Hunger Action Los Angeles

Food Justice News October 6 2020:

Reports and updates today on food justice and food security issues reposted from colleagues around the state and around Los Angeles:

1. Governor Vetoes Food Assistance Bill for Low Income Californians 

2. Sign the Petition To Restore Hot Food Vendor Small Businesses to LA County Farmers Markets

3. The Simple Dollar publishes: Follow These Steps If You Need to Break Your Lease Early During the Pandemic


1. Governor Vetoes Food Assistance Bill for Low Income Californians 


Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed, on September 29,  AB 826 (Santiago), a bill that would have provided emergency food assistance to low-income Californians struggling financially due to COVID-19. 

AB 826, co-sponsored by the California Association of Food Banks, CHIRLA and the Western Center Law and Poverty, would have established a one-time fund to provide emergency food assistance for low-income Californians, regardless of legal status, financially struggling due to COVID-19. Each eligible adult would have received $600 to spend on groceries. With over 7 million Californians applying for unemployment insurance since March, this bill would have gone a long way to at least temporarily address widespread food insecurity in our state.

Anti-hunger advocates around the state are disappointed but we won't let this stop us in our ongoing struggle for justice. Undocumented persons (and others who can't get CalFresh) comprise a large part of the essential workers of the state---those risking illness so the rest of us can eat and do other things we need. 




2. Sign the Petition To Restore Hot Food Vendor Small Businesses to LA County Farmers Markets


From our friends at the Studio City farmers market:

We are asking the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to lift the ban on vendors who cook on site at Farmers Markets. These vendors run small businesses and have been stripped of their livelihood for the last six months. Many are suffering tremendous hardship. They are licensed and have covered booths and three compartment sinks, as required by the health department.

The city is doing everything in its power to help restaurants stay open by allowing them to provide take out and serve outside, so it makes no sense that Farmers Market vendors are being singled out and excluded from making a living. Street vendors and food trucks are allowed to operate. Los Angeles County is one of the only counties in the state that is still banning these vendors from operating at Farmers Markets.

Farmers Markets provide an opportunity for the public to purchase nutritious food outdoors, and to enjoy fresh air. It is well documented that it is much safer to be outdoors than indoors in order to contain the spread of COVID-19.

As an essential business, Farmers Markets have not skipped a beat during the pandemic, reconfiguring as needed to continue to serve their communities. This unjust ban on vendors who cook on site has also put a financial strain on many Farmers Markets.

We urge you to lift this ban and allow prepared food vendors to cook on site at Farmers Markets, and sell their food for take-out.

Sign the petition:


3. The Simple Dollar publishes: Follow These Steps If You Need to Break Your Lease Early During the Pandemic

From the Simple Dollar, a website that advises on personal finance:

“Our team at The Simple Dollar recently published a helpful guide, Follow These Steps If You Need to Break Your Lease Early During the Pandemic, to help anyone considering breaking their lease early due to the current economic and virtual working environments.
You can view it here:

Some of the steps to take and best practices that are included in our guide:

  • Valuable relief options for renters 
  • 5 important questions to ask that could lead to solutions
  • Best practices for breaking a lease"






Food Justice News September 14 2020:

Reports and updates today on food justice and food security issues from our friends at Public Health Foundation WIC, Western Center on Law and Poverty, and others:

  1. Food Assistance Bill for Low Income Californians On the Governor’s Desk
  2. USC Study Finds Food Insecurity in LA Rises Due to Covid
  3. Sorting Out New Eviction Rules September 2020
  4. Support WIC’s Ability To Serve New Moms Remotely



1. Food Assistance Bill for Low Income Californians On the Governor’s Desk

(Reposted from Western Center on Law and Poverty)


On Tuesday, Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and advocates will host a virtual press conference urging Governor Gavin Newsom to sign AB 826 (Santiago), a bill that would provide emergency food assistance to low-income Californians struggling financially due to COVID-19. 


