News Update Oct. 13th 2015

To All Those Interested in Food and Justice...

A (usually) weekly update on food issues, promoting access to sufficient, affordable, healthy food—with a focus on campaigns you can become active in!

October 13th 2015

Congratulations to Fair Trade LA on their tenth anniversary! FTLA is working to make LA the largest Fair Trade City in the USA. Check out their website at HALA also extends its appreciation to FTLA on being honored at their 10th anniversary celebration. We look forward to extending our partnership with them as domestic and global issues of hunger and poverty converge.

Thanks for providing some of the following news items is due to Francesca de la Rosa; Mike Herald: Joel Perez: Alma Morales: Diana Darwish: Diana Zuniga: Pamm Larry: and John Farion. Thanks everyone for your contributions!

AB 1321 Passes: California Will Set Up Nutrition Incentive Program

This past Friday, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1321 (Ting), which will set up the infrastructure for the Market Match program already running using mostly private funding throughout California. This is a tremendous victory that will be essential in scaling up the Market Match program, benefitting low income California residents struggling to afford healthy food, as well as the state’s small farm sector.

Tremendous thanks are owed to Roots of Change, the organization which sponsored the legislation and organized the advocacy efforts, from Northern California to the Central Valley to LA to San Diego, at every step of the way through the legislative process.

Hunger Action LA operates Market Match at 20 markets now in LA County, with the newest programs just beginning in the past month in Pasadena, Downtown LA, Santa Fe Springs and Eagle Rock. Our colleagues at SEE LA operate the program at 5 additional markets. AB 1321’s passage should pave the way for a bright future for the program.

Thank you, very much, to all of you who made phone calls and wrote letters of support---multiple times!---for the program. It’s another testament to the power of people’s voices if we but use them, in policy issues that affect us all.

Amnesty for Traffic Tickets: Will Help Low Income Californians

From Western Center on Law and Poverty: California has just begun a new traffic amnesty program for persons who have had their driver’s license suspended. There are more than 4 million Californians eligible for the program due to high cost of tickets in California. We want you to know where to send clients, friends and family to see if they can get help. We have a website devoted to the this called Back On The Road CA and you can get their by going to

It has all the information people need to apply and a link to sites in each county where people can go. It also a place that people can let us know about any problems they encounter. We encourage you to send it to your networks and encourage people to take advantage of the deep discounts for low income families including for undocumented immigrants.

Food Chain Workers Present Community Town Hall: A Vision for a Successful Los Angeles

They’ll share highlights from LA2050's report of the same name and ask for your feedback and your ideas. You’ll hear from workers and community members who are working towards a Successful Los Angeles:

  • El Super grocery workers organizing for a fair contract with UFCW Local 770
  • Yardhouse Restaurant workers organizing for Dignity at Darden with ROC-LA
  • Street vendors and the East Los Angeles Community Corporation who are fighting to make street vending legal in Los Angeles
  • Members of Chinatown Community for Equitable Development who are trying to make sure Chinatown stays a just and inclusive community
Thursday October 15, 2015, 6-8pm
UCLA Downtown Labor Center,
675 S. Park View St., LA 90057
Free food from Mama’s International Tamales Café
If you're on Facebook, RSVP on our event page!
RSVP on Food Chain Worker's Facebook Page

Hosted by the Food Chain Workers Alliance & the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Los Angeles. Funding support for this event provided by the Goldhirsh Foundation
Call 213-380-4060 or email [email protected] for more info.

Thank you for signing up to be on the Food Chain Workers Alliance email list! We appreciate your support for workers' rights in our food system. We promise not to overwhelm your inbox. Take a look at our website which we update regularly:

Care Harbor Will Help Uninsured in Los Angeles Get Health Care, Oct 15-28

From Lindsey Lastra, MPH, CHES Health Educator, Service Planning Area 7, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health:
Please share this valuable resource with your community and/or clients.

CareHarbor LA is a free clinic event which provides medical, dental and vision care to the uninsured, underinsured and at risk. This event will take place on October 15th through October 18th. Only those with wristbands will be allowed into the event.

Wristbands are free and will be given out at the following locations and dates:
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Ted Watkins Park Fieldhouse - 1335 E. 103rd Street, Los Angeles
Beginning at 1:00 PM

Monday, October 12, 2015
Los Angeles Sports Arena - 3939 South Figueroa Street
Beginning at 10:00 am
  • First come, first served until all wristbands are given out at each location
  • One wristband per person
  • For more information please visit their website at

Food Day October 26 LA City Hall

From the LA Food Policy Council: Mark your calendars! Monday, October 26th at City Hall
Food Day 2015: Food Equity in Action

Food Day is a national initiative designed to raise awareness of food system issues and bring together organizations in the Good Food movement across the country. We will be joining over 5,000 Food Day events nationwide.
We'll kick off the event with a reception in the City Hall Third Floor Rotunda, featuring delicious food and beverages from local chefs focused on Good Food values and end with with a lively program in John Ferraro Council Chambers.


Lost Dollars, Empty Plates: The Impact of CalFresh Utilization on State and Local Economies -New Publication from California Food Policy Advocates

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, California ranks second to last among all states for participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP -- known as "CalFresh" in California). The low rate of participation harms state and local economies as well as low-income Californians.

