We have a wonderful problem at MAZON… we’ve had so many donations in honor of the High Holy Days that we’re completely swamped just trying to process them all.
These funds allow us to support organizations like Hunger Action Los Angeles, who sent us the following regarding their monthly meeting this Thursday. These meetings are a great place to brainstorm ideas & learn about steps and events by various organizations and individuals to end hunger in Los Angeles and statewide (through collaboration with the California Hunger Action Coalition).
If you can’t make the meeting or live outside of Los Angeles, there are some fantastic snippets about food waste & conservation in a major metropolis and increased food stamp access in California towards the end. Frank Tamborello of Hunger Action Los Angeles also runs a weekly e-newsletter, “To All Those Interested In Food and Justice” chock full of hunger information & news articles. Check out this week’s issue, and learn of even more ways you can help hungry Angelenos & Californians!
Take it away, Frank…
The following was written by Marla Feldman, MAZON’s California Program Manager. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With unemployment on the rise and food pantries seeing 40% more people seeking emergency food assistance, it is critical that California moves to a semi-annual reporting system which will ease the burden on food stamp participants and allow them to continue to receive the food assistance that they need. California is one of the last states to make this important change, as 48 other states in the country already have a semi-annual reporting system. The California Food Policy Advocates has drafted a letter to the USDA, signed and supported by many MAZON CA grantees, to urge them to reject the extension of California’s waiver to make participants report household changes every quarter and to report with more forms than federally required. If USDA rejects the waiver extension, the Department of Social Services will be more likely to move towards semi-annual, simplified reporting, which will increase access to this vital program. To learn more about this important effort, please see the USDA sign-on letter attached.
This blog was written by Jerry Morgan of longtime MAZON grantee Interfaith Community Services in Escondido, CA.
This year, during California”s annual Hunger Action Day, I learned that advocacy is not “someone else”s job,” and that one person can make a difference.
Leif Ozier from Catholic Charities and I spent the day meeting with the staffs of Assemblyman Martin Garrick, Assemblyman George Plescia and Senator Mark Wyland. Each visit made clear not only that these staff members were very happy to meet with us, but also that they were anxious to hear what we had to say. I soon realized that with the enormous volume of bills, their bosses could not possibly know everything about each one. We were there to educate, and they were there to learn what their constituents had to say.
As luck would have it, we had a general membership (brown bag) meeting here at Interfaith the next week. I put on my newly acquired advocacy hat and spoke to my colleagues about the importance of contacting their representatives and making their voices heard. I emphasized the power of every individual to bring about positive change. They were very attentive.
In the future, I plan on speaking at every one of our membership meetings about a particular issue and to turn at least some of our members into advocates. If it could happen to me, it could happen to them!