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CAFB Increases Staffing to Halt Safety Net Strikes

The California Association of Food Banks realized in December that our two-person advocacy team needed more hands to fight increased federal threats to the nutrition safety net and safeguard resources for our member food banks and their communities. CAFB Director of Government Affairs Andrew Cheyne ran into anti-hunger advocate Rachel Tucker when they moderated a panel together in Washington D.C. not long after CAFB mailed a grant proposal to seek funding for a senior policy associate.

Thanks to the generosity and support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Sunlight Giving, CAFB extended an offer for the newly created position to Rachel. She accepted, as she was already aware of CAFB’s work peripherally at conferences and in reports. Rachel said, “I admire the organization’s strong and clear commitment to advocacy. The broadened scope of work was enticing enough for me to move across the country.” She also shared that California’s progressive nature was an added bonus. (To be honest, the weather didn’t hurt either!)

Rachel arrived in the Bay Area in mid-April and got her feet wet right away with budget meetings, introductions to members and coalitions, the CAFB conference, and Legislative Day. She enjoys how everything happens in real time, such as her analysis of the President’s budget to share the potentially devastating effects of such cuts. Rachel believes our membership is varied and talented, made up of strong advocates, and she looks forward to protecting the safety net programs with them.

Rachel comes to CAFB from the non-profit Maryland Hunger Solutions, where she worked in state legislative and administrative advocacy around Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Rachel helped move bills through the legislature and managed statewide and local outreach on SNAP. Her Masters in Food Systems from NYU provides her with a holistic view of food policy and the interconnectedness of agriculture, public health, and government programs.