Advocacy Initiatives

Anti-Hunger Policy

Federal legislation

The Child Nutrition Act of 2015 — the current Child Nutrition Act, which was passed in 2010, expires in 2015. We will work in collaboration with local and state partners to develop an overarching agenda for ways to improve school meals during the next reauthorization cycle. We are particularly interested in advocating for an EBT option for the summer meals program, which would put money on an electronic benefit transfer card (like a debit card) for low-income children to replace the meals that they would be getting at school when it was in session. In preparation for the reauthorization, we have released a report on the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), analyzing the challenges of increasing the chronically low participation in the program as currently constituted and arguing for strengthening the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (SEBTC) demonstration project. Coalitions are still forming, but we intend on working with the national collaborative Getting Our Act Together (GOAT), a collaboration of progressive food systems groups—local allies like school districts and the California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA).

The Farm Bill and appropriations — SNAP/CalFresh continues to come under attacks fueled by misinformation and mean-spirited stereotypes. We will continue to defend the program against proposals to cut funding and increase red-tape in the application process. We will also continue to work build alliances with those who share our values who work on other parts of the farm bill than the nutrition title. We have worked with and continuing to work with GOAT, the statewide coalition of anti-hunger advocates known as the California Hunger Action Coalition (CHAC) as well as local food advocates.

2014 State legislation

On all of this legislation we work with partners like CFPA and the Western Center on Law and Poverty (WCLP) through CHAC. We work to mobilize support in a variety of ways, from encouraging others to submit letters of support to hosting strategy conference calls to co-chairing the Hunger Advocacy Network (HAN), which organizes San Diego anti-hunger advocates at the state level.

SSI Benefit Levels Adequacy — SSI benefits, which block people, especially the elderly, from receiving CalFresh, eroded during the Great Recession. We partner with anti-hunger and anti-poverty advocates statewide to at least restore SSI benefits to the poverty level.

CalFresh/CalWORKS lifetime drug felony bans — SB 1029 (Hancock) — we will continue to work with local and state advocates to eliminate these putative rules that make it harder for people leaving prison to successfully reenter their communities, increasing the risk of recidivism.

CalFresh customer service — SB 1147 (DeSaulnier) — we work with our allies at the California Food Policy Advocates who are spearheading an effort to get more data on how well counties are serving people applying for benefits.

CalWORKS homeless assistance — AB 264 (Maienschein) — current law forces someone to lose the ten days (in their entire life) of homeless assistance available through CalWORKS if it is not used at one time. AB 264 eliminates this restriction. We have joined WCLP and the California Coalition of Welfare Rights Organizations as co-sponsors of this bill.

Local level

Participation levels in CalFresh within San Diego County — we will continue to work with the County Health and Human Services Department to eliminate administrative barriers that keep struggling families from getting food assistance benefits.

The Food System Alliance has ratified their charter. The document can be found at:
http://aginnovations.org/alliances/sandiego/charter/