News Update September 29th

September 29, 2017: This upcoming week is critical in protecting our safety net programs. Please mark your calendar to call Congressional representatives on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, to oppose the House’s Budget Resolution.

1. Call In to Defeat House Budget: Tues Oct 3 & Wed. Oct 4

A National Alert from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)

Join FRAC and Other National Organizations for Call-in Days to Urge Members to Vote “No”on House Budget


Call Your Representatives on Tuesday (10/3) and Wednesday (10/4)
Dial 202-225-3121 for the Capitol Switchboard

On October 5, House leaders will have a floor vote on the FY 2018 House Budget Resolution, which contains deep cuts to SNAP, the school meals Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), and other vital human needs programs critical to ending hunger and poverty. The Resolution would set up a process for tax cuts tilted to the wealthy at the expense of programs that serve low and moderate income people.

Take Your Calls to the Next Level:

Follow up with emails to Representatives

Get vocal on social. Find the Twitter handles of your Representatives (pdf) and use these sample tweets:

  • @YourMemberHandle: protect millions of Americans against hunger & poverty. Vote NO to proposed #HouseBudget  
  • #SNAPMatters in your district,@YourMemberHandle! Findout the impact via @fractweets map: #HouseBudget #NoCuts
  • Research from @fractweets shows #HouseBudget cuts children's access to #schoolmeals. @YourMemberHandle MUST #VoteNo →

Share these resources with your Members of Congress:

Advocates should also keep an eye on the Senate Budget Committee’s FY 2018 Budget Resolution - full text (pdf), summary (pdf), which was released on September 29 and is expected to be voted out of Committee as early as October 4. The proposed Senate Budget Resolution also would set up a process for tax cuts tilted to the wealthy at the expense of programs that serve low and moderate income people.

Questions? Contact Lauren Badger or Ellen Teller.

2. New Food Insecurity Study for LA County

From the LA County Department of Public Health, September 18, 2017:

LOS ANGELES - Today, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) released a new report on the state of food insecurity in the county. More than half a million households earning less than 300% of the federal poverty level (FPL) are food insecure, which means many people face barriers purchasing nutritional foods at some time during the year. The report includes a series of recommendations for multi­sector partnership and innovation to increase access to healthy foods.

To address this persistent challenge, Public Health's Champions for Change-Healthy Communities Initiative partners with schools, faith-based institutions, hospitals, grocery stores, and worksites in low-income areas to create environments where healthier food options are more available. Public Health continues to work with partners on the following recommended strategies: increasing participation in CalFresh; enhancing nutrition standards in food pantries and meal programs; screening at health visits for food insecurity; increasing nutrition education dedicated to food resource management; reducing food waste by feeding hungry people; and supporting efforts to eliminate poverty and increase household incomes.

"Access to healthy food is essential for people's health and well-being, without that access we set communities on a trajectory for ill health that is preventable," said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. "Low-income communities and communities of color have less access to nutritious and affordable foods and have every right to environments that ensure optimal health."

11.3% (217,000) households living below 300% FPL experience very low food supply, disrupted eating patterns, and reduced food intake. Latinos are impacted the most, 67.4% followed by 14.7% of whites, 10.6% of African Americans, and 6.6% of Asians, respectively.

In addition, studies show that diets high in processed foods may contribute to the development of chronic diseases. Families and individuals in food insecure households may have poor diets because of limited healthy and affordable options resulting in consumption of less expensive fast food that is low in nutritional value, high in calories, and higher in sodium, saturated fats, and sugars.

To view the full report on line, visit


Food Insecurity in Los Angeles County September 2017

3. Governor Signs Bill to Allow Leftover School Food to be Donated

(Reposted from LA Daily News)

The Los Angeles Unified School District serves nearly 650,000 meals a day to its students, including breakfast, lunch — and now at some schools, vegan lunch — and an afternoon meal the district calls “supper.” And not all of that food gets eaten.

But earlier this week, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that will make it easier for schools across the state to donate those leftovers to charities and food pantries.

LAUSD was a sponsor of Senate Bill 557, from state Sen. (and Dr.) Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina. Under the new law, public schools can give their unopened packaged food, unopened milk cartons (kept cold) and uncut produce, like apples, to food banks and other charities. In LAUSD, kids who don’t eat everything they take in the cafeteria can leave that extra food on “share” tables, where kids who want more to eat can take the food. But what’s left from those tables gets thrown out, LAUSD said. The new law means that food can instead go to charities and food banks

California Schools Can Now Donate Uneaten Food

4. Governor Also Signs Big Package of Affordable Housing Bills

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed a robust package of housing legislation aimed at addressing California’s unprecedented affordability crisis.

The 15 bills do everything from allowing cities and other areas to require set-asides for affordable housing to streamlining regulations for building housing and homeless shelters, and strengthening the ability of cities to push back against those who try to stop the building of shelters.

“These new laws will help cut red tape and encourage more affordable housing, including shelter for the growing number of homeless in California,” Brown said in a statement

For more detail on the bills:

5. Urban Ag Incentive Zone Deadline is October 31

Yes, Halloween is the deadline for property owners to apply to have parcels designated as Urban Ag Incentive Zones. It’s not just a fancy name---it means a substantial tax break on the land, for those property owners willing to lend it out for at least five years for community gardens.

From LA Food Policy Council:

The deadline to submit an application to take advantage of the reduced property taxes for 2018 is fast approaching, as it's due Oct. 31st. Here is the link to the app:

For more information, contact:

Iesha Siler, MPH

Policy Associate

Los Angeles Food Policy Council

305 E. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

[email protected] | 213.473.3538(office) | 626.354.0217 (mobile) 

6. In Memory of Gus Schumacher, Food Justice Pioneer 1939-2017

From Wholesome Wave, a foundation in New England that pioneered incentive programs like Market Match: “It is with deep sadness that we share the news that Wholesome Wave’s Co-founder and Founding Board Chair Gus Schumacher passed unexpectedly of heart failure Sunday night. Wholesome Wave, the good food movement, the agricultural sector, and the world at large have lost one of the most magnificent advocates and change-makers ever known.”

Gus served as agriculture commissioner in Massachusetts under Governor Michael Dukakis.He moved on to Washington to work for the World Bank and in 1995, was appointed administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service at USDA. In 1997 he became U.S. Undersecretary for Farm, Foreign, and Agricultural Services in the Clinton Administration.  Gus was the driving force behind the creation of the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. It was Gus who also pioneered the development of farmers market nutrition incentive programs-----what over 250 farmers markets in California now practice as “Market Match.” For more on his powerful life and work, see


Honoring Gus Schumacher

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