Hunger Action Week (Kickoff May 10, 2021, and ongoing through May 14, 2021)
Every year in May advocates from across the state meet at the Capitol for legislative visits, rallies, and networking all in the name of anti-hunger. Ddue to the COVID-19 public health emergency, we held a Virtual Hunger Action Day in 2020 to allow advocates and Legislators to participate safely and remotely. In 2021, we are organizing Hunger Action Week May 10 – May 14. We invite you to join us!
2021 will be our 24th annual Hunger Action Day! Here is video footage from 2019 Hunger Action Day Check our “Take Action” page for more details, and see you in May!
2021 CHAC Policy Agenda
It’s time to prioritize ending poverty & hunger in the state budget and support legislation that improves our anti-hunger programs. Link to PDF of CHAC’s 2021 Policy Agenda.
Upcoming Hunger Action Week Virtual Advocacy Trainings:
You’re invited to a virtual training for Hunger Action Day 2021 this coming Thursday, May 6 at 1:30pm. Join by phone or videoconference (video is best so that you can view the webinar slides). We will share materials afterward.
We’ll be discussing:
- Hunger policy issues at the state level both relating to the COVID-19 emergency.
- Policy issues include items relating to emergency food, immigrant food access, CalFresh, school meals, the impact on seniors and persons with disabilities, and more.
- How to schedule virtual visits with your legislators.
- The timeline for the state budget and big decisions on these issues
- Continuing to work together through the year on both state and federal issues
How to join:
Email your confirmation that you will attend to firstname.lastname@example.org We will then respond with the log on and call -in information.
Who should attend?
Anyone concerned about the impact on low income people of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and its subsequent economic consequences, and how the state can move forward by assisting people in need of food.
CHAC—A strong advocacy track record:
CHAC is proud to put forward an agenda that prioritizes the most impactful policies for ending hunger and poverty in California. From its earliest days, for example, CHAC helped establish and secure permanent funding for the California Food Assistance Program that provides benefits to immigrant families who are legally present but denied CalFresh benefits (SNAP) from the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. Together with other coalitions and partners, CHAC is able to lift up fundamental issues of hunger and routinely sees success even when facing difficult political odds or fiscal challenges.
Recent policy and budget achievements in California:
- An historic end to the SSI “cash-out” policy, which barred SSI (Supplemental Security Income) recipients from applying for CalFresh.
- A one-time support of $5.5M for food bank capacity grants, and $8M for the CalFood program.
- An investment of $9 million to fund financial incentives for CalFresh households to purchase California-grown fruits and vegetables at participating retailers.
- A 10% increase to the Maximum Aid Payment for the CalWORKS program – the largest one year increase in the California grant in at least 40 years.
- Expansion of free and reduced price school meals to all charter schools in California.
- A one-time support of $8M to the CalFood program that enables California food banks to purchase California grown foods and ongoing annual support of $6M.
- Increased access to school meals by implementing Medi-Cal Direct Certification statewide and maximize federal provisions to offer free lunch and breakfast to all students in high poverty schools (SB 138 McGuire)
- Prevention of harmful treatment to school children when their families are unable to pay an unpaid debt to their school food services provider by establishing state standards for collection unpaid fees (SB 250 Hertzberg)
- Added the Disaster CalFresh Program into statute and establish various requirements of the Department of Social Services and County Human Services Agencies to respond to the need for emergency food assistance in times of disaster (AB 607 Gloria)
- Repeal of the Maximum Family Grant in CalWORKs (TANF) that denied cash aid to babies born into families already on the program.
- Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2021 for large employers and by 2023 for small employers.
- A one-time Cost of Living Adjustment for those on Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Payment program (SSI/SSP), the first reinvestment after a decade of cuts.
- $40M in matching state funds for counties to create SSI advocacy programs to house individuals during the long application & appeals process, improving their chance of success.
- $5M for state Nutrition Incentives that enables California to draw down federal matching funds and together double the value of CalFresh benefits used at farmer’s markets.
- $2M for grants to fund school breakfast programs.
- First ever General Fund support of $2M for the CalFood program that allows food banks to purchase California grown foods.
- Introduction of the state Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers.
- Expanded eligibility for comprehensive Medi-Cal health coverage to all youth regardless of citizenship status.
- Repeal of the lifetime ban on CalFresh, CalWORKs and child care for those with a felony drug conviction.
- Extended CalFresh to households with incomes up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level through Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility.
- Draws down some $275M in CalFresh benefit by investing $9M in the State ‘heat and eat’ program (Energy Assistance Subsidy Benefit) that triggers higher benefit levels.