28 Years Of Hunger Advocacy

About Us

About CHAC. CHAC is a broad-based membership organization of volunteers united in our belief that access to adequate, nutritious and safe food is a fundamental human right. Background and History: The California Hunger Action Coalition (CHAC) organizes the foremost statewide and regional anti-hunger groups across California. In its 28 years, it has become one of the premier state-based coalitions in the nation, earning major policy victories in the fight to improve the federal safety net in California. CHAC’s signature event, the annual Hunger Action Day held at the height of the California Legislative and Budget session, brings hundreds of advocates, clients and community members from across the state to rally and demand change for those in need. CHAC’s unique strength is its pooling of collective experience, wisdom and talents of its constituent members; their extended networking; their longstanding status as beacons of trust on anti-hunger issues; their close governmental relationships with many policymakers, staff and lead agencies; simultaneous membership in coalitions located in their respective geographic areas; and the open lines of communication built during many years of working together on collaborative projects. Please join this effort by: Becoming a CHAC member or renewing your membership today. Becoming part of the CHAC Steering Committee by contacting our Chair (Frank Tamborello) Membership participation in Hunger Action Day at the State Capitol in Sacramento (virtual Hunger Action Day in 2020 and 2021) Circulating CHAC's 2021 Policy Agenda in your community (2021 Policy Agenda will be posted soon!) Meet the CHAC Steering Committee: Comprised of the most dedicated and tireless group of anti-hunger & anti-poverty advocates from all over the state of California, our steering committee drives the coalition's priority setting process, legislative agenda, advocate trainings and the planning of Hunger Action Day - the largest anti-hunger advocacy effort in the state! Current Steering Committee Members reflect the strong statewide collaboration of anti-hunger organizations across California, members include: CHAC Co-Chairs Alameda County Community Food Bank Hunger Action Los Angeles Hunger Action Day Committee Center for Social Justice, GLIDE Legislative Committee California Association of Food Banks Nourish California Fundraising Committee SF-Marin Food Bank Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano Hunger Action LA CHAC Members Alameda County Community Food Bank California Association of Food Banks Nourish California Fresno Metro Ministries Hunger Action LA Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness Second Harvest Food Bank of OC Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County Second Harvest Silicon Valley SF-Marin Food Bank Western Center on Law and Poverty Westside Food Bank Meals on Wheels-CA

Hunger in CA

By the numbers. Poverty in CA: In 2018, there were 5,160,208 people experiencing poverty in the state of California, or 13.3% of the state's population. The Supplemental Poverty Measure, a more accurate measurement, is 19%. 8.1% of California's children live in deep poverty, where families are living under 50% of the Federal Poverty Rate. California is ranked 51st in the nation for affordable housing. CA Food Insecurity: The Food Insecurity rate in California is 11.7%, or 4,574,710 people struggling to maintain a regular source of adequate, nutritious food. As of early 2022, one of every ten adults in California report that they struggle to consistently put enough food on their table.[1] This very high rate of food insecurity exists even with the CalFresh program providing food assistance to between 4-5 million Californians. According to a recent statewide survey, three in four Californians with low or moderate income worried about running out of food in the past year. And three in five actually did run out of food. SNAP/CalFresh in California: Only 70% of eligible Californians participate in CalFresh: 74% are household with children, 49% are in working families, 9% are in families with elderly or disable members. The CalFresh program kept 806,000 out of poverty, 417,000 of whom were children (2009-2012) Research demonstrates that current CalFresh benefits alone do not provide enough money for families to meet the USDA’s nutrition and dietary guidelines for fruits and vegetables. During the pandemic, most CalFresh households have received a temporary boost in CalFresh benefits through federally-authorized “Emergency Allotments.” When those boosts expire, most households will face a “benefits cliff” as their monthly allotments are drastically reduced. The state must explore every way to cushion the blow to prevent further spikes in hunger and hardship. CalFresh households’ purchasing patterns often don’t reflect the foods they need, want, or find culturally appropriate. Shopping decisions are shaped mostly by high prices and limited access, which restricts their choices. Among Californians with low income, 29 percent report that they can only sometimes find affordable fruits and vegetables in their neighborhood and 3 percent report they never can. More facts and figures about CalFresh. CalWORKs: CalWORKs families live at 30% of the Federal Poverty Line. Cuts to the CalWORKs program over the last 2 decades has give 1.1 billion dollars annually for the state budget. Suplemental Security Income (SSI): In 2018, the maximum SSI/SSP grant is $910.72 per month. Women, disproportionately Asian, Black, and Latina, are the majority of SSI/SSP recipients. The state has saved an estimated $10 billion from the cuts to these recipients since 2009. Starting in the summer of 2019, SSI recipients will be eligible for CalFresh. More information about SSI.

Advocacy

Advocacy efforts. Hunger Action Week (Kickoff May 9, 2022, and ongoing through May 13, 2022) 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. Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, we held a Virtual Hunger Action Day in 2020 and 2021 to allow advocates and Legislators to participate safely and remotely. In 2022, we are organizing Hunger Action Week May 9 - May 13. We invite you to join us! 2022 will be our 25th annual Hunger Action Day! Here is video footage from 2017 Hunger Action Day Check our "Take Action" page for more details, and see you in May! 2022 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. Check back soon for our 2022 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 info@hungeractionla.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: 2021: Food4All budget victory Universal School Meals implemented in 2022 Secured an unprecedented $165M and National Guard personnel for food banks in response to COVID-19 CalFresh: Removed burdensome reporting requirement for older adults & people w/ disabilities Emergency funding for school nutrition programs 2018: 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. 2017: 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) 2016: 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. 2015: 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. 2014: 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.

Become a Member of CHAC

Join the fight!Become a member:By becoming a member of the California Hunger Action Coalition you are saying, "YES! I support the work of CHAC as they facilitate opportunities for all Californians to advocate for their right to adequate and nutritious food."Membership Fees:Individual Membership: $25Small Org (0-75k annual budget): $100Medium Org (75-100k): $200Large Org (over 100k): $400A monetary donation will help support a Californian to attend Hunger Action Day in Sacramento, so please donate what you can!Please join by mail by using this form, or through PayPal:[wpedon id="534"]For questions about payment and membership:  Contact Mark Lowry, Director of the Community Action Partnership of Orange County: mlowry@capoc.org 

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