California State Budget Prioritizes Ending Hunger by Investing in Food Banks and Expanding Access to CalFresh
June 27, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Media Contact: Daniela Ogden, (510) 350-9919
Sacramento – Governor Jerry Brown signed the 2018-19 California State Budget today, and California Association of Food Banks applauds the $13.5 million it provides for the emergency food system. CalFood, a program that allows food banks to use their collective buying power to purchase California-produced food, received $8 million. The budget also provides $5.5 million in long-overdue infrastructure funding. In addition, the budget allows Supplemental Security Income recipients to access CalFresh (formerly known as food stamps) and provides a long-overdue cost of living increase.
“This year’s budget is a step in right direction toward ending hunger in California. Five million people depend on food banks as their only safe place to get the nutrition they need to live healthy, productive lives. We thank the Governor for these historic investments that will help food banks feed more people,” said Sue Sigler, Executive Director of California Association of Food Banks.
After a turbulent year of destructive wildfires, rocketing housing costs, and uncertain political times, food banks find themselves facing high demand for food. The CalFood and infrastructure funding will aid in meeting this need, but food banks alone can’t fulfill the entire demand for nutrition. CalFresh is a critical hunger intervention tool and will now reach upwards of 400,000 elderly and disabled people currently receiving Supplemental Security Income by ending the “cash-out” program that rendered them ineligible. The budget also re-establishes the state cost of living adjustment for recipients to ensure their modest grants do not erode to inflation.
“California still leads the nation in the number of families living below the poverty rate,” said Sigler. “But Governor Brown can leave office knowing he’s left the State with more resources to ensure no one has to worry where their next meal is coming from.”
About California Association of Food Banks
California Association of Food Banks partners with 41 food banks and over 6,000 local agencies. Our mission is to end hunger in California, and our vision is a well-nourished and hunger-free California, where all people have enough food to lead a healthy life. Learn more at www.cafoodbanks.org.