AB 826, co-sponsored by the California Association of Food Banks, CHIRLA and the Western Center Law and Poverty, would establish a one-time fund to provide emergency food assistance for low-income Californians, regardless of legal status, financially struggling due to COVID-19. Each eligible adult would receive $600 to spend on groceries. With over 7 million Californians applying for unemployment insurance since March, this bill is crucial to address widespread food insecurity in our state.


Assembly Member Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Los Angeles County Homelessness. He also sits on the Assembly Committees on Public Safety, Health, Higher Education and Utilities and Energy. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.


2. USC Study Finds Food Insecurity in LA Rises Due to Covid

USC has released The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Insecurity in Los Angeles County:April to May 2020. And for LA it shows that non surprisingly things are tougher given that surviving in our expensive county was hard well before covid struck. From the press release by Jim Key: “In L.A., levels of economic insecurity have increased as a result of the pandemic and are substantially higher than in the rest of the nation. Among the newly unemployed, nearly 30% of Angelenos are currently experiencing mild to severe food insecurity — 8 points higher than the national average. And only 58% of Angelenos say they could handle a surprise $2,000 expense, compared to the national average of 68%.  

Angelenos are worse off now largely because they were in a more precarious financial position from the start”.

Press release for “Understanding Coronavirus in America”:

The full study found that “ Overall, 39.5% of low-income households experienced food insecurity at some time between April and May 2020.” It is interesting that a large majority of those experiencing hunger during covid were not accessing government food programs like CalFresh, even though more than 50% likely were eligible.



 3. Sorting Out New Eviction Rules September 2020

There’s good news and challenging news for tenants facing eviction due to circumstances caused by covid. On the one hand, the federal, state and LA County governments have all passed some form of temporary halts to eviction at least through the end of 2020. On the other hand, none of them forgive the rent owed, they simply allow payment to be deferred, and do not provide financial assistance to pay the rent. Sorting out the new mandates at the different levels can be confusing, and they also require an ability to prove that your inability to pay rent is related to the covid crisis---paperwork that may be difficult for many to complete. Considering the pre-exisiting menacing housing crisis engulfing LA County, these mandates may not help enough people. People should be aware of their rights, and a good source is the county’s . Here is a summary of what is happening now:


National law: On September 4, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a federal order that prevents tenants from being evicted for not paying rent or without ​a valid reason (known as "just cause”) that is the fault of the tenant until December 31, 2020. For the emergency protection to apply, you must submit a written declaration to your landlord that you are experiencing COVID-19 related hardship and cannot pay your rent. This declaration must be sent each month as soon as you know you won’t be able to pay rent .

Click here to download the declaration form provided by the CDC.

State of California law:

On August 31, 2020, the State of California passed tenant protections that prevent landlords from evicting tenants before February 1, 2021 without a valid reason or for any rent not paid between March 4 - January 31, 2021 due to loss of income or increased expenses associated with COVID-19.

If you owe rent for any months from March 2020 to August 2020, you must submit a declaration form to your landlord. Once submitted, your landlord cannot evict you for not paying rent.

If you can’t pay rent for any month from September 2020 to January 2021, you must submit a notice of hardship to your landlord stating that you can’t pay your rent because of a loss of income due to COVID-19 each and every month you get a notice about the rent owed. You must also pay a minimum of 25% of the total rent owed, by January 31, 2021. To satisfy this requirement, you can either pay over time, or you can make one payment as long as you pay the 25% of the rent before January 31, 2021.


From the county website: “Neither the national nor the federal protections cancel rent. You are still responsible for paying any rent you miss.

Also, while these laws protect you from eviction, it doesn’t mean your landlord won’t still try to evict you. If you receive an eviction lawsuit you must file and answer to the lawsuit. If you receive a notice or any kind of paperwork from the court, do not move out of your home until a court orders you to! Seek legal assistance now to understand your rights and successfully respond to an eviction in court.”

“If you receive a notice from your landlord, or are experiencing threats or harassment, do not move out of your home until a court orders you to! Sign up for a free workshop to learn more about emergency protections and your rights and get connected to resources that can keep you in your home.”


