Food & Justice News June 4th, 2019

Food & Justice News June 4th, 2019

  1. Urge State Budget Negotiators to Fight Hunger and Poverty This Week
  2. CalFresh Expansion to SSI Recipients Begins! Enrollment Events at Farmers Markets
  3. Help Blind and Low Vision Shoppers Enjoy the Farmers Market: June 8 Santa Monica Pico Farmers Market
  4. SNAP Expansion Helped Rural Economy
  5. Spray Cheese Now A Staple Food: Trump Administration Adventures in SNAP
  6. Democrats Push Back Against Trump SNAP and Nutrition Moves
  7. Processed Food Bad for You, Yet 25 Cups of Coffee A Day is OK?

Urge State Budget Negotiators to Fight Hunger and Poverty This Week

State legislators are making the final decisions on the state budget over the next two weeks. There are several anti-poverty and anti-hunger measures that need our support to push them over the finish line.

The anti-hunger community, consisting of grassroots leaders, community members affected by hunger, and nonprofits providing food services as well as policy advocacy, have been focused on a number of legislative initiatives to boost the State Supplemental Payment (the state portion of SSI for over a million seniors and disabled persons in California), as well as the California Earned Income Credit, CalWORKs, and policies the would improve CalFresh and school meals.

Your phone calls and emails are important: many people never contact their state legislators and so every such message has a powerful impact.

Call these state budget leaders and urge them to support a Cost of Living increase for SSI recipients.

Hundreds of advocates rallied a couple of weeks ago at the State Capitol to support anti-hunger bills. Several of those bills require funding to be allocated from the state budget and need our support as well. From our friends at California Food Policy Advocates:

Take a minute to contact State Budget Committee Chairs and Conferees. Their support and leadership are needed for budget investments! While State Budget decisions are made with statewide impact in mind, please share any local stories or impact to provide context:

Chairs:

 

Conference Committee Members:

 

 

 

Sample call or email script:

 

Hello. My name is ________. I live in ________, CA. I am calling to support three critical investments in Budget Conference to improve food access for low-income Californians in under-served communities. Please support the:

- Senate Proposal for Simplified Senior CalFresh Applications ($1 mill, one-time)
- Senate Proposal for CA-Grown for Healthy Kids ($15.3 mill per year, ongoing) 
- Assembly Proposal for School Breakfast After the Bell Grants ($3 mill, one-time)

California is the 5th largest economy in the world and the largest agricultural producer in the nation, yet more than 4 million Californians can't afford enough food to get by. The State Budget is a statement of values: please show us you care about Californians having the food needed to be healthy and thrive. 

{Add any reasons or examples of your own}

 

More info: Visit cfpa.net/2019-state-legislative-agenda

Questions: Contact Tracey Patterson at 510.433.1122 ext 101

Alameda County Community Food Bank has been providing leadership on the issue of the state Earned Income Credit, which helps the lowest paid workers in our state.

You can click here to take action now: https://t.co/rser4OAlae #EndChildPovertyCA #CalEITC4Me

The bigger picture:

Poor people in California are speaking out about their lives and struggles at forums around the state. Here is coverage from the Bay Area from a meeting of the Poor Peoples Campaign

https://oaklandnorth.net/2019/04/08/a-poor-peoples-campaign-
invokes-dr-king-in-its-call-for-economic-equality/

Homelessness seems to be an intractable problem in spite of billions being allocated at the city and county level in Los Angeles. In spite of the rhetoric, legislators are not pushing back against landlords and commercial interests by advancing rent control measures. The LA Times reports that only one rent control measure survives in the state legislature  https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-
government/capitol-alert/article230999388.html


CalFresh Expansion to SSI Recipients Begins! Enrollment Events at Farmers Markets

Hunger Action LA and its many partnering farmers market operators—Harbor Area Farmers Markets, FM & LCE, Adams Vermont Farmers Market, Mar Vista Farmers Market, Altadena Farmers Market, California Clean Greens Association, Main Street Marketplace, San Dimas Farmers Market, Southland Farmers Market Association, and Venaver---are proud to host Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) eligibility workers as they come to the markets to assist hundreds of SSI recipients in applying for the CalFresh program!

