News Update Nov 1st, 2018

November 1st, 2018:

If you haven’t already please get your tickets for the Hunger Action LA annual awards and dinner! This year we’re honoring legendary organizer and activist Nancy Berlin; Santa Monica Farmers Market and food justice pioneer Laura Avery; and community activist Steven Echor. More information and tickets at PS—auction items include one of the first 16 X 20 photos of LeBron James in a Lakers jersey

  1. Send Comments to Oppose New Public Charge Rules Proposed for Immigrants: Join Day of Action Saturday Nov 10!
  2. Can Congress Manage to Pass A Farm Bill by Christmas?
  3. Update on new SSI Eligibility for CalFresh
  4. Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Drafts Guidance for How Cities Manage Unsheltered Homelessness: Public Comment Needed by November 2
  5. Next Blind and Low Vision Shoppers Day December 1, Crenshaw Farmers Market

Send Comments to Oppose New Public Charge Rules Proposed for Immigrants: Join Day of Action Saturday Nov 10!

The Trump administration is attacking immigrants on many fronts—hysteria about caravans and proposals to strip citizenship rights being just the two latest—but here’s another one that you can directly fight:

The Trump administration's proposed "public charge" regulation has been published in the Federal Register for public comment. This proposal is a targeted attack on our immigrant neighbors that, if it becomes law, would extend harm to entire communities across California, but with your help-we can fight it. The public has 60 days to comment on the rule, which means there's time to raise our voices and prevent this cruel attack on immigrant families.

The newly proposed rule would expand the definition of "public charge" to prevent immigrants from obtaining permanent residency (also known as a green card) if they utilize essential public programs, like CalFresh, Medi-Cal, and Section 8 housing vouchers. Currently, "public charge" only applies to those primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, that is receiving the majority of their income from cash aid or relying on government institutionalization.

The result is that many immigrant families, who are legally entitled to these benefit programs, will not apply, for fear that it will make it harder for them to become legal permanent residents. This means innocent people needlessly suffering in the wealthiest country in the world, which no person of conscience should tolerate.

Take Action! By adding your comment, you strengthen our political power in this fight. Comments are due on or before December 10Submit Your Comment HereDownload our template comments Here.

Day of Action: Community Services Unlimited is taking charge with a Public Charge Day of Action. Learn more about the proposal and add your voice!

Date and Time: Saturday November 10th - 10am-1pm
Location:  Paul Robeson Community Wellness Center, 6569 South Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles

See the Facebook invite for details. 

Thanks to California Food Policy Advocates, Community Services Unlimited, and Protecting Immigrant Families

Can Congress Manage to Pass A Farm Bill by Christmas?

The federal Farm Bill, which reauthorizes SNAP and other anti-hunger programs as well as farm support programs, was delayed from passage in September due to strong partisan differences. The House of Representatives version, dominated by conservative Republicans, narrowly passed a version that intensely ratcheted up the already-existing work requirements, as per the wishes of President Trump and others, that would result in tens of thousands of people being kicked off food assistance. The Senate, almost evenly split between Democrats and moderate Republicans wishing to get a bill passed without rocking the boat on SNAP so that farmers could know what government support that they might get over the next 5 years, passed a bill with overwhelming support.

Not surprisingly the two sides could not compromise given the huge differences in SNAP work requirements policy. But recent statements by President Trump and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) indicate that if there’s a Democratic takeover of the House in the midterm elections, the hard liners might surrender on work requirements in order to pass the Farm Bill.

"If we don't get more people in, I can't tell you that we're going to do work requirements, which I'd like to be able to do," Trump told Agri-Pulse.

And Bloomberg News reported on Oct 30:

"A new farm bill will get a vote during the lame-duck session of Congress as long as President Trump eases off stricter work requirements for food stamp recipients, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Oct. 30. "If the White House is willing to back off of food stamps, we’ll have a farm bill before Christmas. If not, there will be an extension of the current bill," Grassley, a Senate Agriculture Committee member, told reporters during a weekly press call."

Update on new SSI Eligibility for CalFresh

As you may have heard, California’s 1.3 million senior and disabled residents receiving Supplemental Security Income, and struggling below the poverty line, will finally be eligible for CalFresh food assistance beginning June 1 of 2019.

