Jessica Bartholow recognized for her work expanding food security for low-income Americans

March 1, 2012 (SACRAMENTO) – Jessica Bartholow, a Sacramento-based policy advocate with the Western Center on Law and Poverty, has been named as the recipient of the 2012 Wellstone-Wheeler Anti-Hunger Advocacy Leadership Award. Bartholow was recognized for her work expanding food security for low-income Americans.

“Jessica Bartholow is a force of nature,” said Paul Tepper, executive director of Western Center.  “We are thrilled that the Anti-Hunger community has recognized her extraordinary work.”

Bartholow, who joined the Center in 2010, has extensive experience as an advocate for low-income families and individuals, including roles as a grassroots organizer, program manager and policy director. While at the California Association of Food Banks, she built a statewide network of food stamp advocates and application assisters, and led California’s anti-hunger community in the 2008 federal reauthorization of the Food Stamp Program.  As chairperson of the California Hunger Action Coalition, she led several legislative actions, including an early budget coalition opposing cuts to safety-net programs that culminated in a Capitol rally with thousands in attendance. Bartholow has also chaired and staffed a number of task forces and authored several advocate guides and training tools pertaining to food stamps, Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) and program modernization.

The Wellstone-Wheeler Anti-Hunger Advocacy Leadership Award is named after Dr. Raymond Wheeler, a physician whose findings about hunger led to the expansion of the Food Stamp Program in the late 1960s, and Former U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, who challenged his colleagues in Congress to reject stereotypes and misinformation about low-income people in America.

About Western Center on Law and Poverty

Western Center on Law and Poverty is an independent nonprofit law firm founded in 1967 as a joint legal clinic of the law schools of USC, UCLA and Loyola.  Western Center brings about system-wide change on behalf of low-income individuals and families through pivotal impact litigation; hard hitting advocacy; negotiations with state and local government; and support for local legal aid programs.  Western Center’s work reaches every county to lead the fight for justice in the state of California.