Thanks to the power of our collective advocacy, policy partnerships and drive to end hunger, we are witnessing historic investments in the state’s food bank system, food assistance programs, and the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Not only are the investments themselves substantial, this funding further expresses the values of our state: that ending hunger for all Californians is a top priority!
To add to the celebration, every budget request that our food bank engaged with this year landed in the final California budget, showing the efficacy and necessity of our larger advocacy network. The anti-hunger priorities are historic for another reason: California will be the FIRST STATE in the nation to implement Universal School Meals (), which will provide free breakfast and lunch to ALL K-12 California students regardless of family income or immigration status.
The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano is fortunate to have community advocates deeply involved in our advocacy efforts. A focal point of our advocacy is to incorporate the voices of those in our community who have experienced food insecurity, and support them in effectively sharing their powerful stories with our organization, elected officials and our extended community. Our advocates have been instrumental this year in helping achieve our policy goals by bringing the qualitative aspect to our policy steering.
This success wouldn’t be possible without the support of our incredible community, which has shown up to fight hunger, advocate and educate in so many ways. It was not just our advocacy that made these funding investments possible; the long-standing engagement and support of our larger network paved the way for these historic outcomes.
Here are some highlights of the funds that will benefit our network, the Food Bank and food assistance programs:
- $110 Million: a one-time investment to support food banks in purchasing food due to the increased need triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic
- 182 Million: one-time support for California food banks specifically in capacity and infrastructure, such as increased storage, refrigeration space, trucks for distribution, etc.
- The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano will also receive direct funding to expand and improve transportation logistics and volunteer services.
- $32 Million: this is an investment in disaster resiliency for our state’s food banks. Food banks are emergency providers, and the last few years have shown that we need to be prepared for any emergency so we can respond to the best of our ability.
- Simplified application for seniors/those experiencing disabilities
- Outreach for older adults
- College students: eligibility expansion and expanded enrollment
In celebration and gratitude,
Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Advocacy Team