News Update Feb 23rd, 2018

February 23rd, 2018:

  1. Call in Day Feb 27th* to Washington DC: Protect SNAP!
  2. Send Emails to Get Sponsors for HR 1276: Closing the Meal Gap
  3. Volunteer Opportunities and Upcoming Events:
    a. Netiya Food Garden Installation Needs Volunteers: Sunday Feb 25th
    b. Blind Low Vision Farmers Market Day Sunday March 4th
    c. HALA at UCLA March 8th: International Womens Day March 8th
    d. Food Waste Prevention Week March 5 – 9 Hunger Action Day May 16th, Sacramento
  4. State and Local Anti-Hunger Agenda
    a. $100 for 100% to End Poverty for SSI Recipients
    b. Support Meals for Kids in Charter Schools
    c. County and State Actions Attempt to Help Renters and Homeless
  5. More on the Harvest Box Boondoggle
  6. Why is the NBA Promoting Chocolate Milk?

* Link item 1. Changed from: Sep 27th, to Feb 27th

1. Call in Day Sept 27th Feb 27th* to Washington DC: Protect SNAP!

1) Call your representative in Congress and tell them protect food assistance for vulnerable Californians!  Call (202) 224-3121 or click here to find your representative.

Tell the staff member you are connected with that you have specific requests of your member to help fight hunger and poverty:

  • Protect & strengthen SNAP (CalFresh) in the Farm Bill, federal budget, and any other legislation.
  • Be vocal about supporting SNAP on the House and Senate floor, in relevant committee hearings and on social media.

  • You can use California Food Policy Advocates’ handy fact sheets, broken down by congressional district:

2) Sign up for the #SNAPtoEndHunger Thunderclap

  • Sign up today at Food Research & Action Center and Feeding America's Thunderclap Campaign page and choose how you'd like to share the message, either via your Facebook or Twitter account.

  • Authorize access to your account so Thunderclap can post the message for you automatically. No worries, it is completely secure.

  • Thunderclap will schedule the one-time post to be delivered simultaneously with other advocates' posts at 10 a.m. EST on February 27.

  • The virtual thunderclap will echo the efforts of hundreds of anti-hunger advocates who will be storming Capitol Hill that day as part of the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference.

That's it! With just two clicks you can help make a lot noise and capture the attention of Congress in support of SNAP.

Contact: Jared Call at 213.482.8200

* Link item 1. Changed from: Sep 27th, to Feb 27th

2. Send Emails to Get Sponsors for HR 1276: Closing the Meal Gap

Representative Alma Adams of North Carolina has introduced HR 1276, The Closing the Meal Gap act, to strengthen the SNAP program. Her proposal would base SNAP benefits on a Low Cost Food Plan, updated over the 1950s era Thrifty Food Plan, and would streamline some of the costly red tape (people of all parties support efficient processes) and help people with higher medical and rent costs to get sufficient benefits. It would also require states to put their money where their mouth is on providing work projects to able bodied recipients unable to find work in the regular job market.

 Here’s a link to current California co-sponsors:  List of California Co-Sponsors of HR 1276

Join us in getting more California co-sponsors for this legislation. We are asking the following representatives to co-sponsor this legislation:(Please note: For emails, most of the representatives will only accept from people who live in their district)

You can also call (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to any representative you specify.

 Below is a sample email provided by the good folk of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) in Washington. You can also use this email as a guide to a phone message/conversation with the representative:


I hope this message finds you well! I am reaching out to you with a request for co-sponsorship from REPRESENTATIVE on HR 1276 (Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2017). The bill currently has 88 cosponsors, 20 of which are from California. H.R. 1276 is a commonsense bill that would strengthen and improve SNAP (known as CalFresh in California, formerly food stamps). 

The bill offers the following SNAP program improvements:

  • Improves the SNAP calculation formula to help people with high housing or medical costs.

  • Incorporates the Low-Cost Food Plan into the SNAP formula to take into account how much working people, including SNAP recipients, spend on food.

  • Raises the minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $25 per month.

  • Allows Able-Bodied Adults to be exempt from SNAP work requirements if their state cannot provide them with a slot in a SNAP Employment and Training Program (SNAP E&T).

If you have questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact Katherine Stewart ([email protected]) who staffs this bill in Representative Alma Adams office.

