CAFB Calls for Swift Passage of the American Rescue Plan, More Action Needed to Fight Record Levels of Hunger
February 12, 2021
We do not offer food. Here’s where you can find food.
This week, Congress took key steps to advance Budget Reconciliation legislation for President Biden and Vice President Harris’ American Rescue Plan, $1.9 trillion package to provide much needed stimulus and relief to the millions of Californians struggling to survive this pandemic.
We applaud the critically-needed provisions to support SNAP (known as CalFresh in California), Pandemic EBT, child nutrition, emergency food, older Americans, and other food safety net programs. The legislation also has several income assistance provisions including stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, and tax credits desperately needed by families suffering. The legislation includes supports expressly crafted to reach immigrant households, address historic racism, and other proactive steps to improve equity in federal policy and access to fundamental needs.
We urge the Congress to swiftly pass the legislation needed to enact the American Rescue Plan. We applaud the leadership of Speaker Pelosi, Rep. Lofgren, Rep. Lee, and the many members of the Agriculture, Education & Labor, Ways & Means, and other Committees advancing this legislative package.
It is also clear, however, that much more will be needed given the magnitude of this crisis. Right now, hunger is at tragic, unprecedented levels that demand a proportionate, ongoing response by policymakers.
As of late December, food insecurity has spiked to more than 25% of California households – that’s some 10 million people, and 2.5 times higher than before COVID-19. Even worse, there are deep racial and ethnic disparities, with 34.9% of Latinx and nearly 40% (38.6%) of Black households with kids facing long-term, irreparable harm from hunger.
The American Rescue Plan is estimated to cut child poverty in half, a generational advance toward a more just society. Many of the provisions are short-term, however, and we know from the Great Recession that it took a decade for food insecurity to return to pre-Recession levels. We must learn from past mistakes and we must do better, because access to food is a basic human right. We look forward to working with the Administration and Congressional leaders to maximize this pivotal moment to mitigate hunger now and take steps towards a hunger-free future for all Californians.
Summary of Key Provisions in the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2021
SNAP / CalFresh
Emergency Food & Agriculture
Older Adult Food Programs
Child Tax Credit
Earned Income Tax Credit
More information about the Budget Reconciliation Legislation to advance the American Rescue Plan: