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About Us

Guidestar Transparency Medal

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

In 2016, CFPA engaged in a strategic planning process to establish programmatic & organizational priorities for the next three years. Learn more about CFPA's goals for 2017-19 and our commitment to advance equity and diversity. link

Our Team

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Jared Call, Senior Advocate
Phone 323.401.4972, jared@cfpa.net
Jared leads CFPA's state legislative agenda and the annual policy development process related to state legislation. Specific projects include implementing policies to improve CalFresh access and participation, and ensuring successful implementation of state-funded nutrition benefit pilot projects. Jared received his BA in International Relations from San Francisco State University.

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Melissa Cannon, MS, RD, Senior Advocate
Phone 209.200.8446, melissa@cfpa.net
Melissa leads CFPA's federal advocacy and engagement efforts. She advocates progressive programs and policies that promote fair access to food for our state’s critically under-resourced communities. She specializes in the intersection of law, health care, and access to social services. Melissa is a Registered Dietitian and holds a Masters of Science in Health Policy and Law from UCSF and UC Hastings School of Law. She joined CFPA in 2015.

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Elsa M. Esparza, RD, Sarah Samuels Public Health Fellow
Cell 909.477.0253, elsa@cfpa.net
Elsa received her B.S. in Clinical Nutrition at UC Davis, completed her dietetic internship at CSU Sacramento, and is currently a Master of Public Health student at UC Berkeley. As the Sarah Samuels Public Health Fellow, this summer she will be synthesizing evidence and crafting a policy analysis with recommendations to increase the use of WIC benefits and strategies to better serve the needs of eligible individuals and their families.

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Elyse Homel Vitale, MPH, Senior Advocate
Office 510.433.1122, Cell 858.449.3597, elyse@cfpa.net
Elyse leads CFPA's annual administrative advocacy development process, directs CFPA's early childhood advocacy initiatives, and specializes in child-related policy advocacy. She holds an MPH from UCLA, and joined CFPA in 2010. Elyse has over 10 years of experience leading public health, social services, research, organizing, and advocacy projects.

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George Manalo-LeClair, MSW, Executive Director
Direct 510.560.6483, 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 nearly three decades of experience in advocacy dating back to his time with the Jesuit Volunteer Corp. He joined CFPA in 1999.

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Kameron Mims-Jones, MSW, Policy Advocate
Direct C: 323.637.4576, kameron@cfpa.net
Kameron is a member of the CalFresh team, whose work is focused on implementing policies to improve access and participation. She is a passionate advocate for policies that promote social and economic justice for historically marginalized individuals and communities. Kameron received her MSW from Columbia University School of Social Work and joined the staff in 2019.

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Tia Shimada, MPH, Director of Programs
Office 510.433.1122, tia@cfpa.net
Tia provides overarching leadership for CFPA’s programmatic work. She also oversees CFPA’s annual research agenda. Her areas of expertise include policy advocacy to optimize the federal nutrition programs and harnessing research to drive public policy. Tia has a strong interest in advancing equity and inclusion through systems change. She received her Master of Public Health from UC Berkeley and joined the staff in 2009.

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Gabby Tilley, MPP, Policy Advocate
Office 213.482.8200, Cell 562.544.7105, gabby@cfpa.net
Gabby leads CFPA’s work to increase food access among immigrant Californians; and provides communications and organizing support around efforts to extend the reach of state and federal nutrition programs. Prior to joining CFPA, Gabby served two AmeriCorps VISTA terms with the Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps where she worked to increase SNAP participation and promote collaboration between anti-hunger organizations across the country. She received her Master of Public Policy from University of Southern California and joined the staff in 2018.