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Delta Dental Community Care Foundation Marks Giving Tuesday with $2.5 Million in Grants to Fight Food Insecurity
Foundation Funding to Food Banks Amid COVID-19 Totals $3.5 Million
SAN FRANCISCO – The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation announced that it is giving $2.5 million to 39 food banks across 15 states and Washington, D.C. This announcement falls on Giving Tuesday, a global generosity movement that encourages people and organizations to do good, which has deeper resonance amid the challenges presented by COVID-19.
“As a result of the pandemic, food insecurity rates and reliance on food banks are skyrocketing like never before,” said Kenzie Ferguson, vice president for foundation and corporate social responsibility for Delta Dental of California and its affiliates. “Fighting food insecurity is not only the right thing to do for our communities during these trying times, but it also aligns with our mission to promote oral health.”
Dental caries, or the disease that causes tooth decay, has been linked to food insecurity – a disruption in food intake or eating patterns due to a lack of resources – in numerous studies. Delta Dental of California and its affiliates, through the Foundation, employee support and corporate giving, have strengthened food banks across its enterprise states for years. As the economic crisis caused by the pandemic continues, it became clear it was time to increase that support exponentially.
Food banks receiving funding include:
- Community Food Bank of Central Alabama in Birmingham, AL
- Montgomery Area Food Bank in Montgomery, AL
- San Diego Food Bank in San Diego, CA
- Second Harvest Food Bank in San Jose, CA
- Central California Food Bank in Fresno, CA
- Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano in Fairfield, CA
- Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin and Stanislaus in Manteca, CA
- Food for People in Eureka, CA
- FoodLink for Tulare County in Exeter, CA
- Community Action Agency of Butte County, Inc. in Chico, CA
- Merced County Food Bank in Merced, CA
- Imperial County Food Bank in Imperial, CA
- Food Bank of Southern California in Long Beach, CA
- Los Angeles Regional Food Bank in Los Angeles, CA
- Food Bank of Delaware in Wilmington, DE
- Feeding Northeast Florida in Jacksonville, FL
- Feeding South Florida in Miami, FL
- Feeding Tampa Bay in Tampa, FL
- Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in Orlando, FL
- Atlanta Community Food Bank in Atlanta, GA
- Feeding the Valley in Columbus, GA
- Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans, LA
- Maryland Food Bank in Baltimore, MD
- Mississippi Food Network in Jackson, MS
- Billings Food Bank in Billings, MT
- Citymeals on Wheels in New York City, NY
- Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas, NV
- Food Bank of Northern Nevada in Reno, NV
- Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in Pittsburgh, PA
- Philabundance in Philadelphia, PA
- Central Pennsylvania Food Bank in Harrisburg, PA
- Houston Food Bank in Houston, TX
- North Texas Food Bank in Dallas, TX
- San Antonio Food Bank in San Antonio, TX
- Central Texas Food Bank in Austin, TX
- El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank in El Paso, TX
- Utah Food Bank in Salt Lake City, UT
- Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, DC
- Mountaineer Food Bank in Charleston, WV
This announcement comes on the heels of the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation’s award of $11 million in grants in response to COVID-19, including $1 million for food banks and Meals on Wheels programs. Support amid the pandemic from the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation totals nearly $15 million to-date across Delta Dental of California’s 15-state and Washington, D.C. enterprise.
CalFresh – known nationally as SNAP and formerly as ‘food stamps’ – is a cornerstone of our food safety net in California. Almost 4.5 million people participate in CalFresh statewide, and more than 60,000 people participate in San Francisco and Marin combined. CalFresh participants receive an “EBT card” – which functions like a debit card that gets replenished with CalFresh benefits each month; participants then use CalFresh benefits to buy food in grocery stores and farmers’ markets.
Unfortunately, CalFresh churn is a big problem among many recipients.
Churn is when an eligible recipient unexpectedly loses CalFresh benefits, usually because of missed reporting requirements, only to re-enroll within one to three months.
In order to stay on benefits, CalFresh households must report eligibility information periodically. At six months after initial application, participants must notify the county of any household circumstances that have changed through a form called a SAR 7; at one year, they must re-verify all household information and complete an interview. The idea is that household circumstances sometimes change, and having a regularly scheduled time when participants submit documents and verifications ensures their status with CalFresh remains accurate.
But in practice, many households suddenly find themselves with an empty EBT card, unable to buy groceries. Imagine standing at a grocery check-out counter, only to find that your debit card unexpectedly had a $0 balance? What would that mean for feeding your family and paying the rest of your bills that month?
An interruption in CalFresh benefits, even for a month, can have real, damaging consequences for a family that is living on the edge of financial stability. For example, a household with the average CalFresh benefit of $304 per month would lose about 100 meals during the month when benefits are interrupted.
