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.
Visit our Advocacy Action Center to learn more about our current policy agenda, contact your elected officials, and much more!
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Our Advocacy Priorities
In 2016, the Food Bank Advocacy Team helped win a number of important advocacy victories, including repealing the onerous Maximum Family Grant rule, statewide funding of $5 million for the Nutrition Incentive Matching Grant Program (aka Market Match),expanding the Breakfast After the Bell program, statewide funding of $2 million for the State Emergency Food Assistance Program, expanding the farm to food bank tax credit, and increasing the state minimum wage. We also helped to win modest cost of living increases for the state funded portions of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and CalWORKS, and are dedicated to continuing to fight for meaningful increases to these programs.
Even with the current economic recovery, California has a long way to go to address hunger and inequality. The state poverty rate for children, for example, is still higher than it was in 2007. Also, when housing costs are taken into account, California’s poverty rate, at 20.6%, is the highest in the nation. In 2017, as dedicated leaders of the movement to end hunger, we will work for 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 raise Alameda County residents out of poverty
Protect and strengthen food and nutrition programs that help to end hunger
- Continue to strengthen the State Emergency Food Assistance Program
- Increasing enrollment in school meal programs and SNAP
Ensure that full-time workers are able to feed, house and clothe themselves and their families
- Support anti-poverty policies including expansion of the California state Earned-Income Tax Credit, such that people working full time can provide for their families.
We won't be able to do it without you. Please sign up for our advocacy alerts to 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). We are asking the Governor to prioritize funding for SSI/SSP in the 2017-18 budget!
How SSI/SSP Grant Cuts Pushed 1 Million Californians into Poverty
Since 2009, cuts to the SSI/SSP grant have pushed more than one million people below the federal poverty level. 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. This is a significant reason why we have seen California’s poverty rate skyrocket to the nation's highest, according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure.
Alameda County Community Food Bank is part of a coalition of over 200 organizations called Californians for SSI (CA4SSI) advocating for increases in this vital poverty-alleviation program.
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, and together we can make a difference! For more information on opportunities to advocate with us, contact Shanti Prasad at firstname.lastname@example.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 on the fourth Tuesday of every month, 5:45-7:15 p.m. For more details, contact Shanti Prasad at email@example.com or (510)635-3663 ext. 307.