News Update September 18th

September 18, 2017: Welcome to the new Food Justice News list serve. We’ve made a couple of changes and added a lot of you on to the list. If you like getting this info, let us know: if you don’t just ask nicely to be removed from the list.

  1. Don't Wait to Voice Your Support! Bill for Easier Access to School Meals is on Governor Brown's Desk
  2. NY Times Exposes Nestle’s Marketing of Junk Food to the Poor in Developing Countries
  3. Nutrition Scientist: Food Number One Cause of Poor Health in America
  4. Housing Costs Main Contributor to Hunger: So What To Do?
  5. Food Insecurity Has Not Dipped Significantly
  6. Kentucky Farmers Market Becomes Community Health and Nutrition Center

1. Don't Wait to Voice Your Support! Bill for Easier Access to School Meals is on Governor Brown's Desk

(Compiled from alerts by our allies California Food Policy Advocates and Western Center on Law and Poverty)

SB 138, a bill that would greatly simplify the enrollment of California kids into free school meal programs, is on Governor Brown’s desk, and calls from the public can create the pressure to get it signed into law!

SB 138 (McGuire) would require the state and all school districts to utilize Medi-Cal Direct Certification to enroll students in the federal school meal programs, and for the highest-poverty schools to offer free breakfasts and lunches to all students through a federal universal meal provision. The bill is sponsored by California Food Policy Advocates. A sample letter of support can be found at:

SB 138 (McGuire) Sample Support Letter

SB 138 has moved with bipartisan, unanimous support through the Legislature to Governor Brown for his signature or veto.To ensure SB 138 becomes law, we need your help in this final stretch! Join us in speaking up for improved, equitable access to school meals in California.

Governor Brown has until Oct. 15 to sign or veto SB 138, but it could happen any day now. We're calling on you to ACT TODAY to let the Governor know you support SB 138! 

1. Email or fax a letter of support to the Governor doc 

2. Call, message, or tweet your support link 

3. Spread the word to your networks! PDF

Other State Legislation On the Move:

SB 250 (Hertzberg) would establish state standards to prevent harmful treatment to school children when their families are unable to pay an unpaid debt to the school food services providers. Co-Sponsored by Western Center, the Children’s Defense Fund, Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger and the Food Research and Action Center.

SB 557 (Hernandez) would allow for food from a school cafeteria that has been untouched or unspoiled can be donated to a food bank or another emergency food provider.

Location: Presented to the Governor

For updates on many many more bills:

2. NY Times Exposes Nestle’s Marketing of Junk Food to the Poor in Developing Countries

Nestle, Pepsico and General Mills have been marketing their products, including cookies, pudding and candy, using door to door vendors,   in Latin America, Africa and Asia, seeing a huge opportunity to expand business . Meanwhile those countries are experiencing unseen high rates of obesity, in places where only a generation ago many people did not have adequate food.

  • Sales of carbonated drinks in Latin America have doubled since 2000.
  • Fast food grew 30 percent worldwide from 2011 to 2016.
  • In 2016, Domino's Pizza opened a new store every seven hours, the vast majority of which were outside the U.S.

Globally, more people are now obese than underweight.

3. Nutrition Scientists: Food Number One Cause of Poor Health in America

Dariush Mozaffarian, Professor of Nutrition, Tufts University writes in Salon that “Food is the number one cause of poor health in America. As a cardiologist and public health scientist, I have studied nutrition science and policy for 20 years. Poor diet is not just about individual choice, but about the systems that make eating poorly the default for most Americans…… recent research estimated that poor diet causes nearly half of all U.S. deaths due to heart disease, stroke and diabetes. There are almost 1,000 deaths from these causes alone, every day.”

Deaths in America Strongly Linked to Poor Diet

4. Housing Costs Main Contributor to Hunger: So What To Do?

We're proud to support the Renter Week of Action happening this week — and invite you to join in calling for policy solutions to ensure renters — and cities — can thrive. 

This week, renters in more than 45 cities across the country are rising up to demand that policymakers, landlords, lenders, and developers take action to ensure all people can live in dignified and affordable homes. They are calling for an end to evictions and unfair rent increases, full funding for Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and long-term community control of land and housing. The Renter Week of Action and Assemblies is being organized by our partners at Homes for All, a program of Right to the City, with the support of CarsonWatch.

In support of the Renter Week of Action, our National Equity Atlas and All-In Cities teams analyzed the impact of the growing affordability crisis in the U.S. and in 37 cities (see list below). They found that nationally, if renters paid only what was affordable for housing, they would have $124 billion extra to spend in the community every year, or $6,200 per rent-burdened household.

Join us. Participate in the Renter Week of Action. Here are some things you can do:

  • Join an action happening in your city. Check out this map of actions to find out what is happening locally and get in touch with the organizers.
  • Share our fact sheets with your colleagues, employers, the media, and policymakers. An article in today's LA Weekly uses the Los Angeles fact sheet to support a package of affordable housing bills on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown.
  • Here’s the LA Renter Week of Action Fact Sheet

To see other additional reports and analyses go to

As California legislators struggle fo find ways of creating more affordable housing, the nonprofit CALmatters suggests that Massachusetts’ 1969 law, 40B, could provide inspiration and ideas:

Massachusetts Law from 1969 Suggests Solution to California Housing Crisis

5. Food Insecurity Has Not Dipped Significantly

Ben Paynter writing on Fast Company says that “From 2015 to 2016 the national rate of food insecurity dropped only from 12.7% to 12.3%, not a statistically significant change. The progress against what’s deemed “low food security”–meaning their “access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources”–shifted an even more insignificant amount, from 5% to 4.9%.

We still haven’t returned to the pre-recession lows: 11%, and 4%, respectively. And there appear to be some glaring holes that have opened up in the federal food safety net: Only around 60% of food insecure households have accessed food stamps, supplemental nutrition, or food programs like SNAP, WIC, and the National School Lunch Program.”

Food Security In America Still Worse than Pre Recession Low Numbers

6. Kentucky Farmers Market Becomes Community Health and Nutrition Center

Learn about CANE (Community Agricultural Nutrition Enterprises), a farmers market that has become a one stop community center for nutrition health and wellness, with day care, medical providers and prepared healthy meals (free for kids and discount to adults), and free produce for people with diabetes:

CANE Is No Elitist Farmers Market

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