Find a Workshop

More information including LA County rent freeze in certain parts of the county:



4. Support WIC’s Ability To Serve New Moms Remotely


The WIC program serves pregnant women, and kids age 5 and under, with food vouchers, nutrition education and more. During covid, waivers have allowed WIC to issue benefits to families remotely rather than requiring participants to pick up WIC benefits in person. These waivers are expiring September 30, 2020. The National WIC Association is leading efforts to extend WIC waivers beyond September 30, 2020. Learn more about the National WIC Association’s campaign.


Here are some of the messages you can tweet : see the link above for more info on who you can “@” in your tweets and for suggestions on sending your message with a photo:


Keep pregnant women and new parents safe. #WICWaiversWork

States need the flexibility to keep moms and babies safe. #WICWaiversWork

Protecting WIC families is a no-cost provision. #WICWaiversWork

Dear USDA: Protect WIC moms and babies from COVID-19. #WICWaiversWork

Do right by moms and babies. Extend remote WIC services. #WICWaiversWork

Keep moms and babies from going into clinics during COVID-19. #WICWaiversWork

Waivers ensure healthy pregnancies and child development. Extend WIC waivers. #WICWaiversWork

Protect families from COVID-19. Extend WIC Waivers #WICWaiversWork

Dear USDA: Ensure the continuation of safe WIC service delivery. #WICWaiversWork











Food Justice News August 6, 2020:

Reports and updates today on food justice and food security issues from our friends at California Food Policy Advocates, California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets, CalCAN, Public Health Foundation WIC, LA County and others

  1. Pandemic EBT : Who Qualifies and How to Appeal
  2. National Farmers Market Week
  3. WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program Up and Running!
  4. Support Healthy Soils and Farmworker Housing for Strong California Agriculture
  5. Volunteers Needed for Hunger Action LA!
  6. Link to LA County Food Programs





  1. Pandemic EBT : Who Qualifies and How to Appeal

Pandemic EBT or PEBT is the name of the food card program that distributed benefits to families with children in school meals programs, who were homebound due to the pandemic. California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA) reports that “ As of late July, $1.3 billion in P-EBT food benefits have been distributed to more than 3.5 million children across California. “

CFPA has prepared Question/Answer sheets in English and Spanish that cover P-EBT eligibility decisions, the appeals process, how to get help with P-EBT, and actions you can take to make sure P-EBT continues to help children throughout California. Click on links below:




2. National Farmers Market Week

(Thanks to CA Alliance of Farmers Markets)

Farmers Market Week began August 2 and ends Saturday. So let’s finish up with a strong weekend supporting local farmers! Many people have been wondering what’s happened to the farmers markets since the pandemic began. Here are some updates:

  • Most markets are open, but have added hand-washing stations, eliminated on-site dining and food sampling, and have spaced the canopies further apart to allow for social distancing.
  • Many markets that were co-located health care facilities (such as Kaiser Permanente) have closed indefinitely, but you should check because some have re-opened on other health facilities
  • As more people lose income and qualify for CalFresh, we’ve seen as much as a 25% increase in CalFresh sales at some of the markets affiliated with Hunger Action LA’s Market Match program. In addition, P-EBT or Pandemic EBT can be used at the farmers markets too, and also qualifies the user for up to $10 bonus coupons to spend via Market Match.

Please share this video by the CA Alliance of Farmers Markets and the Spanish video for National Farmers Market Week on your social media platforms!


3. WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program Up and Running!

WIC (Women Infants and Children) program provides food benefits, health and other classes all year long to families with children age 5 and under (as well as pregnant women.) Every summer, WIC provides farmers market coupons so families can learn about markets and make healthier choices.

WIC Families get $28 free this year to spend at farmers markets. Public Health Foundation Enterprises, one of the major WIC contractors in Southern California, will be distributing over half a million dollars of fruit and vegetable vouchers to 22,000 WIC families (while supplies last.)

This year, many markets remain open with additional safety measures in place due to COVID-19. We encourage participants to wear a mask to the market and follow all posted social distancing instructions for a safer shopping experience.

PHFE WIC participants can text FARMERS to 91997 to request their FMNP vouchers, if they have not received them. Vouchers will be mailed to the WIC participant within 1 week of the request.