3. Volunteer Opportunities and Upcoming Events:

Netiya Food Garden Installation Needs Volunteers: Sunday Feb 25

Netiya: Food Garden Install: Emmanuel HM Turner AME Church: February 25th 12 to 5 pm: 5202 Compton Ave LA CA 90011: Multi-faith and family-friendly work day to finish up garden build: RSVP: [email protected]

Blind Low Vision Farmers Market Day Sunday March 4:

CivicSpark and Hunger Action LA are excited to announce our next event in bringing healthy food to the visually impaired:


Sunday, March 4, 2018

 Wellington Square Farmers' Market

9:30am - 11:00am

 Mar Vista Farmers' Market

11:00am - 1:45 pm


To those of you who came out to our last event, a HUGE thank you! We could not have made this event successful without you. We received lots of warm smiles and positive feedback from our shoppers. To those of you just joining us, welcome!

If you are interested in joining us for our upcoming event, please respond to : [email protected]  to confirm your attendance.  A confirmation email with a detailed itinerary will follow.


HALA at UCLA March 8:

Join the Public Health Nutrition Club for a presentation by Frank Tamborello, the Executive Director for Hunger Action Los Angeles. Learn how Hunger Action LA is working to end hunger and promoting healthy eating through advocacy, direct service, and organizing. Come join us for a presentation on community education and issues awareness on anti-hunger policy topics!

Thu, March 8, 2018

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PST

UCLA School of Public Health

CHS Room 61-269

650 Charles E Young Drive South

Los Angeles, CA 90095

View Map

Refreshments will be served



International Womens Day March 8:

Hunger Action LA is proud to be part of a coalition of grassroots organizations supporting and planning the International Women's Strike on Thursday, March 8 from 4-7pm at the Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles.


The International Women's Strike US joins women in 51 countries around the world in calling us to unite around the following common principles:

  • An end to gender violence
  • Reproductive justice for all
  • Labor rights
  • Full social provisioning
  • An anti-racist & anti-imperialist feminism
  • Environmental justice for all

Please RSVP on their Facebook event page, and share widely on social media!

#M8 #8M #M8IWS #M8LA #WeStrike #WeToo


Intl Womens Day Facebook Page


Food Waste Prevention Week March 5 - 9

 The Public Health Alliance of Southern California has teamed up with the Nutrition Policy Institute, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, California Department of Public Health, CalRecycle, UC Cal Fresh and many others to plan for Food Waste Prevention Week March 5 to March 9.


March 5 to March 9 Food Waste Prevention Week


Food waste is a significant issue. America is losing up to 40% of its food from farm, to fork, to landfill. Uneaten food wastes enormous quantities of precious land, water, energy, fertilizer, human resources and money. In California, nearly 5 million people are food insecure without consistent access to enough food. Roughly 1 in 8 Californians are experiencing hunger, and 1 in 5 of those are children. Food waste also represents the largest single category of waste in landfills in the US. Food waste decaying in landfills emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas linked to climate change.


Hunger Action Day May 16, Sacramento

Join California Hunger Action Coalition on Wednesday May 16 n its annual convergence at the state Capitol in Sacramento to rally, meet other anti-hunger advocates, and educate legislators on powerful legislation that can help the 1.3 million seniors and disabled Californians getting SSI to live a dignified life, bring healthy school meals to charter schools, improve child care food programs, and explore new ways of getting healthy food access to more people. If you’re interested send your contact info to [email protected]

4. State and Local Anti-Hunger Agenda

$100 for 100% to End Poverty for SSI Recipients

“100 for 100” is a new slogan reflecting the need to increase the monthly payments to California’s disabled and seniors getting SSI by $100 a month so they can be at 100% of poverty level. The coalition known as CA4SSI and its fast-growing group of supporters call for the 2018-19 Budget to end poverty for 1.3 million individuals on SSI/SSP. The Legislature must raise SSP grants by $100 a month & restore the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) by supporting AB 3200 (Kalra). No one on SSI/SSP should be forced to live in poverty.


In the midst of a housing crisis, the low SSI/SSP grant forces elderly folks and people with disabilities to choose between their most basic needs: rent or food, medicine or hygiene. This is fundamentally wrong.  The status quo is shameful. Let’s find solutions steeped in dignity and stand with our state’s most vulnerable.


Support AB 3200 (Kalra) #100for100 @CA4SSI

Stay tuned for more information as we track this bill through various committees!


Support Meals for Kids in Charter Schools:

California law requires public schools to offer at least a lunch to students, but charter schools don’t have to comply with that requirement. Yet charter schools are eligible for federal funding that would enable them to serve free meals to students.  According to Tia Shamada of California Food Policy Advocates, 81,000 low-income students in the state attend charter schools that do not offer free and reduced-price school meals, with some charters not offering even a paid meal. Assemblymember Rob Bonta has introduced AB 1871, which would remedy that. Stay tuned for more info here as well, on committee hearings for the bill.

