California Association of Food Banks

California Association of Food Banks CAFB is a membership organization of 41 member food banks from every part of California.

OUR PROGRAMS AND SERVICES: ______________________________________________ FARM TO FAMILY: Directly distributing healthier food to people in need: Fresh fruits and vegetables are the fastest growing area of food bank distribution. This has been made possible with the implementation of CAFB’s Farm to Family Program. In 2011, Farm to Family distributed more than 120 million pounds of fresh produce. This produce consists of a variety of fruits and vegetables that CAFB acquires from the state’s growers and packers at no or very low cost. The increased availability of produce has allowed food banks to provide healthier foods to their clients and has put California on the cutting edge of healthy food banking. ______________________________________________ NUTRITION EDUCATION: Providing nutrition education along with the healthier foods: New foods often need promotion, provision of handling and preparation information, such as culturally-appropriate recipes, in order for people to meaningfully integrate them into their diet. Many California food banks are providing nutrition education to both clients and to agency staff distributing food in order to strengthen their healthy food distribution efforts. CAFB supports this work by offering program support, peer-to-peer networking and match funding to 28 organizations, of which 18 are member food banks. The Network for a Healthy California and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger are essential partners in this work. ______________________________________________ CALFRESH OUTREACH: Assisting with the application process for CalFresh (formerly the Food Stamp Program) to increase the affordability of healthier foods: CalFresh benefits help stretch a family’s dollars so they can afford the higher costs of fresh, nutritious food. But California consistently has one of the lowest participation rates in the country, and is currently at the bottom. CAFB offers program support and match funding for outreach activities to member food banks and other non-profits. This year, the Association partnered with 50 organizations to increase participation among eligible, low-income Californians. CAFB has also played an important leadership role in strengthening the statewide capacity for outreach by developing a statewide hotline, an outreach guide and website, a pre-screening and application tool and other outreach materials. CAFB provides training and support for peer-to-peer travel and collaboration. More information about these services are available at www.mycalfresh.org and www.misalimentos.org. ______________________________________________ POLICY & ADVOCACY: Advocating for policies that increase low-income people’s access to healthy food: California’s food banks were among the first in the nation to include policy and advocacy work as a core of their anti-hunger efforts. Now, most CAFB member agencies advocate at the federal, state, and local levels to improve anti-hunger and nutrition programs, especially for CalFresh (formerly food stamps) and emergency food. Several participate, and even lead, local nutrition policy coalitions. The most recent additions to the expanding advocacy list are the federal and state budget processes, which affect funding for health and human services programs vital to many low-income Californians. CAFB assists our partners in efforts to strengthen this work by providing venues to communicate with policy makers and offering leadership in strategy and message development. ______________________________________________ MEMBER SERVICES: Our greatest strength remains our membership of over 40 local food banks. These food banks serve communities across California, including the urban and suburban population centers in the Bay Area, Southern California, and Central Valley, as well as the more rural and remote areas. Over the past three years, CAFB has secured millions of dollars to support our members in their efforts to increase produce distribution, enhance food stamp outreach and nutrition education and to improve the overall capacity of food banks in rural communities. CAFB facilitates the sharing of best practices among food banks through regional meetings, newsletters and conferences to help our members become more effective in their work.

After years of only interviewing heads of household about their experiences with hunger, researchers are now gathering c...
04/02/2018
What Children Understand About Food Insecurity | Civil Eats

After years of only interviewing heads of household about their experiences with hunger, researchers are now gathering children's insights about how they experience food insecurity.

More and more, researchers are asking children about their households’ lack of food, and making surprising discoveries.

Cool opportunity for immigrants working in the culinary arts to receive funding. Does your food bank have a client who q...
03/23/2018
The Vilcek Foundation - The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Culinary Arts

Cool opportunity for immigrants working in the culinary arts to receive funding. Does your food bank have a client who qualifies? Professions may include Chefs and food preparers, Beverage professionals, and food writers/critics. Find out more on The Vilcek Foundation website.

Are you or is someone you know eligible for a 2019 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Culinary Arts? Check eligibility requirements, and apply online at Vilcek.org.

When you hear that the House Farm Bill WON'T include the White House's terrible Harvest Box program. Thank you Congressm...
03/23/2018
media.giphy.com

When you hear that the House Farm Bill WON'T include the White House's terrible Harvest Box program. Thank you Congressman Mike Conaway!