Hunger Action LA has organized a safe and convenient way for families to use their WIC FMNP vouchers. WIC participants can order a WIC Farm Box for pickup at one of several Los Angeles farmers' markets!




4. Support Healthy Soils and Farmworker Housing for Strong California Agriculture

(Based on info from CalCAN, the California Climate and Agriculture Network)

Please take a few minutes today to email your state Senator and Assemblymember, and Governor Newsom, and ask them to make economic recovery investments in food and agriculture!

Food security—and economic security---in California depend on a strong resilient agriculture sector. After all, we are the state that feeds the nation. Two important programs to help achieve this are Healthy Soils (which provides grants to farmers and ranchers to build better soils) and Housing for the Harvest (housing for farmworkers who have to isolate due to the pandemic.)

Let your elected representatives know that you support these two programs, which are under consideration for funding in legislative talks now.

Sample Message for email or phone call:

“I’m urging  (Governor Newsom or your Senator) to prioritize economic recovery funding for the Healthy Soils Program and the Housing for the Harvest program. The Healthy Soils Program turns farm-based climate solutions into rural jobs and farm viability. We must expand the Housing for Harvest program to include all agricultural counties, which provides critical housing for our farmworkers who are on the frontlines of the pandemic.”

You can reach Governor Newsom's page here for contact info by phone or email directly from the website. You can also find your senator at this link and follow the links at their site for contact info.

Background: Healthy Soils Program (CA Dept. of Food & Agriculture): In June, more than 300 growers received Healthy Soils grants but almost 600 farmers applied. Many farmers are using Healthy Soils grants to try new practices like compost, cover crops, and hedgerow plantings that not only build carbon sinks but also reduce chemical use and protect air and water quality, all while investing in local communities.

Farmworker Housing: Housing for the Harvest is a new program that offers temporary hotel housing to agricultural workers who need to isolate due to COVID-19. We support expanding Housing for the Harvest to include all agricultural counties.




5. Volunteers Needed for Hunger Action LA!

Contact us at if you have some time to volunteer. We need:

*Delivery drivers to take food or meal bags to disabled, blind or senior households under pandemic lockdown. We collect food at 2:30 pm on Wednesday and deliveries go to South LA, Long Beach, San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley, and Harbor Gateway cities. You can volunteer for 2 to 5 deliveries (or more.) Contact

*Volunteers to help set up and take down farmers markets, and prepare boxes for WIC customers (mentioned in the earlier item on the update.) Also contact

Join the over 75 who have volunteered with us so far since the pandemic and thank you very much!


6. Link to LA County Food Programs

During the coronavirus pandemic we’ve seen a bewildering array of changes, most of them temporary but with no definite end date, in food programs, as well as helpful new services pop up from public and private sources, especially for vulnerable communities who really shouldn’t go out to get groceries at this time. LA County has set up a web page with all the vital links including:

  • Direct links to apply for CalFresh or for WIC
  • A link to search for free food resources in your area
  • Senior Critical Delivery service and the county’s Senior meal delivery program, as well as the city of LA’s recently expanded senior meal program
  • Resources for those who want to volunteer and for those who are collecting or redistributing food

Information on public benefits, updates on Covid impacts, and food distribution events around the county can be found here:

LA County is continuing its own version of the Great Plates program, helping homebound seniors between certain income levels to get 3 meals a day delivered to their homes:






  • Featured post

    Food & Justice News June 2nd, 2020

    Food Justice News June 2, 2020:


    Hunger Action LA condemns not only the police brutality that sparked the current uprising but all the cumulative actions of systemic racism that contributed to it, that built up the pile to which the murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin has lit the flame. We do not support looting including looting of buildings by opportunists on the street or looting of the public treasury by politicians working on behalf of those who want to maintain the status quo. That status quo is inequality of races and an economic system whose goalposts forever recede in the distance so that people give up trying to “live” because they’re too busy trying to “survive.”


