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California Association of Food Banks’ Statement on Governor Brown’s May State Budget Revise

May 14, 2018

We thank Governor Brown for including $8 million for CalFood in his May budget revise. CalFood funding is critical to California’s food banks because one in eight Californians, including one in four children, depend on food banks for nutrition. While we appreciate this one-time investment in the budget, we hope the Governor acknowledges that this amount doesn’t sustain our state’s emergency food system which requires the full $20.6 million in ongoing support for CalFood and the one-time investment of $25 million for food bank infrastructure that we requested.

One in eight Californians don’t know where their next meal is coming from, and they may now lose their access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program because of cuts in the House Farm Bill. At 20.6%, our state also has the nation’s highest poverty rate and California food banks struggle to meet this need. The demand for emergency food is increasing as Californian families struggle with unprecedented devastation from wildfires and a meteoric rise in housing costs.

Food banks are an integral part of California’s anti-hunger safety net. They keep five million people healthy with fresh produce and protein. But food banks are hamstrung, in part because it has been almost 20 years since the state invested in the food bank infrastructure. Food banks raise funds to support their needs from the private sector, but it’s time for the state to step up and help food banks.

As the Governor makes final changes to the state’s budget, we encourage him to think of the five million Californians that depend on food banks as their only safe place to get the nutrition they need to live healthy, productive lives by including $20.6 million for CalFood and $25 million for infrastructure.

(Photo by Linea Kyle/Flickr Creative Commons)

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