By Ward Kanowsky
May 22, 2019 was Hunger Action Day, with over 400 advocates and community members from across California converging on the State Capitol in Sacramento for a day of meetings and joint action with our state legislators. The goal of Hunger Action Day is to make sure our elected officials know the reality of hunger and hardship in California, and to use their voices to help end it.
Indivisible East Bay member Ward Kanowsky attended the event along with several other representatives from the Alameda County Community Food Bank; IEB has been partnering with ACCFB for the past two years and this is the second year in a row IEB members have attended the event. Ward was part of two teams meeting with the staff of State Senator Steve Glazer (7th Senate District) and Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (16th Assembly District) to discuss and ask for support on the following legislative priorities:
- Increase state funding of Supplemental Security Income so the grant is above the federal poverty level: Budget ask and AB 1434
- Protect adults harmed by the federal 3-month time limit to SNAP/CalFresh: AB 1022 (introduced by AD-15 Assemblymember Wicks)
- End exclusion of taxpaying, immigrant workers with Individual Taxpayer IDs from the California Earned Income Tax Credit: Budget ask and AB 1593
- Require preschool and child care meals: AB 842
- Increase funding for the CalFood Program for California’s 41 food banks: Budget ask from California Hunger Action Coalition, of which ACCFB is a member.
Participants received some good news the following day — two of these bills, AB 1022 and AB 842 passed through the Assembly, their originating house, and moved on to the Senate.
ACCFB regularly participates in Hunger Action Day. One of ACCFB’s core values is that food is a basic human right, and this value was included in the message we delivered to legislators during meetings. The Food Bank serves one in five Alameda County residents; two-thirds of these are seniors and children. ACCFB works towards a stronger, more nourished Alameda County, where no one worries where their next meal will come from.
Ward Kanowsky is co-lead, with LeAnn Kanowsky, of the Indivisible East Bay CA-15 Team.
Photograph: ACCFB outside Senator Steve Glazer’s office on Hunger Action Day 2019, by Brittany Paris