    To wit: the meager program of public assistance called SSI on which 1.2 million of our brothers and sisters in California depend. See below alert. Let’s keep the struggle going on the street and in the often opaque arena of public policy. As Jimi Hendrix wrote:


    I just want to know about your different lives, on this here people farm

    I heard some of you got your families, living in cages tall and cold
    And some just stay there and dust away, past the age of old
    Is this true? Please let me talk to you




    Below are directions for how to email through Gov. Newsom’s website and a template message. Let us know when you’ve emailed. Thank you!

    1. Go to
    2. Screen 1: Enter your name, email, and choose “Budget Proposal 2020-21”

    3. Screen 2: Position is Con, write your message. A template is below, and feel free to edit.

      Template Email:


      Dear Governor Newsom,


      I am writing to oppose the SSI/SSP cut in your May Revise budget proposal and instead urging you to adopt the Senate’s budget proposal that would prevent cuts to the SSP COLA.


      The proposed cuts will exacerbate the profound impact that COVID-19 has on low-income older and immunocompromised Californians, women and people of color. People on SSI are one of the most impacted populations in the health care crisis because they’re high risk to get sick from Covid-19, worsening already present inequities. A CalBudget Center brief published in February 2020 reports that SSI is a critical support for older women and people of color because they have faced structural inequality in the labor market. We cannot let the value of this program and the economic disparity between women and people of color fall behind even more, at the time when they need help the most.


      SSI recipients have been advocating to restore the Great Recession cuts for over a decade and have only received one COLA, while other programs have been restored and new programs have been created and funded. It’s not much money by most people’s standards, but every dollar means a lot to people living on the edge. If this cut is implemented, how many years will it take after the COVID-19 crisis for it to be restored, let alone to bring the 1.2 million seniors and people with disabilities on SSI out of poverty? We appreciate that the Administration only proposes the cut as a trigger, but still a $5 per month cut would make a large difference for a person currently living at 89% of the federal poverty level.


      According to the IMPLAN economic analysis, SSP investments have a significant economic multiplier: Every $10 million in increased State Supplemental Payments would support $15 million in economic output (multiplier of 1.50), 93 jobs, and $0.9 million in state and local tax revenue. This is the kind of boost to the economy that we need.


      I hope to see that SSI/SSP will not be cut in the budget and that we can work toward seniors and people with disabilities living with dignity.




      [Your Name]


      Many thanks to Shanti Prasad and the CA4SSI coalition for this template and alert!

    Add your reaction Share
  • Featured post

    Call Your Assemblymember and Senator Now: NO CUTS TO SSI

    Food Justice News May 29, 2020:


    Call Your Assemblymember and Senator Now: NO CUTS TO SSI


    The coronavirus pandemic has created a huge state budget deficit in California. In Governor Newsom’s May budget revise, he proposed cutting the State Supplemental Payment to SSI, which supports 1.3 million blind, senior and disabled Californians, as part of a set of “trigger cuts” that would be enacted if the state doesn’t get more pandemic related support from the federal government.

    The state Senate earlier this week released their own list of trigger cuts, which did not include SSP. They recognized that cutting this benefit would only make the problem of homelessness worse and increase misery & hardship for the population that includes the most vulnerable to Covid infection.



    Tell your Assemblymember, Do Not Cut SSI in the state budget.

    Tell Your Senator: THANK YOU for not cutting SSI in your proposed budget and please hold the line on that cut.


    Find out who your state assemblymember and senator are at this link:



    • 3 million senior, blind or disabled Californians rely on SSI .
    • The payment is $943 per month (a little higher for certain people), which is below 100% of the poverty level.
    • $783 of the payment is “SSI” (Supplemental Security Income) from the federal government: $160 is the “SSP” from the state of California (State Supplemental Payment). Most people just know the term “SSI” and to keep it simple, this is enough for our state legislators.
    • SSI recipients only became eligible to get CalFresh food assistance about one year ago.
    • With only $943 a month many live on the verge of eviction.
    • Because SSI recipients have to spend all their money to survive, SSI actually is a stimulus to the economy; one estimate shows that $10 million of SSI in California provides a $15 million boost to the economy.
    • SSI also allows many people to live independently; they would otherwise be in skilled nursing homes which are costly to the state and are also threatened with budget cuts.
    • Cutting SSI would create homelessness, hunger, inability to afford transportation or co pays on medication, and misery for the most vulnerable people in the state.
    Add your reaction Share
  • Featured post