Several events have already taken place, but please refer anyone you know who needs CalFresh, especially SSI recipients, to one of the days and times below. If eligible for CalFresh they’ll be able to get 10 bonus dollars at the market each week that they visit by using the Market Match program:

Date

Location

Time

Wednesday,
June 5

Adams and Vermont

1432 W Adams LA 90007

2:00pm – 6:00pm

Friday,
June 7

Long Beach Downtown

(Near) 300 Pacific Ave
Long Beach, CA 90802

10:00am – 4:00pm

Sunday,
June 9

Mar Vista

12200 Venice Blvd
LA, CA 90066

9:00am – 2:00pm

Wednesday,
June 12

Altadena

600 W. Palm St Altadena,
CA 91001

3:00pm – 7:00pm

Saturday,
June 15

Pomona

Pearl & Garey Ave Pomona,
CA 91768

9:00am – 12:00pm

Saturday,
June 22

West Covina

9195 Glendora West Covina
90016

9:00am – 12:00pm

Sunday,
June 23

Wellington Square

4394 Washington Blvd
LA, CA 90016

9:00am – 1:00pm

Monday,
June 24

South Gate

Tweedy Blvd and Pinehurst Ave
South Gate, CA 90280

10:00am – 2:00pm

Wednesday,
June 26

Huntington Park

3401 E. Florence Ave
Huntington Park, CA 90255

9:30am – 1:30pm

Thursday,
June 27

Monterey Park

1950 Wilcox Ave,
Monterey Park 91755

4:00pm – 7:00pm

Saturday,
June 29

North Hollywood

5255 Bakman Ave, LA 91601

10:00am – 2:00pm

Wednesday,
July 3

Harbor City (Kaiser)

25825 S. Vermont Ave,
Harbor City 90710

8:00am- 2:00pm

Wednesday,
July 3

San Dimas

Near 245 E Bonita Ave
(behind City Hall)
San Dimas,  91773                                  

4:00pm – 8:00pm

Saturday,
July 6

Old Town Newhall

Lyons Ave & Railroad Ave

8:30am – 12:30pm

Thursday,
July 11

LivingWell FM

1720 E Cesar Chavez Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90033

10:00am – 2:30pm

Thursday,
July 18

Bixby Knolls

Atlantic Ave. & E. 46th St.

3:00pm – 6:30pm

 


Help Blind and Low Vision Shoppers Enjoy the Farmers Market:
June 8 Santa Monica Pico Farmers Market

Saturday, June 8 Santa Monica Pico Farmers Market

2200 Virginia Ave. in Virginia Park Pico & Cloverfield Santa Monica CA 90404

PLEASE RSVP TO info@hungeractionla.org 
NO OTHER REGISTRATION NEEDED!

https://www.yelp.com/biz/virginia-avenue-park-
farmers-market-santa-monica

https://www.smgov.net/Portals/Farmers_Market/
Market_Days/Saturdays_Virginia_Ave/Saturday_Pico.aspx

 

What we'll be doing:

  1. Guiding blind or low vision shoppers around the market. Need outgoing people who love to converse! Also, people who are patient and can describe to the shoppers the foods they’re encountering
  2. We anticipate staying from 9:30 am until probably 1 pm: You may have shoppers who wish to go for longer than that. Let us know how long you’d be available
  3. We also need drivers. You can be both a guide and a driver if you like. The drivers are there to take the shoppers home from the market. They do not need to bring them TO the market. Most of the shoppers will take ACCESS. However, it’s hard to go home by ACCESS since you need to give precise time and pick up point or risk being abandoned.
    If you volunteer to drive we will be finding out the addresses of all the shoppers in advance and then alert all the volunteers to those potential addresses, BEFORE the day of the market. If you volunteer to drive you would then just let us know who lives in a convenient route home for you. Most of the shoppers will not live too far from the Crenshaw area but a few are further out such as the Valley, West LA, and sometimes shoppers will have to be taken to Union Station to go to further destinations.

PLEASE RSVP TO info@hungeractionla.org

Here are some reminders to ensure that you are prepared for the day:

  • Bring a signed copy of the liability waiver (You can also sign one at the market)
  • Volunteer guides will need to provide their own transportation

Our itinerary for BLV Market Days is outlined below:

  • 9:30 am Arrival at the farmers market (Santa Monica June 8.)
  • 10:15 am Breakfast/Orientation—this is where volunteers will match up with shoppers
  • 10:30 am – 12:30 pm Shopping/Eating
  • 12:30 am – 1 pm Take shoppers home (Unless some make particular arrangements to stay later with the volunteer)

We will have snacks and water for volunteers as well as shoppers.

