TACORAMA Festival Raises Hunger Awareness in the Latino (and Taco-loving) Community

April 30th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

The first ever Austin Taco Festival kicks off May 5 and runs through May 12 to celebrate Latino heritage, and of course, Austin’s favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner – the taco.  Participants can look forward to art, music, film screenings and lots of great Latino-inspired foods.   All events are free and open to the public.

We are teaming up with LATINO Magazine to support their efforts to raise awareness of the hunger crisis facing Austin and the Latino community through these special events.

Saturday, May 5, 12-3 p.m.:  Bring healthy, non-perishable food items to the Cinco de Mayo celebration and food drive at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center.

Tuesday, May 8, 6-8 p.m.:  A panel of community leaders, including CAFB’s Senior Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, Kathy Green, will participate in a town hall meeting to discuss hunger issues at the Mexican American Cultural Center.  You can also read Kathy’s op-ed in the current issue of Latinometro magazine.

Learn more about TACORAMA by visiting http://latinometro.com/tacorama/

 

Advocacy and Public Policy Update: SNAP Cuts in Farm Bill, Urban Farming Hearings, Austin TACORAMA Highlights Hunger

April 24th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Federal

On Friday, the Senate Agriculture Committee released its version of the 2012 Farm Bill.  The bill makes $4 billion in cuts to SNAP through tightening restrictions on the “Heat and Eat” program—a program that does not affect Texas.  The Senate bill also makes a $10 million per year increase to TEFAP.  Mark-up on the bill will start tomorrow, May 25.

On the House side, the House Agriculture Committee is beginning its hearings on the Farm Bill. The committee has been taking input from the public on priorities they want to see addressed.  Advocates can submit their comments on the committee website until May 20.

On May 8, the committee’s Subcommittee on Nutrition and Horticulture will hold its hearing in Washington, DC on the nutrition portion of the bill.

The House Agriculture Committee will have to reconcile the direction given to it by the House Budget Committee last month.  Although mostly ceremonial, the budget committee voted to cut SNAP by $33 billion.

State

The House Agriculture Committee and the House Committee on Urban Affairs held a hearing last week related to community gardens and urban farming. To watch the hearing, click on House Agriculture Committee, 4/18. Among the topics discussed were ideas to give tax incentives for property owners to allow their land to be used for urban farming efforts.

Monday evening, HBO screened part of its “Weight of the Nation” series at the Blanton Museum.  The series features Texas data, including information about the high rates of obesity among Texas children.  Comptroller Susan Combs is interviewed in the series, and several public health experts from Texas are in the film as well.    In May, the series will be shown on HBO.com.

Local

The City of Austin bond committee released its draft report Monday night, recommending $659 million in projects to be included on a November ballot.  Among the projects recommended is $700,000 in improvements to parkland consistent with the city’s sustainability initiative to include: Community Gardens, Urban Agriculture, Recycling, Historic and Art Preservation, Water Quality & Conservation, Wildfire Containment, and Remote Access Systems.

Latino Magazine will be hosting TACORAMA May 5-12 to raise awareness of hunger among the Latino community in Austin. CAFB will be involved in the festival, including the Cinco de Mayo celebration on May 5, as well as participating in a panel discussion on hunger on May 8.  Visit www.latinometro.com for more information and a schedule of events.