ADVOCACY ALERT APRIL 2017


 

 
CLICK HERE to RSVP for Hunger Action Day by May 1st to reserve your seat on the bus and receive a free lunch and t-shirt!

 


 


 

If you won't be able to make it to Hunger Action Day 2017 but still want to share your story, you can do so at this link and we'll pass it along to your legislators on your behalf!

 
Food Bank top anti-hunger priorities set

 
Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the Food Bank's top anti-hunger priorities. We sought input from Food Bank staff, agencies, partner organizations, and food recipients and have narrowed our focus to the following four top issues in 2017.

 
CalFood Budget Ask - Invest $17.5 million through the state budget in California's emergency food assistance network to help food banks purchase and distribute California-grown foods. The number of individuals served by the Food Bank has increased nearly 75% since the height of the recession, but the
number of neighbors in need of assistance hasn't decreased in recent years. This investment could allow us to distribute an additional $180,000 of fresh produce to fight hunger and support local farmers.


 

SB 708 (Skinner) - Allow individuals to apply for CalFresh and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) prior to their release from incarceration. Strengthening access to nutrition assistance will support public safety by increasing financial stability, improving employment opportunities, and reducing the risk of reoffending.

 
SB 250 (Hertzberg) - Require local education agencies to ensure that students are not shamed, denied food, or treated differently if their parent or guardian has unpaid school meal fees. Most school cafeterias provide meals to any student that request one, even those who arrive without money, but some families aren't able to pay off these accrued debts. This bill would improve child nutrition and educational achievements by ensuring schools don't delay or deny food to punish students.
 

 
AB 796 (Kalra) - Increase Supplemental Security Income (SSI/SSP) grants for food and living expenses of aging, blind, and disabled Californians from below 90% of the federal poverty line up to to 100% and reinstate regular cost-of-living adjustments. SSI/SSP is a grant program that provides a very basic income to seniors and people with disabilities who have no or limited income and resources. Because they are ineligible for CalFresh, too many SSI/SSP recipients rely on the food bank as their primary - if not only - source of food.

 
Food Bank advocates meet with Representative DeSaulnier to discuss hunger

 


 

Food Bank advocates and partners met with Congressman DeSaulnier earlier this month to discuss the importance of federal anti-hunger programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). He heard from community members who rely on SNAP and the Food Bank to put food on their tables and voiced his commitment to end hunger in the district. We appreciate his longstanding support for our work and for taking the time to hear from his constituents that struggle to afford the food they need.

 
How do elected officials take feedback from their constituents?

 
Most members of Congress care deeply about staying in touch with their constituents back home. They have to because their reelection depends on it. But do you ever wonder about the most effective way to influence your legislator?

 
The Congressional Management Foundation did a study of congressional staffers that shows "click here" form emails and social media posts aren't as effective as personalized emails, phone calls, and letters. Ninety-six percent of staff surveyed said that in-district visits from constituents have "some" or "a lot" of influence on an undecided member - more than any other advocacy strategy!

 
According to Senator Feinstein at a recent town hall, she receives daily reports that summarize the top 3-5 issues that people call in to her office about. These overviews sum up the number of calls and whether or not they were in support or opposition to a certain proposal. Weekly reports go into more depth and include stories and quotes that staff have heard that week. These a bit more subjective, as it is up to staff to decide what is the most compelling. Weekly reports also include emails, faxes, letters, and postcards. If the Senator is going to vote on an issue, staff will provide her with a comprehensive report on constituent feedback the night before.

 
Senator Feinstein has been seeing an absolutely overwhelming increase in the number of calls from constituents as community members have become more politically engaged. On a single day last month her San Francisco office received 700 calls in a single day. The exact same day the year before, they only received four! It seems that people are more politically engaged now than ever, and you should make your voice heard too!
 

 
Click here to look up your federal representatives and here to look up your state representatives.
 
Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, 4010 Nelson Avenue, Concord, CA 94520
Sent by website@foodbankccs.org in collaboration with