The Atlanta Community Food Bank’s (ACFB) advocacy work helps connect community voices, issues and stories to inform and educate elected officials and public policy makers on the fight against hunger and poverty in our community. The decisions of our elected officials and the policies they implement have a direct impact on the status of hunger across metro Atlanta. Our 2015 policy priorities include an emphasis on protecting tax provisions that encourage charitable donations; supporting summer meal programs for children; preventing access barriers to public assistance programs for qualified individuals and families; increasing access to healthy food and promoting economic security and opportunity for all Georgians.
ACFB partners with the Georgia Food Bank Association and its network of statewide food banks on the following state priorities:
Tax Provisions to Encourage Charity
- Support making permanent state sales tax exemptions for bulk food purchases made by food banks.
- Support tax incentives that allow farmers and food producers to donate a portion of their fresh excess produce to charitable organizations
- Reinstate sales and use tax exemptions for prepared food donated for hunger relief and disaster relief.
- Support increased participation in summer meals through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) through targeted outreach to underserved communities and increased promotion of available feeding sites to parents.
- Strengthen participation in, and food quality of school meal programs, including national school lunch and school breakfast programs, by encouraging adoption of nutrition standards and community eligibility for schools with a majority of students on free or reduced lunch.
- Support increased access to afterschool meals through promotion of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) to afterschool programs that also provide educational assistance to low income children.
ACFB supports the work of various Georgia nonprofits, businesses, and community members on the following state priorities:
Healthy Food Access
- Encourage use of the Department of Community Affairs funding for healthy food financing and incentives for initiatives, such as convenience store renovations and supermarket development projects in under-served areas.
- Support the continued expansion of federal funds for the doubling of SNAP dollars used for accessing produce at farmer’s markets and grocery stores.
- Support allocation of funds for programs that promote urban agriculture.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Encourage elimination of barriers to program access. Protect SNAP program access for qualified individuals and families
- Support education around the impact of HB 772’s photo ID implementation requirements for qualified SNAP recipients and for vendors.
- Partner with the Georgia Food Industry Association to educate retailers about the requirements of photo ID implementation.
Promote Economic Security
- Promote economic security and opportunity by educating members of the General Assembly about post-recession realities and the impact that low wage jobs have on the demand for food assistance from the food bank network and private sector donors.
- Support the Atlanta Prosperity Campaign to help connect working families and individuals to money-saving programs and existing benefits to help them build for a better future.
Child Nutrition Reauthorization
- Support access and expansion of the following programs impacted by the 2015 Child Nutrition Reauthorization:
- Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
- National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- School Breakfast Program
- Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
Tax Provisions to Encourage Food and Fund Donations
- Support renewal and expansion of the food donation tax deduction to reduce barriers to donation and divert excess food from the landfill to hungry Americans.
- Oppose a cap on the charitable giving tax deduction to protect the ability of food banks to raise vitally needed funds.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Work to improve participation in this crucial federal nutrition program.
- Oppose funding cuts and harmful policy proposals including efforts to block grant, cap, or cut funding; impose restrictive work requirements; or otherwise reduce benefits or restrict eligibility or participation.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
- Support increase in funding levels for TEFAP food and fully fund TEFAP Storage and Distribution at authorized levels.
- Encourage the Secretary of Agriculture to apply bonus TEFAP purchase criteria as generously as possible and make specialty crop purchases for TEFAP early and often to increase the availability of TEFAP commodities.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
- Support funding for CSFP to maintain current program caseloads.