SNAP is an astounding success for a number of reasons. Of particular importance is the dignity and autonomy it gives rec...
03/16/2018
SNAP is successful because it treats recipients with dignity and autonomy

SNAP is an astounding success for a number of reasons. Of particular importance is the dignity and autonomy it gives recipients. Beyond the rule that benefits can only be spent on food at approved stores, SNAP customers are given the freedom to choose the grocery items they feel are most appropriate for their families and their budgets.

The recommendation to impose restrictions on SNAP recipients is based on the impression that SNAP recipients make food purchases that differ dramatically from similar households.

03/09/2018
The LA Food Bank's Extra Helpings Program Fights Hunger and Prevents Food Waste

Member Los Angeles Regional Food Bank prevents food waste in their community with their Extra Helpings program. They route perishable food donations from grocery stores and other local sources directly to Food Bank partner agencies. #GoFurtherWithFood #SaveTheFoodCA

The Extra Helpings Program routes perishable and other donated food from grocery stores and other local sources directly to Food Bank partner agencies. In 20...

We can think of more than a couple food bankers who are great leaders. This is an excellent opportunity for your food ba...
03/08/2018
The James Irvine Foundation

We can think of more than a couple food bankers who are great leaders. This is an excellent opportunity for your food bank to get funding and publicity.

Know a great leader? Nominations are now open for the 2019 Leadership Awards. Nominate an innovative Californian today: irvine.org/leadership

Member San Diego Food Bank​ is a stellar example of how food banks are taking the lead on preventing food waste. Their 3...
03/07/2018
Green Initiatives - Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank

Member San Diego Food Bank​ is a stellar example of how food banks are taking the lead on preventing food waste. Their 3,600 sq. ft. Recycling & Composting Center houses two larger-than-life recycling and composting machines that have a combined weight of 15 tons and a height topping 18 feet.

The first machine, called a “turbo separator,” can take in unopened, but damaged and inedible cans, boxes and jars of food which, using cutting-edge technology, separates the food from its packaging while inside the machine – sending the food waste to a composting machine and discharging the paper, plastic and aluminum for recycling. #FurtherWithFood #SavetheFoodCA

The Food Bank is going green! Over the last several years, the Food Bank has implemented a sustainability program to reduce our impact on the environment while at the same time greatly reducing costs associated with utilities and waste. Funds saved through our environmental efforts are directed to i...

#SNAPmatters
03/01/2018
San Diego Hunger Coalition

#SNAPmatters

Meet Vivian, one of our recent CalFresh Alumni! Vivan is relying on CalFresh/SNAP while pursuing a degree at San Diego State University. CalFresh helps supplement her limited income so she doesn't have to dip into her financial aid to pay for the healthy food she needs to fuel her studies and graduate. Click on the link to read her story, or use the online line form to submit your own experience with CalFresh/SNAP.

TalkPoverty.org has created these useful flashcards on public assistance work requirements!
02/27/2018
Work Requirements - Talk Poverty

TalkPoverty.org has created these useful flashcards on public assistance work requirements!

Work requirements place strict time limits on certain public assistance programs if the recipients are unable to work. If the recipient does not complete a minimum number of hours (usually 20) of “work-related activities,” their benefits will be terminated or significantly reduced.

Member Bill Gibbs, executive director of Merced County Food Bank, spoke to the Merced Sun-Star about the President's dis...
02/21/2018
Merced SNAP recipients won't benefit under Trump proposal, officials say.

Member Bill Gibbs, executive director of Merced County Food Bank, spoke to the Merced Sun-Star about the President's disastrous SNAP proposal.

“We’re already strapped to meet the current unmet needs,” Gibbs said. “Reducing money is going to create bigger needs we’re not going to be able to absorb.”

Great job, Bill!

Major funding cuts to the Supplemental Food Nutrition Program, known as CalFresh in California, in the Trumps administrations proposed budget could negatively impact food assistance organizations in Merced County and people's access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

We don't know about you, but we needed this parody."Indeed, this program does not go far enough. Why stop at taking away...
02/14/2018
Opinion | Blue-Apron-style replacement for SNAP is a marvelous idea

We don't know about you, but we needed this parody.

