ADVOCACY is one of the key components in the Food Bank's long-term approach to alleviating hunger. Our innovative Advocacy Team, which consists of Food Bank staff and a passionate corps of volunteers, promotes change in legislative policy to benefit low-income residents. We provide a voice for hundreds of thousands of Alameda County residents who face food insecurity. That voice is heard in city halls, county government, Sacramento and in Washington, D.C.
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Our Advocacy Priorities
In 2015, as dedicated leaders of the movement to end hunger, we will support policies that:
Support a budget that prioritizes the fight against poverty by investing funding in services that stabilize families
- Invest in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to improve benefit adequacy
- Repeal the CalWORKS Maximum Family Grant (SB 23 Mitchell)
Protect and strengthen food and nutrition programs that help to end hunger
- Implement the Nutrition Incentive Matching Grant Program statewide to expand benefits for healthier food purchases
- Increase school breakfast participation by expanding After the Bell models
- Strengthen the State Emergency Food Assistance Program
- Expand the tax credit for donations to food banks
Ensure that full-time workers are able to feed, house and clothe themselves and their families
- Support a living wage, such that people working full time can to provide for their families.
- SB 3 (Leno)
We won't be able to do it without you. Please sign up for our advocacy alerts so that you may receive the latest news on important anti-hunger issues, and take action when necessary.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program designed to help the elderly, blind, and disabled who have little or no income to meet their basic needs. The state-funded portion of this program is called the State Supplemental Payment (SSP). Unfortunately, the Governor's budget remains silent on the plight of SSI recipients. We are asking the Senate and Assembly to prioritize funding for SSI/SSP in the 2015-16 budget!
How SSI/SSP Grant Cuts Pushed 1 Million Californians into Poverty
In January 2009, the SSI/SSP grant of $907 a month was worth 100.5 percent of the federal poverty level for a single individual. Since then, SSP grants were repeatedly cut, while no cost of living adjustments (COLA) were provided. Individual SSI/SSP grants are now worth just 90.7 percent of the federal poverty level, but if these cuts had not occurred, the grants would be worth 106.7 percent of the federal poverty level (California Budget Project). These cuts have pushed more than 1 million people below the federal poverty level. This is a significant reason why we have seen our poverty rate skyrocket to the nation's highest, according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure.
These cuts are being felt statewide, and have caused a new coalition of over 200 organizations called Californians for SSI (CA4SSI) to advocate for increases in SSI/SSP funding. These cuts come at a high cost to communities across the state, by forcing SSI/SSP recipients to rely on emergency public services and private networks to meet food, shelter, and health needs.
It is time to reverse these cuts. No person on SSI should be living in poverty or even at the Supplemental Poverty Level. Please join us in the campaign to restore both the SSP grant cuts and the cost of living adjustment.
What else can you do to make your voice heard?
Alameda County Community Food Bank works with statewide and national anti-hunger organizations to support legislation addressing widespread food insecurity. We serve as a voice for hundreds of thousands of people in Alameda County.
Volunteers are the heart of our advocacy efforts. There is strength in numbers ... together we can make a difference! For more information on any of these opportunities, contact Shanti Prasad at sprasad-at-accfb.org or (510) 635-3663 ext. 307.
Community Advocates Against Hunger (CAAH)
Are you interested in joining our mighty group of advocates who visit our elected officials to advocate for policies that fight hunger and poverty? If so, CAAH may just be what you are looking for. The group meets the evening of the third Thursday of every month, 6-7:30. For more details, contact Shanti Prasad at sprasad-at-accfb.org or (510) 635-3663 ext. 307.