Los Angeles, California
Hunger Action LA (HALA) coordinates 25 farmers markets in the Market Match program, which provides bonus dollars to customers using CalFresh, WIC or SSI to purchase California grown fruits and vegetables. Over two thousand seniors currently participate, assisting them with improving their diets, especially persons with diabetes, obesity or needing to reduce sodium intake. The program is of particular help for seniors getting SSI, as SSI recipients in California cannot get CalFresh assistance. A delivery component for homebound seniors is under development. The participating markets are located all over the county, including among other areas Long Beach, Newhall, Downtown, South LA, East LA, the San Fernando Valley and Pomona.
HALA also trains low income people to speak to their elected officials about hunger and poverty and to support policies to eradicate poverty. Annually 50 to 75 people participate through HALA in Hunger Action Day in Sacramento, a day of visits to legislators to communicate the effects of poverty in local communities.
HALA's publication, the Peoples Guide to Welfare Health and Other Services, is available online as an E-book and a PDF file, and hard copies reach 30,000 people annually including many from nonprofit agencies and government entities as well as volunteers and low income persons.
HALA participates in a variety of coalitions including CA4SSI, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program Local Board, the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging's ad hoc group on senior hunger, the LA Food Policy Council, the statewide California Hunger Action Coalition, and California Partnership. HALA's e-newsletter reaches over 1,200 recipients and HALA conducts about 50 presentations per year to colleges, nonprofit agencies, and conferences on hunger and poverty issues.
Anonymous senior using Market Match, as quoted in evaluation of the project by UCLA students: "You can't get it this fresh anywhere else!" "With the vouchers, it helps me get more things for a little less money."
Hunger Action LA ends hunger and promotes healthy eating in Los Angeles County through education, advocacy and direct service.