Statewide, one in five Calfresh applications received is from someone who was on CalFresh in the last 90 days.
Why does this happen? Confusion about the semi-annual reporting process, difficult-to-read letters from the county, language barriers, a missed interview, or a recent change in address or phone number can all result in benefits being terminated. It is not difficult to imagine a situation in which a busy family with multiple jobs, hectic schedules of school and childcare, combined with the stress of paying bills and keeping household paperwork in order, could end up missing CalFresh deadlines. Once benefits have been lost, households sometimes have to reapply for benefits all over again.
In addition to hurting recipients, CalFresh churn is inefficient and troublesome for county administrators. Instead of helping new clients enroll or improving the program overall, workers spend valuable time completing new applications for cases which should never have been discontinued in the first place.
We estimate that in San Francisco and Marin, $280,000 in CalFresh money are lost each month due to churn.
Over the next month, the Food Bank Advocacy Team will share a series of blog posts about CalFresh churn. Next week, we will dive into our county-level data in San Francisco and Marin. In subsequent weeks, we will explore more specifically what causes churn, and provide recommendations to diagnose churn and implement effective solutions.
Join us as we explore this topic!
Read more about our work with CalFresh here, and to get all of our advocacy updates, sign up for our Food Policy Spotlight here.
 DFA 256 Report, August 2016: http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/research/PG352.htm
 CDSS CalFresh Household Profile, FFY, 2014: http://www.calfresh.ca.gov/PG844.htm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2021
With support from USDA, REDF and partners will provide 22 employment social enterprises with customized training to become SNAP E&T partners supporting workforce reentry and economic inclusion
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Recognizing the immense need for quality employment and training services for SNAP recipients seeking to reenter the workforce, REDF has launched an innovative new program to equip employment social enterprises to become Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) providers. Twenty-two mission-driven businesses across 10 states have been selected for the program’s inaugural Technical Assistance Cohort, which will receive specialized assistance to create or significantly expand their capacity to support SNAP clients as SNAP E&T third-party partners.
Employment social enterprises (ESEs) are purpose-driven businesses that provide training, jobs, and supportive services to people overcoming workforce barriers, including justice-impacted individuals who are ready to work but are often shut out of opportunity. With deep expertise and proven practices in helping people to overcome workforce barriers and biases, participating ESEs bring tremendous strengths to the SNAP E&T program, which helps SNAP clients access and succeed in employment.
“By connecting the employment social enterprise sector with existing SNAP programs, mission-driven businesses across the country will be able to provide quality jobs and support to thousands of people seeking to regain stability during the economic recovery,” said Greg Ericksen, REDF’s Director of Government Partnerships and Policy. “Becoming a SNAP E&T partner allows employment social enterprises to access a sustainable funding source, expand their organizational capacity, and serve clients more effectively.”
The 2021 SNAP E&T Technical Assistance Cohort includes:
• Bayaud Enterprises, Denver, CO
• Bridgeways, Everett, WA
• Chester County Food Bank, Exton, PA
• Columbia Industries - Opportunity Kitchen, Kennewick, WA
• Conservation Corps of Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
• Covenant House California, Alameda County, CA
• Crossroads Campus, Nashville, TN
• Downtown Women's Center, Los Angeles, CA
• Focus Points Family Resource Center, Denver, CO
• Food Shift, Earth Island Institute, Berkeley, CA
• Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland, Canton, OH
• Juma Ventures, San Francisco, CA
• LA Conservation Corps, Los Angeles, CA
• Mile High Workshop, Aurora, CO
• MY House, Wasilla, AK
• Neighborhood Industries, Fresno, CA
• New Earth Organization, Culver City, CA
• New Moms, Chicago, IL
• Opportunity Construction LLC, Steelton, PA
• Project Return, Inc., Nashville, TN
• The Light House, Annapolis, MD
• Together We Bake, Alexandria, VA
Over the next year, ESEs in the cohort will receive a combination of specialized training, technical assistance, and peer mentorship. Group and individual technical assistance will be delivered by REDF partners Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) and the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO). Peer-to-peer and mentorship opportunities, as well as opportunities for agencies and cohorts to identify best practices for partnerships, will also be available to all participating ESEs.
“SJI, along with its partners from REDF and CEO, looks forward to working side by side with a dynamic group of employment social enterprise programs to pursue the opportunities available through the USDA’s SNAP E&T program and to expand and strengthen services for participants,” said SJI’s Senior Consultant, Nick Codd.
