February 12, 2018:
In order to save space and time in this short-attention world, we’ve limited today’s newsletter to 5 new items below. For some of last week’s smash hit links, go to the following:
All of them still very timely
Meanwhile here's today's hot news:
- Disaster CalFresh for Families Affected By Recent
- Trump Budget Proposal Literally Mirrors Famous Eisenhower Quote
- Looking Under the Hood at The Trump Food Stamp Plan
- Call to Protect Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) This Week.
- Cal EITC: Get Money Back If you Earned Less than $23,302 Last Year
Disaster CalFresh for Families Affected By Recent Wildfires
In addition to people in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, victims of recent wildfires in LA and San Diego Counties may qualify for Disaster CalFresh. A family of four with a monthly income up to $2,755 per month may be eligible to receive up to $640 in food assistance. In most cases, Disaster CalFresh food assistance benefits will be available within three days of the date of application.
Who can get Disaster CalFresh: These LA County Zip codes (91342, 91040, 91042, 91355, 91381, 91384, 90077) or San Diego County (92028, 92003, 92084, and 92057) can get Disaster CalFresh benefits if the household experienced at least one of the following as a direct result of the wildfires:
- Damage to or destruction of the home or self-employment business;
- Loss or inaccessibility of income, including a reduction or termination of earned income or a significant delay in receiving income due to disaster related problems; or
- Disaster-related expenses (e.g. home or business repairs, temporary shelter, evacuation, etc.) that are not expected to be reimbursed during the disaster benefit period.
If you already get CalFresh: Households already participating in CalFresh are not eligible to receive Disaster CalFresh food assistance, but may be eligible to receive supplemental benefits based on their household size. They can contact local social service agency to request supplemental benefits by phone or in person. Some households may automatically receive supplemental benefits based on the direct impact, such as mandatory evacuations, of the wildfires in their community.
When to apply: In Los Angeles County individuals and families affected by the wildfires who are seeking food assistance may apply for Disaster CalFresh from Monday, February 12 through Wednesday, February 21 by visiting a social service agency in Los Angeles County. You can find additional application sites and more information online at http://www.cdss.ca.gov/Disaster-Help-Center .
Where and how to apply: Wildfire victims may apply for CalFresh disaster food assistance in-person at local social service agency offices throughout Los Angeles and San Diego. Households unable to apply in person may designate an authorized representative to apply on their behalf and should contact their local social services agency directly for more information on this option . Los Angeles County Service Center: 866-613-3777 : San Diego County Service Center: 866-262-9881
Thanks to California Food Policy Advocates for sending this out!
Trump Budget Proposal Literally Mirrors Famous Eisenhower Quote
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population . It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”
Fast forward to February 12, 2018:
“The White House released a decade-long budget request Monday that lays out $3.6 trillion in deficit reduction while calling for hundreds of billions more to be pumped into the Pentagon.”
“The Trump administration is proposing deeper cuts to safety net programs — including Medicare, which the president on the campaign trail swore he wouldn’t touch — to help fund what it calls a “more lethal” military.”
“The requested defense build-up appears to be the biggest single shift in Trump’s budget compared to his first year, when his Pentagon proposal was panned by Congress’ defense hawks, who sought much higher sums. To help pay for it, Trump’s budget office has requested scraping more from other social programs, like food stamps, and proposing changes to Medicare.”
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
Editor’s note: Eisenhower’s famous quote above, unlike his “military industrial complex” speech, did not come after the end of his term, when he didn’t run the risk of irritating the powers that be. His quote about “every gun that is made….” came at the beginning of his eight years in office.
All histrionic bolding and italicizing above is mine.
Looking Under the Hood at The Trump Food Stamp Plan
Unbelievably, the Trump proposal for SNAP involves replacing part of the EBT benefit with actual food boxes (delivered by whom to some 20-odd million households?) The inefficiency of such a cumbersome system is one reason we have the SNAP program in the first place.
The White House says:
“Under the proposal, households receiving $90 or more per month in SNAP benefits will receive a portion of their benefits in the form of a USDA Foods package, which would include items such as shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit, vegetables, and meat, poultry or fish. The remainder of their benefit would go on the SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card for use at approved grocery retailers. This cost-effective approach will generate significant savings to taxpayers with no loss in food benefits to participants. It will also improve the nutritional value of the benefit provided and reduce the potential for EBT fraud. States will have substantial flexibility in designing the food box delivery system through existing infrastructure, partnerships, or commercial/retail delivery services. “
Food Research and Action Center puts it this way:
The president’s fiscal year 2019 budget eviscerates one of the nation’s most successful programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program (SNAP). The mind-boggling hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of cuts and the ill-conceived programmatic distortions, if adopted, will mean much more hunger and poverty, worsened health, decreased ability of children to do well in school, and lower productivity for America.
The president's budget proposes to:
- reduce SNAP spending by an astronomical $217 billion over 10 years, which can only be accomplished by cutting out of the program entirely, or reducing assistance sharply for, tens of millions of seniors, children, people with disabilities, working families, unemployed people, and veterans;
- replace in significant part the very successful current system of having SNAP recipients use EBT cards to purchase food through grocery stores, supermarkets, farmers markets, and other normal commercial channels with a Rube-Goldberg designed system of commodity distribution via food boxes that will be administratively costly, inefficient, stigmatizing, and prone to failure, and that will return the country to Depression-era anti-hunger approaches;
- impose a federal rule cutting off eligible, low-income working families to whom states have chosen to extend SNAP benefits;
- penalize large families by imposing an arbitrary cap that cuts off benefits after six people are in a household; and
- eliminate the minimum benefit that particularly supports the nutrition of low-income seniors and people with disabilities.
Call to Protect Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) This Week.
The House of Representatives is planning to vote on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Education and Reform Act (H.R. 620) this week. The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620) would seriously weaken the ADA by delaying requirements that businesses be accessible to people with disabilities.
Take Action Now! Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 today and ask to be connected to your Representative and urge them to vote NO on H.R. 620.
- The ADA is a critical Civil Rights law that protects the rights of people with disabilities to utilize stores, hotels, doctor’s offices, and other public places.
- H.R. 620 would fundamentally change the structure of the ADA and would eliminate any reason for businesses to comply with the law unless and until they receive a legal notice detailing the violations that have occurred.
- It would place the burden of ensuring compliance on people with disabilities rather than on businesses that continue to violate the ADA, more than 25 years after its passage.
Approximately 36% of older adults 65 and over have some type of disability. They, along with every other person with a disability, deserve the right to participate fully in our communities.
Justice in Aging
Cal EITC: Get Money Back If you Earned Less than $23,302 Last Year
Its Cal EITC Awareness Week! That’s the state program that like the federal EITC gives you money back---more than just your refund---if you made under a certain amount. Which is…..
From CalEITC 4 Me: If you or someone you know worked last year and earned less than $22,302, there may be a cash back tax refund in your (or their) future! Go to our website to find out more.
Did you know? Our website is available in multiple languages:
We’re here to be as helpful as we can. Use our website’s calculator to determine estimated EITC refund, find free tax preparation services, use our heat map for California and Federal EITC utilization rates by zip code, or just find out more about EITC and how it is making work pay better for hundreds of thousands of workers across the state. We also have handy fact sheets and toolkits so it’s easier than ever to get the word out, including a social media toolkit for Cal EITC Awareness Week Outreach.
Follow us on social media, share our posts, and help us get the word out!