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About Us

Guidestar Transparency 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 2016, 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 2017-20 by reading our strategic plan. PDF

A critical piece of the plan is the effort to accelerate the arrival of an age of equity and inclusion. PDF

Our prior 2013-16 plan PDF.

CFPA Staff

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Kristal Caballero, Sarah Samuels Policy Fellow
Office 510.433.1122, Cell 408.515.8941,
Kristal supports CFPA's legislative agenda priorities, assists with the production and dissemination of reports and publications, and helps manage CFPA's communications and social media content. Prior to joining CFPA, Kristal worked on hunger issues in Santa Cruz County as a Nutrition Educator with Second Harvest Food Bank and as Executive Director of Pajaro Valley Loves and Fishes Kitchen and Pantry. Kristal is currently obtaining her Master's in Public Health Nutrition from UC Berkeley.

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Jared Call, Managing Nutrition Policy Advocate, Team Lead: CalFresh, Federal, Communications
Office 213.482.8200 ext. 201, Cell 323.401.4972,
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 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 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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Elyse Homel Vitale, MPH, Senior Advocate, Team Lead: Early Nutrition, School Meal Enrollment
Office 510.433.1122 ext. 206, Cell 858.449.3597,
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 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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Kevin Lee, MA, Nutrition Policy Advocate
Office 213.482.8200 ext. 202, Cell 650.888.6804,
Kevin has a special interest in the intersection of immigration reform and CFPA’s mission. Current projects include statewide work around increasing immigrant access to nutrition programs, early child care, and improving water quality and access; and federal work on the 2018 farm bill reauthorization. Prior to joining CFPA in 2017, Kevin was an immigrant youth organizer, and his research has been published with the Migration Policy Institute. He obtained his MA from the University of Chicago.

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George Manalo-LeClair, MSW, Executive Director
Office 510.433.1122 ext. 103, Cell 415.794.6080,
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 leads CFPA's state legislative agenda and annual policy development process, and has a special interest in the intersection of income and wealth inequality and CFPA’s mission. She is dedicated to listening to people and communities and working together for positive policy change based on that information. Prior to joining CFPA in 2013, she had a decade of experience in school and community-based 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 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.