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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Media Contact:
Daniela Ogden, daniela@cafoodbanks.org
cell phone (646) 756-9887

California Association of Food Banks Capitol Action Day to Focus on Funding for California Grown Food and Infrastructure Investment

Annual advocacy event brings state’s food bankers and clients together to demand an end to hunger

Sacramento – California food bankers and clients will gather April 18 on the North Lawn at the State Capitol for the California Association of Food Banks Capitol Action Day, to demand state lawmakers help to end hunger in California and invite them to pack produce for Sacramento families in need. On the group’s agenda are budget asks are $20.6 million for emergency food, $25 million for food bank infrastructure, and a reversal to the $100 a month cut to State Supplementary Payment grants.

Hunger and nutrition pose a major threat to California’s future. For the 5.4 million Californians who don’t know where their next meal will come from, hard choices must be made between buying food and meeting such basic needs as housing, medicine, transportation, or childcare. California food banks provide healthy foods in a dignified setting to help people in need get back on their feet and provide for their families again.

WHO:  Food bankers and clients from California Association of Food Banks’ 41 members, Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-31), Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-80)

WHERE:  California State Capitol, North Lawn

WHEN:  Wednesday, April 18, 9 AM -- 1 PM

12 – 12:30 PM Speakers

12:30 – 1 PM Produce Pack event

About California Association of Food Banks:

California Association of Food Banks partners with 41 food banks and over 6,000 local agencies. Our mission is to end hunger in California, and our vision is a well-nourished and hunger-free California, where all people have enough food to lead a healthy life.

For more information, contact Daniela Ogden, Director of Communications and Development, (646) 756-9887.

End Hunger Now!

California Association of Food Banks 2018 State Policy Agenda

BUDGET PRIORITIES

CalFood: $20.6 million for emergency food

The 2016-17 budget provided $2M for CalFood and $18.6M through the Drought Food Assistance Program. Today, the demand for emergency food is even higher as food banks struggle with rising housing costs, unprecedented disasters, and the climate of fear limiting CalFresh. We request the 2018-19 Budget provide $20.6 million in ongoing support for CalFood – anything less is a cut during a time of intense need.

Food Bank Infrastructure Capacity: $25 million one-time

Infrastructure bottlenecks are a primary barrier to food banks meeting the need for food in their community. A one-time investment of $25 million will provide long-term benefits by allowing food banks to purchase clean-burning refrigerated trucks, expand cold storage, or make other physical improvements critical to their operation.

End Poverty in SSI/SSP

More than 1 million Californians are below the federal poverty level and rely on food banks because of cuts to State Supplementary Payment (SSP) grants. Our network cannot sustain this level of service indefinitely. We request a reversal of the $100 a month cut to SSP grants so no one is below 100% of the federal poverty level, a restoration of the state Cost Of Living Adjustment, and an equitable end to Cash Out so no one on SSI is denied CalFresh, while holding harmless any household that would lose CalFresh benefits.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF): $100 million for CalRecycle

Expand funding for CalRecycle’s successful and oversubscribed GGRF programs like the Food Waste Prevention & Rescue grants which reduce methane emissions and fight hunger by diverting food to those in need. State support is necessary for emergency food providers to meet the bold climate goals established in AB 1826 (Chesbro, 2014) and SB 1383 (Lara, 2016).

End Deep Child Poverty in CalWORKs

Establish a floor for CalWORKs grants to protect families from deep poverty and restore the 60-month clock, so that no family lives in deep poverty (below 50% of the federal poverty line), which is the reality for 860,000 CalWORKs children.

LEGISLATION

AB 1957 (Berman) Social Services Modernization, Efficiency, and Due Process Protection Act

Would modernize state laws governing communication for public social services while protecting the rights of CalFresh clients. This bill would define client’s rights to choose and utilize electronic communications, and offer guidance for counties to maximize electronic means of verifying information.

AB 1952 (Mayes, Arambula & Steinorth) Envisioning a Hunger-Free CA

Would require food system stakeholders to create a plan by 2020 to remove barriers to adequate, nutritious food and ensure that a vibrant and sustainable food system is available to every Californian. This bill would include envisioning universal participation in school meal and other federal programs, ending summer hunger for children, and eliminating food deserts.

AB 2297 (Arambula) CalFresh Benefit Adequacy

CalFresh benefits do not last the month and 30% of households that receive CalFresh still rely on food banks. The 2009 Recovery Act boosted SNAP benefits, but ended abruptly in 2013 when a household of 3 experienced a cut of $28 a month, known as the “hunger cliff.” AB 2297 would provide a monthly state CalFresh supplement of $28 that is proven to reduce hunger, grow the economy and improve healthy eating.

AB 3200 (Kalra)

Would require SSP payments no less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level and reinstate the Cost of Living Adjustment, beginning in 2019.

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