"Indeed, this program does not go far enough. Why stop at taking away people’s (already constricted) ability to choose food that suits their families? Why not mandate Stitch Fix-style deliveries of sackcloth and ashes so that we may know that these people are truly humbled? Why not insist that if you have smiled even once in your life, you should be ineligible for any assistance?"

It's a luxury!

02/13/2018

Our statement on the President's Budget Proposal:

President Trump released his FY 2019 budget yesterday proposing over $213 billion in deep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (known as CalFresh in California) over the next ten years. This represents nearly a 30% cut to one of the nation’s most successful federal programs. The budget blueprint outlines a harsh vision for our country that would increase hunger and hardship for everyday Californians. California Association of Food Banks strongly urges all members of the California Congressional Delegation to oppose cuts to SNAP and other vital programs that help lift millions of Californians out of poverty.

SNAP is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program, reaching more than 4 million food insecure Californians annually. The president’s budget includes several proposals that would undermine the strength, efficiency, and reach of the program we know today. The budget calls for radically restructuring the delivery of benefits, limiting choice and shifting more than $260 billion in food purchases from the individual household to the government in the form of a USDA food box. Further, the budget blueprint slashes benefits for nearly every SNAP household, including the elderly, individuals with disabilities and families with children.

The President’s proposal would also upend SNAP’s successful and efficient public-private partnership that drove approximately $12 billion in economic activity last year—supporting markets for producers and customers for local retailers. SNAP, not private charity, is the front-line against hunger. Food banks know the importance of the program because 19 out of every 20 emergency meals come from the federal nutrition safety net. There’s no way food banks could make up cuts of this scale, which would increase hunger and hardship throughout the state.

Our very own Andrew Cheyne is on Air Talk this afternoon. Stream now to hear him defend the current SNAP program.
02/13/2018
89.3 KPCC - Southern California Public Radio

Our very own Andrew Cheyne is on Air Talk this afternoon. Stream now to hear him defend the current SNAP program.

Business & Economy That unlimited movie-theater deal? It could be too good to survive MoviePass has signed up a half-million subscribers in less than a month but that success could ultimately lead to its demise.

Under Trump's new budget proposal, which was announced Monday, low-income Americans who receive at least $90 a month — j...
02/13/2018
Trump Administration Wants To Decide What Food SNAP Recipients Will Get

Under Trump's new budget proposal, which was announced Monday, low-income Americans who receive at least $90 a month — just over 80 percent of all SNAP recipients — would get about half of their benefits in the form of a "USDA Foods package." The package was described in the budget as consisting of "shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit and vegetables." The boxes would not include fresh fruits or vegetables.

The proposed changes to food stamps, now called SNAP, would be drastic: About half the benefits would be boxed-up, nonperishable foods. Recipients would lose a lot of their ability to pick their food.

Government data has for decades shown food assistance programs like SNAP do more than just improve nutrition for America...
02/07/2018
Opinion | Our Food Stamps Program Proves Trickle-Up Economics Works

Government data has for decades shown food assistance programs like SNAP do more than just improve nutrition for America’s most vulnerable citizens; they also increase jobs and boost the economy from the bottom up.

And that’s why the GOP keeps cutting its funding.

02/06/2018
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Health care providers can fight hunger among adults 50+. Check out a free online course from @FoodResearchAndActionCenter & @AARPFoundation http://bit.ly/2nsOVJD

Welcome to “Screen & Intervene: Addressing Food Insecurity Among Older Adults,” a course designed for health care providers who work with adults ages 50 and over. The course also is useful for those interested in learning more about food insecurity and how to address this serious health issue fa...

Sadly, perceptions of who benefits from assistance programs may affect the favorability of the programs themselves among...
02/05/2018
Americans Are Mistaken About Who Gets Welfare

Sadly, perceptions of who benefits from assistance programs may affect the favorability of the programs themselves among American voters.

People significantly overestimate the number of African-Americans benefiting from the largest programs.

"Workforce development" is the latest rebrand of the same old proposals to slash essential benefits for struggling famil...
02/03/2018
Paul Ryan's Push for Workforce Development Is a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

"Workforce development" is the latest rebrand of the same old proposals to slash essential benefits for struggling families that Ryan has touted for years.

The administration already gutted funding for workforce development—what Ryan is suggesting would kick people off benefits when they need them most.

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