This summer, as a result of the organizing efforts of United Parents and Students, Green Dot families, and the American Heart Association, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to approve $15M of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding for food security in Los Angeles County. Notably, the funds will increase the number of high-quality grocery stores in low-income communities. “I'm very happy and want to thank the United Parents and Students and the American Heart Association for their advocacy and also Northgate. As their motto is from our family to yours, I want to say that's our motto, too, for United Parents and for LA County,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair, Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District.
UPAS and the American Heart Association led advocacy efforts for over a year to secure these funds and were supported by Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Solis. “I grew up in South Central Los Angeles, so I'm very familiar with the disparities that we have been facing over the number of years in the area from supermarket access and access to good-quality food,” said Vickey Vaughn, a UPAS leader. “We need and deserve good stores throughout LA County, and the Healthy Food Kickstarter program is going to help us to get there.” The funds will support:
- The Healthy Food Kickstarter Program: $5M in ARP funds: Provide grants and technical assistance to entrepreneurs seeking to establish healthy food outlets in low-income communities and communities of color to support the long term resiliency of the healthy food supply chain in those communities.
- The Grocery Voucher Program: $10M in ARP Funds (in addition to $25M secured in October 2020). Through an existing public-private partnership involving over 40 community-based organizations, these funds will provide grocery gift cards (either physical or online app) to low-income individuals and families who do not qualify for CalFresh or other long-term food support programs.