An enthusiastic group attended the California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) Legislative Day on April 11, 2012 in Sacramento, including several representatives from Second Harvest. All together, there were 48 representatives from 41 California food banks there to advocate for the approval of AB828, AB1560, SB970 and SB1391, and to voice their opposition to Governor Brown’s proposed cuts to the needy.
• AB828 requires California to opt out of the lifetime federal ban from SNAP benefits for persons convicted of a felony involving controlled substances.
• AB1560 seeks to align Medi-Cal and nutrition assistance by removing the CalFresh gross income test for Medi-Cal recipients and their families, and ensuring that children in those households are certified for free school meals.
• SB970 allows online health coverage application information to be used for simultaneous CalFresh or CalWORKs applications, and for uninsured CalFresh recipients to be enrolled into health coverage.
• SB1391 establishes a statewide cost-effective threshold for collecting CalFresh overissuances when overissuance is due to administrative error.
The group received a warm welcome when they visited the offices of State Assemblymembers Bill Monning and Luis Alejo, and State Senators Sam Blakeslee and Joe Simidian. Bob Cadwalder, a policy and advocate volunteer at Second Harvest, attributes this to the positive relationship the advocacy group has built with these government officials.
“Our enthusiasm is the key,” he says. “CAFB has a reputation among those we visit of supporting bills near and dear to our elected officials and that makes them willing to share their opinions regarding the bills and their hopes and concerns regarding the state budget.”
Bob says that Legislative Day was not only successful in this manner but also in terms of good friends meeting and encouraging one another.
CAFB was founded in 1995 to promote collaboration in response to emerging social, economic and legislative challenges impacting hungry people throughout California.
To accomplish their mission, they focus on providing support to a membership of 41 food banks, increasing the visibility of hunger and its solutions, sharing food resources and influencing public policy. CAFB develops and advocates positions at the federal, state, and local level on behalf of its member agencies and the low-income people they serve.
View more information on the bills supported by CAFB.