The Lost Dollars, Empty Plates analysis examines the impact that increased CalFresh participation would have on state, local, and household budgets. The report also describes recent efforts to improve CalFresh participation and identifies priority actions to further this work.

The Lost Dollars, Empty Plates analysis examines the impact that increased CalFresh participation would have on state, local, and household budgets. The report also describes recent efforts to improve CalFresh participation and identifies priority actions to further this work.

Lost Dollars, Empty Plates Full Report. PDF

To learn more visit CFPA's Lost Dollars, Empty Plates page.

Questions? Please contact: Jared Call at 213.482.8200 ext. 201.

That Attitude That Poor People and Prisoners Deserve to Starve

There is a lot of misinformation about prison life in America. Someone may have seen a 60 Minutes segment about 20 years ago showing prisoners studying law books and working out at the gym. The result somehow is that we have a country of millions of people who honestly believe that prisoners live luxurious lives. These people have obviously never heard of solitary confinement or the fact that people have indeed starved to death in American prisons.

Food itself has become a weapon used to punish those considered non-compliant. Nutraloaf is a notorious mixture of many different foods mashed together, technically containing all of one’s nutritional needs, but so tasteless as to be genuinely appalling, and even to have been banned in some states as cruel and unusual punishment:
article from

Even “The Hunger Games” are now real life. Miami officers are in trouble for forcing jailed teens to fight each other for food, literally in one case a young prisoner was beaten to death, the reward for such sadistic spectacles being HoneyBuns, Skittles and other treats that are impossible to come by in prison:


But the attitude that a group of people should be punished daily at each mealtime with tasteless food, if not starved outright, is not limited to prisoners: many conservative Americans apparently believe that anyone who is poor should be forbidden from eating anything in the least enjoyable. From a Guardian UK article on the topic:

“There have been attempts recently to introduce ever-harsher conditions by prescribing what those on food stamps can buy. Proponents of these restrictions argue they are necessary to prevent abuse of the system. With echoes of claims about abuses of the benefits system in Britain, they claim (again against the evidence) that there is widespread fraud with people on food stamps living the life of Riley on lobster.”

“This year Kansas enacted a stunningly regressive policy, placing limits on what people on food stamps (otherwise known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme, Snap) can buy. In Wisconsin, legislators proposed banning shops that accept food stamps from selling shellfish to recipients, as well as making it tougher to get basics such as pasta sauce and dried beans. One particularly egregious suggestion to ban “seafood and steak” for food-stamp holders in Missouri (and yes, that would have included cheap cans of nutritious foodstuffs such as tuna) thankfully failed.”

Soda Industry Admitting Decline

From NY Times: “Over the last 20 years, sales of full-calorie soda in the United States have plummeted by more than 25 percent. Soda consumption, which rocketed from the 1960s through 1990s, is now experiencing a serious and sustained decline.

Sales are stagnating as a growing number of Americans say they are actively trying to avoid the drinks that have been a mainstay of American culture. Sales of bottled water have shot up, and bottled water is now on track to overtake soda as the largest beverage category in two years, according to at least one industry projection.

The drop in soda consumption represents the single largest change in the American diet in the last decade and is responsible for a substantial reduction in the number of daily calories consumed by the average American child.”

“ Climate Smart Agriculture” Another Orwellian Phrase To Deceive People Through “Greenwashing”

'Climate Smart Agriculture' is agribusiness' latest attempt to promote industrial farming and undermine agro-ecological approaches generally recognized as the real solution to food production under climate change

Agribusiness corporations that promote synthetic fertilisers, industrial meat production and large-scale industrial agriculture are calling themselves “Climate Smart”. The Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture was launched a year ago; Its membership of 21 nations includes only ten developing countries, three farmers´ organisations, and a large private sector (with numerous corporations), 60 % of which linked to the fertilizer industry. Monsanto, Walmart and McDonalds have launched their own “climate-smart agriculture”.

Climate Smart Agriculture claims to include all models of agriculture. However it lacks any social or environmental safeguards and fails to prioritize farmers’ voices, knowledge and rights as the key to facing and mitigating climate challenges. Most of all, CSA actually threatens to undermine agro-ecological approaches generally recognized as the real solution to food production under climate change.

There is huge opposition from all sectors of civil society all over the world. An open letter addressed to decision makers objecting to CSA has been signed by 55 international organisations and 300 national organizations (including the Institute of Science in Society). The full text is reproduced below. Please forward widely to your policy-makers.

Continue reading here:

Don’t Let Monsanto Kill GMO Labeling

From Food Democracy Now: We've been hearing rumors for weeks about a new hearing on food biotechnology being held in the Senate and yesterday afternoon Politico reported that the Senate Agriculture Committee has finally scheduled a hearing less than three weeks away — on Wed. Oct 21st.

The purpose of this hearing is to try to whitewash the serious risks and potential harms of genetic engineering and to grease the wheels to pass a Senate version of the Dark Act, H.R. 1599, which the House passed in July and outlaws states' rights to label GMOs.

This summer, Monsanto succeeded in passing this bill by a wide margin —275 to 150 — in the House and we need to make sure we stop their deceptive plan in the Senate.

Stop Monsanto's desperate plan to kill states' rights to label GMOs! - Tell your Senators and the President: “I support GMO labeling!” Every voice counts!

read more…

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