We are a statewide policy and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of low income Californians by increasing their access to nutritious, affordable food.

Oakland Office

Los Angeles Office

About Us

Top Nonprofit Medal

As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization exclusively focused on food policy, CFPA can dedicate the whole of its time, resources, and energy towards increasing low-income Californians access to healthy food.

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In 2012, CFPA engaged in a strategic planning process to establish programmatic & organizational priorities for the next three years. You can learn more about CFPA's goals for 2013-16 by reading our strategic plan.

CFPA 2013-2016 Strategic Plan.

CFPA Staff

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Jared Call, Managing Nutrition Policy Advocate, Team Lead: CalFresh, Communications
Office 213.482.8200 ext. 201, Cell 323.401.4972, jared@cfpa.net
Jared manages CFPA staff based in our Los Angeles office, where he focuses developing and implementing policies aimed at improving CalFresh access and participation. Prior to joining CFPA in 2015, Jared was Director of Programs for an LA-based non-profit working to improve food access and equity for low-income families. Jared received his BA in International Relations from San Francisco State University.

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Melissa Cannon, RD, Nutrition Policy Advocate,
Office 510.433.1122 ext. 102, Cell 213.447.2300, melissa@cfpa.net
Melissa works to promote access to nutritious, affordable foods in the child care environment and in schools. Prior to joining CFPA in 2015, Melissa worked at the Native American Health Center where she delivered nutrition services to the urban Native community and other under served populations in the Bay Area. Previously, Melissa supported health equity projects at Prevention Institute and provided administrative support for the Child Nutrition and USDA Foods Programs at the California Department of Education.
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Anna Colby, MS, MPP, Nutrition Policy Advocate, Team Lead: Afterschool, Summer
Office 213.482.8200 ext. 204, Cell 314.221.7829, anna@cfpa.net
Anna focuses on developing and implementing policies to improve school meal access, quality and appeal. In addition, she conducts research and data analysis to support policy solutions. Prior to joining CFPA in 2015, Anna was the assistant director of the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute of the University of Southern California (USC). Anna has a Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology and Master of Public Policy from USC.
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Hector Gutierrez, MURP, Nutrition Policy Advocate, Team Lead: Water
Office 213.482.8200 ext. 202, Cell 661.900.7588, hector@cfpa.net
Hector works on policies to increase participation in CalFresh and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. His work also focuses on supporting research and initiatives to increase water access in schools. Prior to joining CFPA in 2015, Hector worked as a food systems policy analyst supporting policies aimed at promoting better food environments and food access for underserved communities in LA. He received his Master in Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA and BA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley.
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Elyse Homel Vitale, MPH, Senior Advocate, Team Lead: Early Nutrition, School Meal Enrollment, Federal
Office 510.433.1122 ext. 206, Cell 858.449.3597, elyse@cfpa.net
Elyse provides leadership on CFPA projects and initiatives that aim to increase low-income children's access to the nutrition resources they need for healthy development. This includes leading our Early Childhood Nutrition, School Meal Enrollment, and Federal Advocacy teams. Prior to CFPA, Elyse worked as a preschool teacher, a research associate at UCSD, and as the Hunger Advocacy Network Coordinator for JFS San Diego. Elyse obtained her MPH in Community Health Sciences at UCLA and started with CFPA in 2010.
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Bruce Kariya, Director of Finance and Operations
Office 510.433.1122 ext. 100, bruce@cfpa.net
Bruce Kariya is CFPA's Director of Finance and Operations and has over 25 years of experience in finance and accounting. For many years, Bruce was the Director of Finance & Operations for Children Now, an Oakland-based, nonprofit, nonpartisan, independent voice for children, working to translate the nation's commitment to children and families into action. He was elected to the Oakland Unified School District Board in 1998. He is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
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George Manalo-LeClair, MSW, Executive Director
Office 510.433.1122 ext. 103, Cell 415.794.6080, george@cfpa.net
George provides overall policy and administrative leadership for the organization. For many years, George directed CFPA's legislative efforts and led CFPA's CalFresh team, championing efforts to remove barriers to participation. Prior to joining CFPA, he was the Legislative Director for the Children's Alliance in Washington. George has a master's degree in social work and more than two decades of experience in advocacy dating back to his time with the Jesuit Volunteer Corp. He joined CFPA in 1999.
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Tracey Patterson, MPH, Director of Legislation, Team Lead: Legislation, REAL/School Lunch Office 510.433.1122 ext. 101, Cell 415.794.8645, tracey@cfpa.net
Tracey directs CFPA's state legislative efforts. She also leads the work on school meal quality and afterschool nutrition in an effort to ensure that student meals are nutritious, appealing and accessible. Prior to joining CFPA in 2013, she had a decade of experience in health and education. Tracey has led efforts with policy makers, public schools, community-based organizations and coalitions, academics/researchers, and public health departments. She has a Master of Public Health from the City University of New York.
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Tia Shimada, MPH, Director of Programs, Team Lead: Breakfast, Research & Data
Office 510.433.1122 ext. 109, tia@cfpa.net
Tia is responsible for overarching coordination of CFPA's work on child nutrition issues. She also oversees the development of CFPA's annual research and state administrative agendas for all program areas. In addition, Tia leads CFPA's work to improve access, participation, and nutritional quality with respect to the School Breakfast Program. She received her Master of Public Health from UC Berkeley, began interning with CFPA in 2008, and joined the staff in 2009.