Congratulations Hunger Fighters!
To achieve our mission of ending hunger, we need legislative policies in place that address the underlying issues of poverty. Our behind-the-scenes work just recently received some national attention. We were recently inducted into Feeding America’s Advocacy Hall of Fame and earned a spot on Food Bank News’ Highest Honor Roll for excellence in advocacy.
Stay current with advocacy priorities and opportunities by signing up for the Hunger Fighters e-newsletter. Once a month you will receive news and calls to action about policy that affects hunger.
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.
2021 Legislative Priorities
Food Bank Resilience
- Storage & Capacity for California Food Banks – Ensure Food Banks have the physical space and capacity to safely store all of the necessary product and equipment; including but not limited to refrigeration, back-up generators, adequate warehouse space, etc.
- Emergency & Disaster Preparedness – Ensure that Food Banks have the monetary and physical resources to continue being emergency responders, especially during times of natural and public health disasters; including but not limited to fires, earthquakes, epidemics, etc.
Bolstering Food Assistance Resources
- CalFresh/SNAP – Ensure that the federally funded program, SNAP, is protected from cuts and that the state tailored version, CalFresh, is accessible to all those who qualify throughout the application process, distribution of benefits, and that CalFresh qualification guidelines match the needs of the food insecure, and vulnerable demographics, in our service area.
- WIC – Ensure that the Women, Infants and Children program is protected from cuts and is accessible to all those who qualify throughout the application process, distribution of benefits, and that WIC qualification guidelines match the needs of the food insecure, and vulnerable demographics, in our service area.
- TEFAP – Ensure the Federally funded program, TEFAP, is protected from cuts and that the state tailored version, CalWORKs, is accessible to all of those that qualify throughout the application process, distribution of benefits, and that CalWORKs qualification guidelines match the needs of poverty in our service area.
- Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) – Ensure that the federally funded and state directed program is operated throughout the guaranteed date and that it’s accessible to those who qualify throughout the application process, distribution of benefits, and that P-EBT qualification guidelines match the needs of the food insecure, and vulnerable demographics, in our service area.
- School & Summer Meals – Increase awareness, accessibility, and participation in school breakfast, lunch, and summer meal programs; in addition to creative solutions that address the low school meal participation due to COVID. Including school-aged children and college hunger.
- Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act – Every five years, Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) provides Congress with an opportunity to improve and strengthen the child nutrition and school meal programs. Although the current law, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-296), expired on September 30, 2015, the programs continue to operate.
- Farm Bill – Ensure the continued successful implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill.
COVID-19 Economic & Food Security Build-Back
- Unemployment Insurance – Although this is outside of our typical policy scope, hunger, we intend to advocate for UI in conjunction with food security (most likely in relief packages) as we understand that benefits for those who have lost employment due to COVID-19, directly relates to the amount of individuals seeking service from the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.
- Regional Hunger Solutions – Given the unprecedented circumstances that have been present and amplified, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will engage in advocacy that mitigates the rates of food insecurity in our service area. This temporary involvement outside of the specific food security scope, is directly targeted at clearly defined initiatives that correlate to how many individuals are utilizing Food Bank services. This includes, unemployment insurance benefits and eviction solutions.
- 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.
- Participate in a local Listening Session: Share your experience, thoughts and ideas so we can better understand how the Food Bank can be of service. To find out where the next listening session will be held, or to suggest a location, please enter your contact information here and we will be happy to reach out to you!
- Take part in our annual Speaker Series: Each spring we offer workshops to community members who are interested in developing their public speaking skills so they can effectively advocate to end hunger. You can fill out the application anytime of the year; it can be found here.
- Take a stand at Hunger Action Day: Every year in May hundreds of anti-hunger advocates rally in Sacramento to raise awareness of hunger and call on our elected officials to take action. We hope that you will join us next year to raise your voice against hunger!
- California Association of Food Banks
- Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)
- Feeding America
- California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA)
- Western Center on Law and Poverty (WCLP)