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Cassidie Carmen Bates: Why I’m Attending Food ACCESS 2022

August 4, 2022

Hello everyone — my name is Cassidie Carmen Bates and I’m the Government & Public Affairs Manager at the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. I’m really looking forward to attending the Food ACCESS Conference, which is taking place in Sacramento on October 3–4, with my fellow food bankers and our California network of hunger fighters. I’ve had the opportunity to serve on CAFB’s planning committee for the 2022 conference and the two-day agenda is content-rich on topics for all concentrations in this space.

As we navigate another year of the pandemic, inflation, supply chain challenges, and wildfires, we are collectively well-poised to create lasting, positive change to our social safety net. We’ve observed how our food banks and organizations operated prior to COVID-19, how we’ve had to pivot our offerings due to the needs of our communities, and what changes would benefit our work to solidify in the long-term. With this informed perspective, I’m eager to come together with all of you at Food ACCESS 2022 to share our best practices, lessons learned, and make the time and space to connect with one another. 

Our Advocacy Team at the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano will be leading a panel discussion on how to effectively incorporate lived experience and an equity lens for effective advocacy — this session will include a few of our community advocates and how we strategically implement legislative advocacy into our direct service organization. 

To truly end hunger in California, it’s vital to identify the root causes of it specific to our communities and then collaborate in a very intentional way to implement solutions that will benefit all Californians who are facing food insecurity. If you’re a food banker, elected official, donor, or any other type of partner in this movement to end hunger, I’m looking forward to learning from and alongside you – hope to see you at Food ACCESS 2022 in October!

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