To All Those Interested in Food and Justice...
A (usually) weekly update on food issues, promoting access to sufficient, affordable, healthy food—with a focus on campaigns you can become active in!
September 15th, 2016
September 15, 2016: Current News and Recent Articles on Hunger
- California Legislative Update: Governor Signs Student Anti-Hunger
- Measure Housing Crisis Causes Hunger and Poverty in California
- National Renters Day of Action, Thursday Sept 22 Noon
- City of LA Prepares Ordinance on Urban Ag Incentive Zone : Public Meeting Tomorrow Sept 15 at City Hall
- Syrian Refugees Find Solace in Rooftop Gardens
- Pomona Agrees to Halt Homeless Sweeps Until Housing Available
- Hunger #NotFlavorOfMonth
California Legislative Update: Governor Signs Student Anti-Hunger Measure
Students: AB 1747, a bill authored by Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber of San Diego, has been signed by Governor Brown. This bill will address the growing issue of hunger on our college campuses. It will require schools to have places to eat to accommodate homeless students (also a growing population) using CalFresh cards to access prepared meals. It will also provide assistance for food pantries on said campuses.
From Dr. Weber's website:
Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation today authored by Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) that would address the growing problem of student food insecurity on college campuses.
Weber, who chairs the Select Committee on Campus Climate, said the bill was inspired both by an intern who struggled with food insecurity and by testimony she heard from students at a hearing she held last fall in San Diego.
“The stories of students living in their car and maybe eating once a day - or even less - were disturbing,” Weber said. “Students who are hungry can’t think, can’t write, can’t read and can’t learn.”
AB 1747 requires state universities and colleges to participate in their county’s CalFresh Restaurant Meal program, establish programs to improve coordination between Campus Food Pantries and California Food Banks, and improve access to funds supporting CalFresh outreach on campus.
A systemwide survey of UC students revealed that nearly one in five students experience very low food security and a total of 43 percent experience some sort of regular food insecurity. A California State University study found that 24% of students surveyed are food insecure and 10% are homeless.”
Housing Crisis Causes Hunger and Poverty in California
Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee remarks on how the state government in spite of advances such as in minimum wage, has not confronted the crisis of high rents that is leaving a higher number of people in poverty here than in any other state. Using a supplemental poverty rate taking into account the cost of living in the Golden State, 8 million Californians, or over 20% of the state’s population are in poverty, while the national rate is 15 percent.
The Bee also ran a piece in March on senior poverty and homelessness: Senior Poverty on Rise Due to High Rents
National Renters Day of Action, Thursday Sept 22 Noon:
From Renters Day LA: On September 22nd more than 45 cities will participate in a National Renter Day of Action. We ask that you join us on the 22nd at 12pm as we march to fight back against LA's excessive rents, unjust evictions and continued displacement of tenants all across this City. Lets come together to say enough is enough to developers, landlords and their lobbyists putting profits before families.
Universal Rent Control
- Moratorium on unjust evictions
- Halt Ellis Act Evictions
- No more rent increases
- Stop tenant harassment
Let us know that you will be there!
When: Thursday, September 22nd from 12-2pm
Lafayette Park in Westlake, 625 S. Lafayette Park Place, LA, 90057
Twitter: @IAmARenter #RentersDayOfAction
City of LA Prepares Ordinance on Urban Ag Incentive Zone: Public Meeting Tomorrow Sept 15 at City Hall
The Los Angeles Department of City Planning has prepared a draft ordinance establishing an Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone for the City of Los Angeles, as instructed by City Council.
This is the culmination of a long struggle to get the city to move on the Urban Ag Incentive Zones. Through these zones, incentives are offered to landowners, such as tax breaks, for allowing community gardens on their vacant land for 5 years. Previously many gardens were disrupted, destroyed or relocated due to absentee landowners’ sudden decisions to sell or develop property that was being gardened.
The Council File and motion can be viewed here: CF 14-1378
There’s a public meeting on September 15th, in City Hall at 10 am in room 1050, to hear the details, give your opinions, and provide input for changes to the ordinance prior to the City Planning Commission hearing that is scheduled for October 13th. Once the Commission makes a formal recommendation, the zoning code amendment will be considered by the City Council. Changes may still be made until the City Council's final decision.
The Department of Planning website has more details on the hearing
Please direct any questions or comments to Bonnie Kim, firstname.lastname@example.org, (213) 978-1330.
If you are interested in being part of the Urban Ag Working Group, contact Francesca at email@example.com
Details from LA Sentinel on the County’s version of the policy, which was completed some time ago:
Syrian Refugees Find Solace in Rooftop Gardens (Reprinted from AlJazeera)
“Fatin Kazzi's sun-drenched balcony garden is a cluster of makeshift planters, some fashioned out of crates or the ends of two-litre plastic water bottles.
Already bursting with strawberries, mint, basil, peppers and celery, the garden is just a month old, but Kazzi - who is living in Beirut as a refugee having fled Aleppo five years ago amid Syria's civil war - eventually hopes to be able to make her own salad from the vegetables here.
"I'm a city girl. This is my first time gardening," Kazzi said with a laugh, noting that the garden has provided her with a measure of comfort in trying times. An English literature teacher in Syria, she has been unable to find work in Beirut, while her husband has found only sporadic carpentry jobs - making it difficult to pay the rent and provide for their three children.
This psychological boost is one of the key goals of an initiative aiming to help hundreds of Syrian refugees in Lebanon to grow their own food in rooftop gardens, said Nadim Rawda, the project's agricultural engineer.
Rawda - who is also the vice president of the Food Heritage Foundation, a Lebanese non-profit organisation that seeks to preserve local food culture - believes that any balcony garden should be able to produce the necessities for typical Levantine fare: marjoram, mint, garlic, hot peppers, sweet peppers, tomatoes and thyme.
With one vertical wall kit, Rawda said, an average family should be able to save a minimum of $50 on food costs each month - a significant sum when the monthly average income for Syrian refugee households in Lebanon is $165.
Intersos (a different organization), which is launching its micro-gardening project for Syrians in informal refugee settlements in the autumn, uses recycled or low-cost materials for planters, such as plastic barrels and wooden crates.
At its three community centres across Lebanon, Intersos has already started providing training on how to plant kitchen gardens, along with workshops for children and adults on how to grow your own food.”
Pomona Agrees to Halt Homeless Sweeps Until Housing Available
From LA Times: Homeless residents of Pomona will be provided storage for their property and will be allowed to sleep in public spaces until shelter beds exist for all of them, following the settlement of a lawsuit challenging the city’s practice of homeless cleanups.
In the settlement reached with the pro bono law firm Public Counsel, the city agreed to build 388 lockers for the property of homeless people and to stop enforcing three laws that prohibit tents, personal property and overnight sleeping on public property.
Hunger Action LA is continuing to ask for your support this month. We need your help to sustain Market Match, which makes healthy eating affordable for families, seniors, and people with disabilities. We need your help to print the People's Guide so that thousands of Angelinos struggling with stressful situations can get vital information. We need your help to design and promote 21st century linkages between those with extra food to those who need it; and, we need your help to tell our state and federal legislators that the hungry aren't nourished with nice talk —struggling Angelinos need food assistance programs so they can thrive instead of merely survive. Go to the link below to donate by PayPal or mail check to : Hunger Action LA: 961 S Mariposa # 205: Los Angeles CA 90006