Ignoring hunger is the real crime!

Hunger Action Day 2013

Advocates of all ages joined us at the Capitol for Hunger Action Day!

On May 22, 2013, more than 400 people gathered at the Capitol in Sacramento for Hunger Action Day to tell our legislators that "Ignoring Hunger is the Real Crime!"

California's capital is filled with people from grassroots groups fighting to end poverty and hunger each year on Hunger Action Day. This year was no exception. Our advocates came from our ranks of volunteers, clients and staff, as well as our member agencies like food pantries and soup kitchens.
They met with more than 20 legislators across the state, and rallied on the Capitol steps.
Here are the specific topics our advocates discussed:
  • California budget: Despite signs of an improving economy, need for emergency food is only growing. It's up to these legislators and Gov. Jerry Brown to use the budget surplus to reinvest in the safety net, and to consider revenue options so that we no longer have to balance our budget on the backs of poor children, families and seniors.
  • Senate Bill 283: Currently, people convicted of drug felonies are denied CalFresh and CalWORKS benefits for life. This means that people continue to be punished even after they finish their sentence.Without these benefits, it’s hard for people to support their families and transition back into their communities. And the current law also adds confusion to the process of applying for assistance. With the lowest CalFresh participation rate in the nation, there is no reason to add a hurdle for families who need help putting food on the table.
  • Assembly Bill 271: Currently, if a child is born into a family that is receiving CalWORKs for its other children, then that newborn child is ineligible for assistance for their entire childhood. This is called the Maximum Family Grant Rule. The average CalWORKS family grant is just $464 per month — putting a family of 3 at 30% of the federal poverty level. Capping the grant just as a family needs it is pound-foolish, as poverty has long-term consequences for infants. This policy endangers the health and well-being of infants born into poverty, and California is one of just 15 states that still has it in place.
  • Assembly Bill 5: Many cities have passed laws to criminalize homeless people by making it illegal for them to sit or lie down or to sleep in a public place. Cities have also stopped groups from feeding people in public places. These laws do nothing to solve the problems of homelessness — they simply make it easier to ignore. This bill protects the basic civil rights of our neighbors who are homeless, ensuring they are not singled out for being homeless while doing things everyone has the right to: resting in a public place, to eat and drink in a public place, and to have adequate counsel when charged with a crime.
 The Food Bank fights to protect all parts of the safety net, which so many of our clients rely on. While rent can't wait, an empty stomach can — for a little while. Cuts to the safety net mean more hunger, and more demand for our services.
Join us! Sign up for our email list, and you'll get updates on important legislation and simple, quick instructions on who to call or email at crucial points in the process.
Our Advocacy page also features opportunities to work on projects with us, such as the Free Summer Lunch program or our quadrennial Hunger Study.

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