There will be a massive effort to educate recipients about their new eligibility and help facilitate enrollment. It’s projected that in LA County alone there are 160,000 eligible households.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services is looking for volunteer agencies to assist the community with completing and submitting the CalFresh application via the online application system. They provide a 2 ½ hour training, and for agencies with 10 or more people being trained they can schedule a training directly at your agency. For more information, agencies should contact Rogers Munoz at [email protected]. Individual SSI recipients interested should contact [email protected].org.

Agencies who work with SSI recipients who would like an "in service training on the new policy" can schedule a training with Hunger Action LA. Please contact [email protected].

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Drafts Guidance for How Cities Manage Unsheltered Homelessness: Public Comment Needed by November 2

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority LAHSA has drafted policy guidance for how municipalities should manage unsheltered homelessness. Recognizing that the lofty housing goals of recent funding initiatives will take a long time to be achieved, this policy guidance suggests that people be treated respectfully and assisted in finding the things they need as opposed to just being arrested, or ticketed and burdened with fines they’ll never be able to pay, or having their few belongings thrown away (including food).

Hunger Action LA supports the recommendations of LA Community Action Network, in concert with a group of civil rights attorneys, to improve on LAHSA’s Principles and Practices for Local Responses to Unsheltered Homelessness. We join that group is asking people to support, with improvements, the draft policy statement published by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).

Here is the draft policy, which you can comment on :

Hunger Action LA encourages you to link to the statement and support it. We also made the following comment:

"Hunger Action LA suggests adding to the document that law enforcement should also not interfere with the efforts of private citizens to help the homeless by feeding them in public."

We strongly recommend that the County of Los Angeles, in order to mitigate the effects of the ill-thought out AB 2178, signed by Governor Brown this past summer, not charge fees to groups of volunteers who are feeding the homeless.

With homelessness at a crisis level, as the county is very soon going to officially declare in order to obtain state funding to deal with the issue, energy spent requiring groups to register and pay fees (as required by AB 2178) to feed people in public are counterproductive and result in more hunger for homeless people as well as wasted time on enforcement.

There is more hesitance by low income people to use public benefits resulting from the Trump administration's new guidance for public charge for immigrants (even though there is still time to stop that policy change) and may possibly be more barriers if certain proposals for much more intense work requirements for SNAP are passed by Congress. That too might be defeated, but we cannot count on anything, and the result will be more reliance on private assistance. If that is the case, legislation like AB 2178 will further hinder the ability of homeless persons to get nutritious meals, a situation all the more tragic for being the result of unnecessary, hyperactive bureaucracy.

Next Blind and Low Vision Shoppers Day December 1, Crenshaw Farmers Market

Help guide visually impaired customers around the Crenshaw Farmers Market!

RSVP to: [email protected]

Date: Saturday December 1st

Location this time is: Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Farmers Market 3650 West MLK BLvd LA CA 90008

Look for the Promenade of the Rave Cinemas at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.
Time: 10 am as the market begins. going until 1 pm (Possibly ending earlier for some participants)
Parking : Covered parking on site and other parking nearby

What will happen: 12 to 20 blind or low vision shoppers who will arrive separately using ACCESS. You'll pair up with one of the shoppers (or two or more of you will help lead a group) around the market. If you're a people-person, this job is for you! Making conversation is the most important part of the day. Blind and low vision people often don't get help with folks who can describe the products and food they are shopping for. This will be the 9th occurrence of this event (it's usually scheduled once per month.)

A brief orientation on how to guide blind/low vision people precedes the day of shopping, conversation and fellowship.

If you can drive, that is an enormous help too: in the past we have usually driven participants back to their homes, as ACCESS is not always reliable. Please indicate if you are willing to drive, and include your address so we can match you with a shopper who is not far from where you live. This is for dropping off people after the market,

Volunteers are required to sign a simple waiver. Let us know if you can only be there for part of the day. Please provide email address as details change sometimes.

Frank Tamborello, 213 361 2075
Please send your RSVP’s to [email protected] or [email protected]

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