind her, Knight, a former Houstonian, investigated the need for a program for at-risk families in Houston.
Armed with supporting research, she and Bishop Maurice Benitez, the Episcopal Bishop of Texas, approached Rev. John Pitts of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church to organize a similar program.
In October 1988, Local Infant Formula for Emergencies (LIFE/Houston) launched its Food For Hungry Babies program.
The program provides emergency formula to infants birth to 12 months. We also offer a comprehensive library of educational materials on infant nutrition in both English and Spanish.
Today, LIFE/Houston provides services to families free of charge from its three facilities across Houston.