New Bill Addresses Charter School Meal Gap

County and State Actions Attempt to Help Renters and Homeless

LA County looks to increase affordable housing: LA Times: “The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion Tuesday asking the county to draft four ordinances that would seek to preserve and increase the number of affordable housing units in unincorporated areas.”

County Proposes to Increase Affordable Housing

California renters could get tax break and protections from new bills:

Katy Murphy of Bay Area News Group writes: “California renters would gain new legal protections — and a doubled state tax credit — if lawmakers pass a package of bills announced amid pressure to help millions of people coping with the threat of eviction and lack of available rental housing.

The proposals, introduced last week, aim to make it harder for landlords to evict tenants, give renters more time to respond to eviction notices, and bar landlords from evicting all of their tenants while remaining in the rental business. “We have an imminent crisis today,” said Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, in an interview Thursday. “We’re in a time when tenants are facing unprecedented hardships and constantly living under the threat of eviction.”

Bills to Help California Renters Are Introduced

Affordable Housing Act Will Help Californians Struggling with Rent Increases:

Strong Rent Control and Just Cause Eviction laws are the way to keep people in their homes now, while we work to get more (truly) affordable housing built.  In order to have strong Rent Control laws, we need to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a state law which ties the hands of local government. Costa-Hawkins prevents cities and counties from applying rent control to apartments built after 1995 or to single-family rental units.  It also allows landlords to raise the rent as much as they want when a unit becomes vacant. 

The Affordable Housing Act would repeal Costa-Hawkins and allow localities to introduce rent control that works for that particular location. High rents and out-of-control rent increases are forcing people onto the streets, creating hunger, and even keeping skilled workers out of our cities.

Numerous groups are uniting to get the Affordable Housing Act put on the November ballot. The signature goal is 585,000 by the end of April, and over 121,000 have been collected.  We can do this!

Contact Ariana Alcaraz of LA CAN (213) 228-0024 to get petitions and start collecting signatures!

5. More on the Harvest Box Boondoggle

As mentioned before, the Trump budget “Harvest Box” that would replace a portion of a family’s SNAP benefits in the form of boxes of “shelf stable” food, is functioning more as a distraction from the larger cuts the Administration wants to make in SNAP---such as increasing work requirements, increasing the age limit of those who must work to get benefits, limiting the number of people in a household who can get benefits, and eliminating some of the innovations that have enabled states to help more people.


Setting aside the sheer impracticality of the box idea, it reeks of an overly simplified view of hunger leading to a downright backward solution in the day and age of wireless communications and digital information storage. If the Harvest Box somehow becomes a reality, maybe the Trump administration’s next steps will be to re-install millions of public phone booths, stock the libraries with printed encyclopedias, and guarantee that every American schoolkid will have their own typewriter.


It’s interesting to note that in spite of the blowback over the Harvest Box idea, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is sticking to it and talking it up. Note that the Harvest Box is to be a box of all American-produced food. Farmers, who overwhelmingly supported Trump, are worried at signs in the Trump budget that he cares no more for them than he does for the poor. Particularly, caps on crop insurance have them anxious. Maybe it is a consolation prize to farmers who will be losing out on crop insurance and other payments in the Trump budget and subsequent Farm Bill.


Distraction or not, the Harvest Box is alive in the public consciousness now,  along with its unanswered questions---who’s going to decide what foods would go into the package, and who benefits from that: what would the 60% of Americans who can’t drink milk do with the “shelf stable” milk in the box; who would pay the astronomical costs of dropping food boxes off at 20 million doorsteps monthly: would the Administration try to drag food banks and private charities into that nightmarish process; what would homeless people do with heavy boxes of canned food that they can’t store anywhere: and the utter lack of concern for the questions of personal choice and dietary needs that are part of the reason we have SNAP and not food boxes, anyway.


 Maybe the Box’s legacy will be that it will get many Americans to think through the issue of food distribution and come to the conclusion that SNAP is an effective program, as evidenced by its role in the recession of 2008 when SNAP assisted over 46 million Americans while stimulating local economies. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Looking for Answers About the Harvest Box

Congress Skeptical About Harvest Box

6. Why is the NBA Promoting Chocolate Milk?

Some athletes may like chocolate milk after a workout, but putting commercials on TV to promote it, as the NBA has been doing, isn’t helping with excess sugar consumption or obesity among kids:

Klay Thompson Hawks Chocolate Milk

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