Latest Coronavirus Updates


The Texas Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Division administers 12 federal child and special nutrition and more than $2.5 billion in federal money annually used to fund the programs for the State of Texas.

These nutrition programs exemplify "eating right" for Texans of every age and background and help them build a bridge to success. Everyone plays a role in teaching children the 3E's of Healthy Living - Education, Exercise and Eating Right.

TDA supports providers of nutrition assistance by helping ensure accountability and the efficient use of taxpayer dollars to nourish Texans in need. By striving to put Texans on the path to wellness through TDA nutrition programs and ensuring those programs operate with efficiency and accuracy, Food and Nutrition works to fulfill its mission — Feeding the Hungry and Promoting Healthy Lifestyles.

The Executive Team oversees the entire Food and Nutrition division and includes the Assistant Commissioner, Administrators, as well as eight sections, each led by a director. These organizational charts show how the division is structured.

Guiding Principles


A Global Example of Excellence and Empowerment in Providing Nutrition Assistance
Feeding the Hungry and Promoting Healthy Lifestyles
  • We are committed to accomplishing the educational goals and the efficient administration and operation of the Food & Nutrition Programs with the utmost professionalism.
  • We require accountability, customer service excellence and respect for each other in managing our programs and ourselves.
  • We will maintain trust, honesty, respect, integrity, loyalty and fairness within TDA and among the Food & Nutrition Program stakeholders.
  • We provide the proper delegation of authority to staff to perform the tasks and achieve the goals of the division.
  • We encourage staff creativity and innovative ideas that support the mission and vision.
  • We promote cooperation and participation between all parties with a vested interest in developing a healthier lifestyle for Texas families.
  • We strive for a culture of open-mindedness and diversity.
  • We endeavor to move forward with a shared sense of purpose and to find win-win solutions to the challenges we face. We uphold faith and strong values in the work and family environment by promoting work/life balance
Assistant Commissioner

Lena Wilson
Lena Wilson


Laura Benavidez  
Laura Benavidez    

Catherine Wright-Steele

  • Jaclyn Cantu, USDA Foods
  • Teresa Cornett, Program Eligibility
  • Melissa Dozier-Gonzales, Program Support
  • Senta Elena Fortune, Community Operations
  • Alfreda Maddox, Food and Nutrition Audit
  • Nicole Sierra-Notarianni, School Operations

 Updated November 2021

Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

1. Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
2. Fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Logo

Facebook Icon Instagram Icon
Twitter Icon YouTube Icon