Advocate for Hunger Relief and Prevention
Food banks play a critical role in ending hunger, but we can’t do it alone. Our food bank strategically engages in advocacy work to raise awareness and mobilize support to end hunger, improve economic security, and promote health and well-being for our community members. This includes informing the public and policymakers about food insecurity, educating them on policies and programs that will improve food access, and encouraging them to partner with us to end hunger.
Public policy has an enormous impact on the amount of resources that our food bank is able to distribute, as well as the amount of assistance needed by members of our community. Ending hunger is not only about providing emergency food to people in need – it also means taking action and organizing to pass public policies and legislation that support our food bank’s long-term strategies to ensure universal access to sufficient, affordable, and nutritious foods.
2017 State Anti-Hunger Priorities
Strengthen emergency food assistance networks:
CalFood Budget Ask Invest $17.5 million through the state budget in California’s emergency food assistance network to help food banks purchase and distribute California-grown foods. The number of individuals served by the Food Bank has increased nearly 75% since the height of the recession, but the number of our neighbors in need of assistance hasn’t decreased in recent years. This investment could allow us to distribute an additional $180,000 of fresh produce to fight hunger and support local farmers.
Improve CalFresh program access:
SB 708 (Skinner) Allow individuals to apply for CalFresh and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) prior to their release from incarceration. Strengthening access to nutrition assistance will support public safety by increasing financial stability, improving employment opportunities, and reducing the risk of re-offending.
Strengthen school meal programs:
SB 250 (Hertzberg) Require local education agencies to ensure that students are not shamed, denied food, or treated differently if their parent or guardian has unpaid school meal fees. Most school cafeterias provide meals to any student that request one, even those who arrive without money, but some families aren’t able to pay off these accrued debts. This bill would improve child nutrition and educational achievements by ensuring schools don’t delay or deny food to punish students.
Improve food security for SSI/SSP recipients:
AB 796 (Kalra) Increase Supplemental Security Income (SSI/SSP) grants for food and living expenses of aging, blind, and disabled Californians from below 90% of the federal poverty line up to to 100% and reinstate regular cost-of-living adjustments. SSI/SSP is a grant program that provides a very basic income to seniors and people with disabilities who have no or limited income and resources. Because they are ineligible for CalFresh, too many SSI/SSP recipients rely on the food bank as their primary – if not only – source of food.
2017 Federal Anti-Hunger Priorities
- Expand access to child nutrition programs including school breakfast and lunch, summer meals, and supplemental nutrition assistance for women, infants, and children
- Protect and strengthen the federal nutrition assistance program SNAP (known as CalFresh in California)
- Support USDA commodity purchases of non-perishable foods for food bank distributions
Please contact Carly Finkle at email@example.com with any questions about our legislative agenda.
CalFresh Outreach Reduce stigma, improve public perception, and increase participation in the CalFresh program.
School Meals Outreach Increase awareness, accessibility, and participation in school breakfast, lunch, and summer meal programs.
- Sign up for Advocacy Alerts: The best way to get involved in our advocacy efforts is to sign up for our HungerFighters e-newsletter. We will send you monthly public policy updates and action alerts to keep you informed of the issues and proposed solutions.
- Contact Your Elected Representatives: Policymakers at federal, state, and local levels make important decisions that can have a tangible impact on food access and quality of life in our communities. As a constituent, your voice matters. Let your elected representatives know that ending hunger is a priority and help us educate them on what they can do to relieve it.
- Share Your Story: Our Food Bank works to elevate the voices of community members that rely on our programs and nutrition assistance to make ends meet. Help us ensure that your story is heard by policymakers by telling us about the challenges you have faced in accessing sufficient, affordable, and nutritious foods.
- Take a stand at Hunger Action Day: Every year hundreds of anti-hunger advocates rally in Sacramento to raise awareness of hunger and call on our elected officials to take action. Save the date for Hunger Action Day 2018 on Wednesday, May 16th. We hope that you will join us next year to raise your voice against hunger!