2017 State Policy Agenda
Ending hunger is no small challenge. Food banks play a critical role, but we can’t do it alone. Fighting hunger is not only about providing emergency food to people in need – it also means taking action to address the root causes of hunger and poverty. Link to 2017 Agenda
FUND THE STATE CALFOOD PROGRAM. California food banks need our state to help meet the need for food assistance because of record demand due to an uneven economic recovery, high cost of living, and a lack of access to nutritious foods for all Californians. The CalFood program will also help Californian farmers and local economies because all purchases must be healthy California grown foods.
PROVIDE $17.5 MILLION TO THE CALFOOD PROGRAM for food banks to purchase and distribute healthy California food to communities in need. Link to One Pager
AB 607 (GLORIA) PUBLIC SOCIAL SERVICES: DISASTER ASSISTANCE would protect against increased hunger and hardship of low-income families, people with disabilities and elderly Californians during a disaster by:
MAXIMIZING REPLACEMENT BENEFITS, allowing “temporary emergency standards of eligibility” for disaster victims who need public benefits in times of crisis.
TRIGGERING ADDITIONAL RESOURCE STREAMS DURING A DECLARED DISASTERS, will protect the already income insecure individuals and families from slipping further into poverty and helps disaster victims recoup what might have been lost in the event of a disaster.
IMPROVING STATE AND COUNTY D-CALFRESH OUTREACH AND OPERATIONS, allowing state and local authorities to design and implement a both automatic and dynamic disaster response plans that would serve communities devastated by disaster. Link to One Pager
AB 796 (KALRA) SSI/SSP COLA, would help the 1.3 million SSI recipients living at 90% FPL by,
REINSTATING THE COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENT JAN 1 2018. Link to Sign-On Letter
AB 1219 (EGGMAN) CALIFORNIA GOOD SAMARITAN FOOD DONATION ACT would clarify and expand on existing protections for food donors will strengthen those protections and can lead to more food donations by:
CLARIFYING LIABILITY PROTECTION, donated food that does not satisfy all quality and labeling standards is subject to protection.
EXPANDING LIABILITY PROTECTION, when food recovery organizations sell or otherwise charge for food, which can fill a specific need in many communities (limited to food service establishments and retail stores).
EDUCATE AND BUILD AWARENESS, with restaurants and retailers through promotion via Environmental Health Officers. Link to One Pager
SB 61 (HERTZBERG) EMERGENCY FOOD FOR FAMILIES FUND (TAX CHECK-OFF) would:
ESTABLISH THE EMERGENCY FOOD FOR FAMILIES VOLUNTARY TAX CONTRIBUTION FUND, an individual may designate a contribution on their tax return.
BENEFIT FOOD BANKS by allowing Californians an easy way to contribute toward to goal of ending hunger in California. Link to One Pager
Ongoing Policy Prioirties:
Advocating for Policies that Increase Access to Healthy Food
The California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) and our food bank network are strongly committed to advocating for anti-hunger programs and policies at the federal, state and local levels.
CAFB’s advocacy program includes: working with decision-makers at state and federal levels; providing expert testimony on hunger-related issues and legislation; supporting and sponsoring legislation related to hunger, nutrition and poverty; hosting an annual Legislative Day for food banks to educate state legislators about hunger in their districts; participating in anti-hunger coalitions; providing action alerts on timely issues; and partnering with leading anti-hunger organizations.
Protecting & Strengthening Government Nutrition Programs
Our country’s first line of defense against hunger is our government nutrition programs. Tragically, these programs have seen dramatic cuts in recent years, at a time when poverty and hunger rates are increasing. (California has one of the highest rates of child food insecurity in the nation, at 25.1%. Learn more about hunger in California.)
Food bank advocacy efforts are essential for protecting and strengthening the safety net programs that can prevent hunger, including:
- School lunch and breakfast programs for students from low-income families
- Summer feeding programs that benefit students who might otherwise go hungry when school is out of session
- SNAP/CalFresh benefits (formerly known as food stamps)
California has one of the worst food stamp participation rates in the nation: nearly half of eligible households are not signed up for the benefits they qualify for. CAFB and our partners in the Alliance to Transform CalFresh are working to improve the CalFresh system, integrate it with the Affordable Care Act, and dramatically increase participation. Learn more.
Strengthening Food Bank Advocacy Programs
California’s food banks were among the first in the nation to include policy and advocacy work as a core part of their anti-hunger efforts. CAFB assists our members by providing venues to communicate with policy makers and offering leadership in strategy and message development. We provide members with capacity building and technical assistance in developing their advocacy programs, along with sample advocacy materials and a comprehensive guide, “Food Bank Guide to Policy Advocacy: Best Practices and Action Ideas for Influencing Public Policy to End Hunger.”
If your member food bank is interested in developing or expanding an advocacy program, please contact Andrew Cheyne, Director of Government Affiars, at email@example.com or 510-350-9915.