“SNAP Employment and Training allows CEO to offer work experience and skills training to justice impacted individuals in 31 communities nationwide. We are excited to partner with REDF and Seattle Jobs Initiative to increase and strengthen SNAP E&T partnerships with peer employment social enterprises,” said Sam Schaeffer, Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Employment Opportunities. “Access to SNAP E&T will help ensure that more individuals impacted by the criminal legal system will get access to basic nutritional assistance, have the chance to get a job, and prosper in their community.”
The Technical Assistance Cohort is part of a program funded by a $1.2 million grant from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service to expand employment social enterprises’ capacity to provide on-the-job training and work experience to SNAP participants. In addition to customized training through the cohort, over the next three years, REDF, SJI, and CEO will provide technical assistance to up to 400 ESEs through its SNAP E&T webinar trainings.
REDF (the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund) is a pioneering venture philanthropy accelerating a national movement of employment social enterprises – mission-driven, revenue-generating businesses
that invest the money they make into helping people striving to overcome employment barriers get jobs, keep jobs, and build a better life. Independent research shows this approach works. It leads to greater economic security and mobility and a significant rate of return to society—$2.23 in benefits for every $1 invested. For more information, visit www.redf.org
Th... Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) is the largest national provider of employment services for people coming home from incarceration. CEO is 501(c)3 nonprofit and currently operates in 30 sites across 11 states.
Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) is an outcome- and equity-focused, industry-driven workforce intermediary with 23 years of experience coordinating workforce systems, services, and partnerships between government, community-based organizations, education and training institutions, business, and industry. SJI’s vision is to help (1) individuals achieve self-sufficiency, (2) equity-minded organizations and agencies achieve success with their programs, and (3) workforce development and education systems better address social equity issues and serve the needs of communities and businesses. To meet this vision, SJI combines regional programs with regional and national research and consulting/technical assistance.
Community Food Bank prepares for longer lines due to drought
The long food lines serve as lasting images of the 2009 drought. People waited patiently in towns like Mendota, Firebaugh, Huron and San Joaquin. Sometimes the food ran out.
Kym Dildine says the Community Food Bank is now looking at more efficient ways to deliver food. She knows the need will be much greater this time around.
"We're going to try to do it different so people aren't standing in line all day in the sun. We're going to try to create some spaces that are indoors," said Dildine.
Such as warehouses and vacant buildings. Dildine says the food bank will register people before the giveaways, which could begin by the end of April. Details though must first be worked out with the California Department of Social Services.
"The reality is that people are out of work now and they want to be working, and so we are ahead of the game. We're already seeing an increase in our regular distributions," said Dildine.
Ag jobs many families rely on the west side and the east side of the Valley aren't available because hundreds of thousands of acres have been and will be idled because of the drought.
"Many communities will go to 50-60 percent unemployment, and again these are people who are normally working and have found themselves on fallow ground," said Dildine.
Because so many more families will rely on the food giveaways, the Community Food Bank will be joined by other groups at the events-- groups like the Salvation Army and others providing job training.
USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
(Washington, D.C., April 17, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). This new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program will take several actions to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. President Trump directed USDA to craft this $19 billion immediate relief program to provide critical support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to receive and have access to the food they need.
“During this time of national crisis, President Trump and USDA are standing with our farmers, ranchers, and all citizens to make sure they are taken care of,” Secretary Perdue said. “The American food supply chain had to adapt, and it remains safe, secure, and strong, and we all know that starts with America’s farmers and ranchers. This program will not only provide immediate relief for our farmers and ranchers, but it will also allow for the purchase and distribution of our agricultural abundance to help our fellow Americans in need.”
CFAP will use the funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and other USDA existing authorities. The program includes two major elements to achieve these goals.
- Direct Support to Farmers and Ranchers: The program will provide $16 billion in direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted and will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.
- USDA Purchase and Distribution: USDA will partner with regional and local distributors, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat. We will begin with the procurement of an estimated $100 million per month in fresh fruits and vegetables, $100 million per month in a variety of dairy products, and $100 million per month in meat products. The distributors and wholesalers will then provide a pre-approved box of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to food banks, community and faith based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.
On top of these targeted programs USDA will utilize other available funding sources to purchase and distribute food to those in need.
- USDA has up to an additional $873.3 million available in Section 32 funding to purchase a variety of agricultural products for distribution to food banks. The use of these funds will be determined by industry requests, USDA agricultural market analysis, and food bank needs.
- The FFCRA and CARES Act provided an at least $850 million for food bank administrative costs and USDA food purchases, of which a minimum of $600 million will be designated for food purchases. The use of these funds will be determined by food bank need and product availability.
Further details regarding eligibility, rates, and other implementation will be released at a later date.
USDA has taken action during the COVID-19 national emergency to make sure children and families are fed during a time of school closures and job losses, as well as increase flexibilities and extensions in USDA’s farm programs to ensure the U.S. food supply chain remains safe and secure.