Along with helping guide shoppers around the farmers' markets, we are also in need of drivers to take shoppers home afterward.

If you have any questions or need directions on the day of the event, please call Frank Tamborello, the Director of Hunger Action LA at (213) 361-2075.

Drivers must have a valid license, insurance, and sign a waiver.

PLEASE RSVP TO info@hungeractionla.org


SNAP Expansion Helped Rural Economy

Emily Moon in the Pacific Standard:

“A report published last week by the United States Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service found that increased spending on SNAP under President Barack Obama created more jobs in rural counties. It's the first county-level analysis of the program's economic effects, and the results are conclusive: After the Obama administration nearly quadrupled SNAP payments, recipients' spending at grocery stores helped boost employment.”

“SNAP under President Barack Obama created more jobs in rural counties. It's the first county-level analysis of the program's economic effects, and the results are conclusive: After the Obama administration nearly quadrupled SNAP payments, recipients' spending at grocery stores helped boost employment.”

https://psmag.com/news/new-research-shows-snap-
recipients-are-a-benefit-not-a-drain-on-rural-economies

https://www.dailyyonder.com/study-links-snap-
spending-job-creation/2019/06/03/32155/

The results were published by the USDA’s Economic Research Service—which the Trump administration wants to boot out of the nation’s capital (see item 6 below.)


Spray Cheese Now A Staple Food: Trump Administration Adventures in SNAP

“Spray cheese, beef jerky and stuffed olives to be counted as staples under Trump administration food stamp proposal Without the new rules, convenience stores say the government would be cutting off a supplemental source of groceries for low-income Americans.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/food/wp/
2019/05/30/spray-cheese-beef-jerky-and-stuffed-
olives-to-be-counted-as-staples-under-trump-
administration-food-stamp-proposal/


Democrats Push Back Against Trump SNAP and Nutrition Moves

The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee adopted 29-21 the FY 2020 Appropriations bill for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives.

Total discretionary funding in the legislation is $24.3 billion, which is $1 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. In total, the bill allows for $155.3 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding – $3.2 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.

Some of the details in the bill include:

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – The bill provides for $71.1 billion in required mandatory spending for SNAP. This includes $5 billion for the SNAP reserve fund.

Also this week, Democrats in the House of Representatives will conduct panels and discussions to  examine some of the Trump administration’s recent anti-nutrition moves, including the rollback of standards for school meals, the proposal to restrict states from waiving work requirements in the SNAP program for childless jobless adults (and potentially boot 755,000 beneficiaries from the SNAP rolls over 3 years), and the proposed relocation of the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture outside of Washington or bringing ERS under the control of USDA's chief economist. Relocating these agencies is a way for the administration to suppress the work of other agency economists who produce data that may make the president’s policies look bad.


Processed Food Bad for You, Yet 25 Cups of Coffee A Day is OK?

Hilary Brueck in Business Insider on a recent study about processed food: “There's evidence for the first time that processed foods like muffins and quesadillas cause us to eat about 500 more calories every day.

Processed foods have long been linked to shorter life spans and increased cancer cases.

Groundbreaking research from the US's National Institutes of Health suggests for the first time that the relationship is causal: No matter how nutritious they are, processed foods lead people to eat more and gain weight… Scientists still aren't sure why this is the case, but they think there may be something unique about the way our hormones interact with processed foods. Plus, we typically eat them faster than unprocessed meals, meaning the body has less time to stop and register when it's full.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-processed-foods-
lead-to-weight-gain-nih-study-2019-5

The Trump administration wants to make sure some of this REALLY processed stuff like spray cheese, is exalted to the title of an American Staple that convenience stores can carry in order to merit the ability to accept SNAP benefits (see item 5 above.)

And yet, in spite of the news about processed food, another study purportedly shows that drinking 25 cups of coffee a day is still safe for the heart:

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/03/bhf-says-drinking-
25-cups-of-coffee-a-day-is-safe-for-the-heart.html?
__source=twitter%7Cmain

The study was conducted by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).



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