Last Spring, the AAI Food & Nutrition Workgroup took legislative action to increase access to fresh healthy food to low income seniors. The initiative was a pilot effort to create local awareness and participation with CA4SSI Statewide organizing efforts. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is income assistance for people who are 65+, blind, or disabled.
The goal of the effort was to disseminate and coordinate education and advocacy efforts among food and nutrition related aging service providers in Marin. The action was to ask California lawmakers to address hunger among SSI recipients who are ineligible to receive federal food assistance.
The Workgroup led and coordinated the multi-agency effort which resulted in 10 people involved in the “Get on the Bus!” trip to the April 28th Senate hearing in Sacramento, and 12 letters to the Governor Brown to advocate for increased SSI. Of those advocating for increased SSI, 17% were from Marin County. The rest were from San Francisco and the East Bay. While the bill was vetoed, the effort was a success in getting the word out through the AAI network.
…The experience does show that we can pull together advocacy!
Director Marin Aging and Adult Services
As a first-time advocacy effort for AAI, it was a huge success to have so many supporters from Marin turn out at the Senate hearing. It was important to have Marin county represented during the public comment portion of the hearing. The pilot project has set the stage and created the connects for future advocacy efforts for AAI.
Aging Action Initiative (AAI) is a collective effort of over 65 different agencies, grassroots organizations, commission and neighborhood groups, funded by the County of Marin and coordinated by MARINSPACE, collaborating for an age-friendly environment. For more information visit agingactioninitiative.org or connect with us on Facebook.
Californians for SSI (CA4SSI) is a statewide coalition of over 200 organizations across the aging, disability rights, housing and homeless, anti-hunger, and anti-poverty sectors. We see the suffering that our most vulnerable residents are facing every day and we seek to ensure that they receive adequate support to live their lives in dignity. For more information visit ca4ssi.org or connect with us on Facebook.