    Food & Justice News April 13, 2020

    Food & Justice News Apr 13, 2020

    Many thanks to our colleagues at various levels of government and advocacy who provided these crucial updates we’re passing along to you:

    1. How SSI Recipients And Others Who Don’t File Taxes Can Get The Stimulus
    2. LA County Begins Free Grocery Delivery Service
    3. WIC Expands Temporarily To Additional Foods
    4. CalFresh Boosted for March and April Benefits
    Continue reading → Add your reaction Share
  • Featured post

    DPSS Coronavirus FAQ

    1 reaction Share
  • Featured post

    KTown Pho

    Hunger Action LA extends its gratitude to KTown Pho, who are donating BanhMi sandwiches on Wednesdays which we are taking to vulnerable seniors, homeless, and people with disabilities!
    Here is their link:


    Continue reading → Add your reaction Share
  • Featured post

    Stimulus Payments

    Dear Follower of Hunger Action LA:


    The stimulus payments of $1,200 will be made automatically to most people in the U.S., including anyone who files a tax return, and most Social Security recipients.


    But some of the most vulnerable people in our community won’t be able to get it unless they jump through hoops. Those are the millions of senior, blind or disabled persons who only receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This includes around a million people in California, many of them frail with life-threatening conditions that make survival difficult, even before the current crisis.


    They can get the payments if they file a tax return. But the majority of them have either never had to file one because they have been blind or disabled from birth, or the last time they filed was years ago. And being in an especially vulnerable class, it is not easy for them to leave home and go hunting down a tax form.


    Other recipients of benefits from the Social Security Administration are getting automatic direct payments. SSI recipients should, as well.


    Call the Capitol Switchboard, ask for your Member of Congress. 


     (202) 224-3121


    When you’re connected:

    Ask them to sign the letter by Rep DeFazio demanding that SSI recipients get direct payments of the CARES Act stimulus payments.


    SSI recipients should not have to file taxes to get stimulus payments, this is an injustice and basic issue of equity and fairness. 


    Thank you


    Add your reaction Share
  • Featured post

    HALA Needs Volunteers

    Hunger Action LA needs volunteers


    Drivers to deliver meals and bagged food to recipients located all over LA County on Wednesdays: Meet on Wednesday, April 1, April 8, April 15, at 2 pm at 1432 West Adams Blvd, LA CA 90007 (at the farmers market)

    Please provide your contact information to


    Donations of cash or by PayPal for us to purchase ready-made meals from Everytable in bulk discount so we can provide meals to vulnerable people not able to cook: and for purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers markets to supplement diets of the recipients while supporting our local farmers


    Donations of food: Please no expired food except packaged food within 2 months of the “best buy” date. Frozen meat is okay, prepared frozen meals, we are trying to limit canned food due to health issues of recipients.

    Provide your contact info to


    The recipients of the food are in the following priority groups

    *Blind and low vision persons


    *persons particularly vulnerable to coronavirus, or with a disability, who should not be outside standing in food lines or with a lot of people at the grocery store



    Add your reaction Share
  • Featured post

    In Loving Memory of Beatriz Solis 1962-2020

    In Loving Memory of Beatriz Solis 1962-2020
    While we are all dealing with coronavirus fallout at this time Hunger Action LA would like to pause for us to mourn,  but also to  celebrate,  the life of Beatriz Solis of The California Endowment who passed away this morning (Saturday March 21)  after a long struggle with cancer.
    Beatriz was an extraordinary and compassionate individual who helped numerous organizations around Los Angeles, including us, with planning, logistics, and tremendous heartfelt encouragement. We will miss her and we extend our sympathy to her family, to The California Endowment, and to all of the community here whose work in fighting for equity in health care is her ongoing legacy. Goodbye Beatriz, we love you and appreciate all you have done.
    For more details:
    Add your reaction Share

Showing 11 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

Top of Page