CAFB applauds Representatives Gomez, Harder, & Panetta for leading the charge on prioritizing college student food insecurity at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health
September 28, 2022
Ahead of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, Representatives Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Josh Harder (CA-10), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) led a letter to President Biden with 46 Members of Congress requesting the Administration to prioritize solutions to end college hunger. The letter asks the Administration to explore actions that will ease SNAP access for college students who are currently ineligible.
We are proud that the letter included 24 signatures from the California delegation, and look forward to working with our Members of Congress to achieve these policies.
College hunger in California has worsened in recent years – a staggering 44% of undergraduates and 26% of graduate students experience food insecurity. This is exacerbated by Federal SNAP laws that limit the reach of CalFresh’s anti-hunger help for students.
The good news is that we have a clear policy solution. The EATS Act (H.R. 1919 – Gomez /S. 2515 – Gillibrand) would permanently expand SNAP access to low-income college students, addressing this significant inequity in food access, and remove the complex and burdensome rules for county and state administrators.
CAFB is heartened to see the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health include many priorities the anti-hunger community has been advocating for years. It leads with school meals for all, Summer EBT, expanding SNAP to college students and formerly incarcerated individuals, permanently ending time limits (ABAWD), and much more. It also includes broader economic policies to address the root cause of hunger by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, extending and expanding Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, and investing in housing and rental assistance.
The roadmap to end hunger needs to include strategies that address the root causes of hunger, improve government income support, expand and strengthen federal nutrition programs, tailor responses and programs to meet the needs of specific populations and ensure families and individuals have access to safe housing and nutritious food.