On April 9th, Tracey Patterson, Director of Legislation for California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA), presented to the Yolo County Ag and Food Alliance Food Connect meeting about important food and nutrition legislation and the basics of advocacy.
Tracey provided us with valuable advice on how to advocate effectively. Noting that advocacy is an art and a science, she stressed that advocacy can be done at every level of government. Tracey emphasized the power of sharing your own story to decision makers and how this is an effective tool to communicate the need for localized change.
Tracey highlighted proposed state legislation important to nutritional justice:
SB 900: Double the ‘Fresh’ in CalFresh - This bill would help create the mechanism in the Electronic Benefits system to seamlessly allow implementation of incentive programs to encourage increase fruits and veggie purchase for CalFresh clients. In Yolo County, this would make it easier to implement our Bonus Bucks program, which just re-launched. For more information on the Bonus Bucks Program in Yolo County, please click here.
AB 1871: Charter schools: free and reduced-price meals would require charter schools to provide free and reduced lunch meals in California. Out of the ~150,000 currently enrolled children in charter schools statewide, ~80,000 children would be eligible to receive free and reduced lunch meals. Currently, in California, 22% of charter schools do not provide free and reduced lunch meals. (This does not impact Yolo County.)
Some of the budget requests that Tracey highlighted include requests for more funding support for the breakfast after the bell program and to reinstate funding support for meals in childcare facilities.
The breakfast after the bell program would provide students who may not have access to morning food the ability to grab a snack. Sometimes due bus schedules, students miss the opportunity to access food before classes start. Currently, $2.5 million is requested to sustain the breakfast after the bell program. Click here to learn more about this program.
I look forward to many more fruitful discussions on how we can work together to address food insecurity in our region. Please let me know your recommendations for future topics for Yolo Food Connect meetings.
In shared service,
Helpful Resources from the California Food Policy Advocates:
CFPA Farm Bill and CalFresh Fact Sheet- 6th Congressional District, Rep. Doris Matsui
CFPA Protect Our Kids: CalFresh and the Farm Bill Fact Sheet- 3rd Congressional District, Rep. John Garamendi
CFPA State Budget Request: Double the ‘Fresh’ in CalFresh
CFPA Farm Bill 2018- Call to CA’s Congressional Delegation: Protect Our Access to Food
CFPA State Policy Agenda 2018