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Tag ‘ California Association of Food Banks ’

Governor Signs Bills to Help Fight Hunger

Governor Brown has signed a number of bills that will help improve access to the CalFresh program and reduce hunger in California. Anti-hunger advocates have much to celebrate this year, as legislation signed by the Governor will finally end fingerprint imaging in the CalFresh program — a change we have championed for almost a decade.

Governor Brown also signed AB 152, the bill the California Association of Food Banks sponsored to create a tax credit for crop donations and the framework for a state emergency food assistance program. A summary of hunger-related bills signed or vetoed by Governor Brown is listed below.

Bills Signed by Governor Brown

AB 6 (Fuentes) – ends fingerprint imaging in CalFresh; moves CalFresh and CalWORKs from quarterly to simplified semi-annual reporting; creates “heat & eat” initiative to streamline paperwork and increase benefits for a significant number of households.

AB 69 (Beall) – allows counties to utilize Social Security information to facilitate and streamline senior enrollment in CalFresh.

AB 152 (Fuentes) – creates a tax credit for fresh fruits and vegetables donated by California growers to California food banks; creates the framework for a state emergency food assistance program.

AB 402 (Skinner) – authorizes school districts to work with county social services agencies to develop a fast track from a free or reduced-price school meal program application to a CalFresh program application.

AB 581 (Pérez) – creates the California Healthy Food Financing Initiative to expand access to healthy foods in underserved communities.

AB 959 (Jones) – aligns CalWORKs reporting requirements with CalFresh and Medi-Cal by allowing aid to be reinstated if a report is submitted within 30 days of the due date.

SB 43 (Liu) – removes mandatory employment and training requirements in the CalFresh program when the state or sub-region is federally determined to have a work surplus (high unemployment).

Bills Vetoed by Governor Brown

AB 1182 (Hernández) – would have excluded the value of a vehicle when determining eligibility for the CalWORKs program, a procedure already implemented in the CalFresh program.

For more information about these bills or how you can help take action against hunger, please contact me (Lisa Sherrill) at (925) 676-7543 extension 206 or lsherrill@foodbankccs.org.

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

California Food Banks React to Signing of State Budget

Guest post by Sue Sigler, Executive Director of California Association of Food Banks: Last week Governor Brown signed a state budget package to close California’s $9.6 billion funding shortfall for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

While food banks across the state are relieved that a budget was passed without further cuts to the safety net, we are deeply disappointed that the budget does not include the modest temporary revenue extensions that Governor Brown had sought to help close the deficit. The revenue extensions were part of a balanced proposal to solve the state’s fiscal shortfall, which also included steep cuts. California’s low-income residents are now faced with $15 billion in cuts that hit safety programs especially hard and will continue to drive more people to food banks for assistance.

Instead of revenue extensions to bring down the deficit, the budget package anticipates $4 billion in additional revenue returns for the next fiscal year. However, if these extra revenues fail to materialize, automatic “trigger” cuts will take effect in January to make up the balance. The first tier of trigger cuts includes health and human services programs that provide vital support for our most vulnerable citizens.

The budget deal preserves several funding restorations in critical life-sustaining health and human services programs, including CalWORKS, childcare, and In Home Supportive Services. These restorations are the very least we should do to repair a frayed social safety net that has been weakened by over $15 billion in cumulative cuts made to health care and social services in state budgets since 2008, during a period of record unemployment and economic hardship.

The legislature’s inability to enact a budget solution with revenue extensions has once again highlighted the flaws in a budget process that allows a handful of legislators to override the priorities of a majority of Californians. Because a few legislators in Sacramento would not compromise on revenues, millions of Californians who struggle with hunger will bear the brunt of deep cuts made to balance the budget. California’s economic and family recovery will ultimately depend on the passing of real, sustainable revenue options that get our families back to work.

About the California Association of Food Banks
The mission of California Association of Food Banks is to provide a unified voice among food banks to maximize their ability to build a well nourished California.

Visit to the State Capitol

The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano was represented in Sacramento last week for the California Association of Food Banks Annual Legislative Day! Our Executive Director Larry Sly and I visited all nine of our Assemblymembers’ and Senators’ offices that represent Contra Costa and Solano counties.

We joined over 30 representatives from 20 California food banks asking legislators to support programs to improve access to healthy food and simplify the CalFresh Program. You can check out our 2011 Public Policy Agenda for more info /give-help/advocate/state.html.

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!

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San Francisco Food Bank Blog