Feeding Kids and Families
- USDA expanded flexibilities and waivers in all 50 states and territories to ensure kids and families who need food can get it during this national emergency.
- USDA is partnering with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, McLane Global, PepsiCo, and others to deliver more than 1,000,000 meals a week to students in a limited number of rural schools closed due to COVID-19.
- USDA authorized Pandemic EBT in Michigan and Rhode Island, a supplemental food purchasing benefit to current SNAP participants and as a new EBT benefit to other eligible households to offset the cost of meals that would have otherwise been consumed at school.
- USDA expanded an innovative SNAP online grocery purchase pilot program in Arizona and California, Florida and Idaho, and DC and North Carolina, in addition to Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oregon and Washington.
Actions to Ensure a Strong Food Supply Chain
Whole of Government Response in Rural America
- USDA released The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide (PDF, 349 KB), a first-of-its-kind resource for rural leaders looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.
- USDA opened a second application window (April 14, 2020 to July 13, 2020) for $72 million of funding under the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program.
- USDA Rural Development lenders may offer 180-day loan payment deferrals without prior agency approval for Business and Industry Loan Guarantees, Rural Energy for America Program Loan Guarantees, Community Facilities Loan Guarantees, and Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees.
- USDA will use the $100 million provided for the ReConnect Program in the CARES Act to invest in qualified 100 percent grant projects.
For all the information on USDA’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic and resources available, please visit www.usda.gov/coronavirus.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank spending 'almost 30% more' on food purchases
On today’s episode of The Confluence: Heading into the holidays, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is seeing increased costs for food, transportation but is still able to meet the community’s need; Amazon is looking to develop a distribution center in Churchill but it’s causing tension among residents; and the challenges new farmers face finding and purchasing land.
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank still meeting needs despite increased costs
As the holiday season approaches, some households are tightening their budgets in part due to the price of groceries increasing. As more families turn to food banks to fill the gap, these organizations are also feeling the pressure.
“Our food costs are significantly higher now than they were a year ago, so we're paying about 30 percent more in all the purchases,” says Lisa Scales, president and CEO of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
The food bank purchases a lot of “core grocery items,” according to Scales, like canned foods, peanut butter, and other shelf-stable things, and she says the costs of these items have gone up in the last year.
Scales says people are looking to the food bank right now, in particular, to help fill the gap for high-budget items, like meat and eggs.
According to Scales, one of the biggest challenges is the food supply chain, which makes high-demand items difficult to get.
Scales says they’ve seen a more than 30 percent increase in food insecurity in our region since the start of the pandemic. While the food bank distributed enough for almost 45 million meals last year, Scales says they’re still relying on community support to keep the food bank up and running.
“We always focus on the here and now,” Scales says. “When you're in need of food, you're in need of food right now. But we also look ahead.”
Amazon’s bid to build a new facility in Churchill causes tension among residents
(8:43 - 17:07)
Amazon is looking to build a new distribution center in Churchill, eyeing development at a longtime vacant facility that once housed the George Westinghouse Research and Technology Park.
But, residents of the community are torn about what could be their new industrial neighbor.
“At any point, the council may vote,” says Mila Sanina, executive director of PublicSource. “But what I have heard from my sources is that it's likely the decision is likely to come down sometime in December.”
Amazon’s proposed project claims it will include a 2.9 million-square-foot warehouse and the creation of about 1,000 to 1,500 jobs.
“It's a $300 million investment,” says Sanina. “Amazon or Hillwood, a developer, is proposing to demolish the remaining buildings that are still on the site. They need to deal with the contamination on the site.”
Churchill residents who oppose this development formed a grassroots group, Churchill Future. They say, according to Sanina, an operation such as this does not belong in a residential area and would be better suited for an industrial park.
Other residents, Sanina says, are in support of the project. An increase in tax revenue, she says, is a big draw for these residents and members of the school district. Also, the construction jobs that this facility would bring to the area.
As for a final decision, Sanina notes that there’s still a way to go.
“To be clear, it's already been, like, a very long process,” she says. “And right now, you know, the process is to consider the conditional use application and then vote on it, and then there is a land development approval process. It's also going to go through the planning commission of Churchill Borough and then with the Borough Council as well.”
Young, new farmers struggle to find land
(17:15 - 22:30)
As more farmers in Pennsylvania near retirement, the state is bracing for a shortage of agricultural workers. But for people who want to start their own farms, there’s no guarantee they’ll find land. 90.5 WESA’s An-Li Herring reports that’s a big barrier.
This report is part of a series about the challenge of cultivating a new generation of farmers in Pennsylvania.
The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Thursday at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.
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