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Tag ‘ California ’

Today — October 22 — is the last day to register to vote!

We urge you to register to vote in the election on Tuesday, November 6.

If you live in California, it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

1. REGISTER

2. GET INFORMED

  • Find out what’s on your local ballot at www.smartvoter.org: type in your address to get your polling place and the list of races on your ballot, along with links to candidate statements and summaries of propositions.

3. VOTE!

  • Once registered, go to the polls on or before November 6!
  • If you prefer to vote by mail, request a vote-by-mail ballot from your County Elections Office no later than October 30, and be sure to mail it well in advance of November 6!

 

Capitol Goes Orange

Let’s go orange for Hunger Action Month!  Join anti-hunger advocates from across the state, Food Bank staff, the offices of Assemblymembers Yamada, Fuentes, Beall, Skinner and others to participate in “The Capitol Goes Orange for Hunger Awareness”  day TODAY (Wednesday, September 21st) in Sacramento.  They are asking that staff members wear orange – the official color of hunger awareness – to bring attention to hunger issues across the state and highlight anti-hunger bills currently before the Governor (AB 6, AB 69, AB 152, AB402, AB581, and SB 43).  There will be a Capitol Community photo op at 12:15p.m. on the West Steps of the State Capitol.  We ask that you also please bring a canned food donation with you to the photo-shoot.

Learn more about the bills mentioned above on the California Association of Food Banks website.

capitol orange flyer

10,000 Letters Campaign: Make Your Voice Heard

Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget would eliminate the California Food Assistance Program, cut Supplemental Security Income, and decimate the CalWORKS program and other vital services, all of which will exacerbate hunger in your community and throughout the state.

With just a short time left before Governor Schwarzenegger introduces his May Revision budget, it’s imperative that voices for health and human services are heard loud and clear in the Capitol! 

That’s why the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano is partnering with other human services organizations across the state in asking everyone to generate letters for the “10,000 Letters Campaign”.  Our shared goal is to generate 10,000 letters to members of the Assembly and Senate Budget Committees and other leaders in opposition to the Governor’s proposed budget as soon as possible! 

We know that several thousand letters have already been generated – NOW we need your help to ensure we meet (and hopefully surpass) our goal of 10,000! 

Please click on the links below for your legislators, print out, sign, record your name, city and zip code (below your signature), and mail or fax each letter as soon as possible. We urge you to ask your family members, friends, colleagues, and anyone else to do the same. Thank you!

Assembly Member Joan Buchanan
Assembly Member Noreen Evans
Assembly Member Nancy Skinner
Assembly Member Tom Torlakson
Assembly Member Mariko Yamada
Senator Mark DeSaulnier
Senator Loni Hancock
Senator Pat Wiggins
Senator Lois Wolk

To locate your State representatives, visit www.leginfo.ca.gov/yourleg.html. If you are having difficulty opening any of these documents, please email Patty McDowell at pmcdowell@foodbankccs.org.

California’s Food Banks Go Locavore

Please check out this wonderful article highlighting California food banks’ innovative program to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to people in need: 80 million pounds this year!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/magazine/11banks-t.html

Last year, we distributed 3 million pounds of produce in Contra Costa and Solano counties. One of the ways we are able to get so much fresh produce into the community is through our Farm 2 Kids program. Every week, Farm 2 Kids provides 3-5 pounds of fresh produce to over 6,000 children in 55 after school programs in Contra Costa and Solano counties. Over 50% of the students in these schools receive free or reduced cost school lunches, meaning at least half of the households in the school are considered low-income by the federal government.

If you have questions or need more information about the Farm 2 Kids program, please contact Caitlin Sly, (800) 870-FOOD extension 241 or csly@foodbankccs.org.

Farm to Family at the White House

The California Association of Food Banks’ (of which we are a member) Farm to Family Program was recognized at the White House on June 30 when President Obama highlighted innovative non-profit programs that are making a difference in communities across the country. The program was recognized as one that is demonstrating results even as the country faces difficult times. Such groups, Obama said, hold the promise of finding solutions to persistent problems and to meeting unprecedented challenges. Farm to Family founder Gary Maxworthy attended the event because of his role in shaping the program since its inception.

Congratulations to Gary and the entire Farm to Family team!

Learn more:
KRON4-San Francisco
San Francisco Food Bank Blog

Budget Update: Dismantling the Safety Net

The budget deal between Governor Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders passed both the Senate and Assembly on Friday, July 24. CalWORKs and other health and human service programs suffered deep and harsh cuts while nothing was done to bring in new revenue and therefore spread the sacrifice. Additionally, the deal expands finger imaging to In-Home Support Services, meaning the elderly and disabled will be forced to provide a fingerprint in order to receive services.

Despite the claims of legislative leaders, there is little doubt that these cuts go a long way in dismantling California’s safety net. While the shock of these cuts begins to sink in, it appears, but has not been confirmed, that the California Food Assistance Program and the Brown Bag Program survived without cuts – a silver lining to an otherwise dark cloud of a budget.

CalWORKs
The deal cuts $528 million from CalWORKs by decreasing benefits and increasing sanctions for families that fail to meet work requirements. The bill also reduces children’s grants for the first time in the history of the CalWORKs program. These cuts will punish low-income families who cannot find work and therefore force these families to make difficult choices between food, rent, utilities and other basic needs.

Cost of Living Adjustments
This budget repeals SSP and CalWORKs COLAs along with COLAs for almost every area of the state budget except K-12 education and requires any new COLAs be approved by a two-thirds vote.

Click here for more details on the budget from the Western Center on Law and Poverty.