Nominations for the 11th Annual Stampy Awards from across the state honor the efforts of individuals working to improve the Food Stamp Program in California. This year, our very own Cindy McCown has been nominated, along with Jim Beall, our hunger-fighting champion in the California State Assembly!

Vote Now through January 31, 2010.

We at Second Harvest Food Bank are deeply concerned because many of the people we serve are also participants or are eligible for crucial safety net programs such as Food Stamps.

Second Harvest supports initiatives that would increase participation in state and federal supplemental food programs. This will relieve strain on our resources, allowing us to concentrate on those in our community who do not qualify for those programs but still meet our income guidelines (approximately 200% of the Federal Poverty Line).

By voting, you are rewarding efforts to improve the program, as well as identifying actions and attitudes you want replicated. A popular segment of the CFPA Food Stamp Forum, the Stampy Award ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate and honor the achievements and contributions of our colleagues in improving the Food Stamp Program at the local, county, and state levels over the past year. It’s a bit like the Golden Globes of the food stamp world! The winners will be announced at the 11th Annual Food Stamp Forum on Thursday, February 18, 2010 in Sacramento.

Our Nominees of Choice:

Cindy McCown
Senior Director of Programs and Services
Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties

Through Ms. McCown’s dedication she helped to create a pilot project with Santa Clara County Social Service Office in 2006 that allows for all applicants that are assisted with Food Stamp applications by Food Bank staff to be able to have their appointments be held within 5 days.  Approximately 80% of applicants assisted by the Food Bank are seen within 4 days by the SSA office.  This is remarkable in a State where many applicants are not able to be seen for up to a month or more.

A second example of her work that has led to improving the collaboration between the Food Bank and the County is the funding received by both San Mateo and Santa Clara counties to support the Food Stamp outreach work of the Food Bank.  San Mateo County has provided a 2 1/2 year contract for the work and Santa Clara County funding has been on-going and will be continued.  In addition, she has most recently accepted a donation from Santa Clara County of an RV outfitted for community clinic and outreach work that will become a “Food Stamp Mobile” to station in isolated and “walking-community” high-need locations throughout San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.

Without Cindy’s persistence and vision the Food Bank would not be assisting with Food Stamp applications.  During the First 5 months of FY 2009-2010 (July-November) the Food Bank assisted 696 households with Food Stamp applications.

Jim Beall
California State Assembly Member

Assembly Member Jim Beall (D-San Jose) has championed legislation to remove barriers to food stamps, remove asset barriers for applicants, and urged Congress to remove finger-imaging and the Obama adminstration to reduce paperwork in California’s Food Stamp Program. He is the chairman of the Assembly Human Services Committee and serves as the chairman of the Select Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and the Select Committee on Foster Care.