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Governor Newsom Signs 2022-23 State Budget

July 1, 2022

Makes Ongoing Investments in California’s Anti-Hunger Programs

Last night, Governor Newsom signed the 2022 Budget Act (SB/AB 178). This Budget includes several critical investments into California’s anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs that will help to make significant strides toward our collective goal of ending hunger in California. We thank Governor Newsom and the Legislature for prioritizing the needs of low-income Californians and using the State’s unprecedented surplus to ensure a more equitable economic and pandemic recovery.

We are especially thankful that the Governor and Legislature recognized the critical role that food banks play in local communities all across our state, by investing $120 million in the CalFood program. This will allow food banks to purchase and distribute California grown foods – supporting California food producers and allowing food banks the flexibility to choose the food products that best meet their community’s needs. 

The simple fact is that the hunger crisis is far from over. Today, more than a quarter of households with children in California are food insecure, with deep disparities for Black and Latinx communities. 

In addition to providing significant support to our state’s food banks, the Budget makes historic investments in the California Food Assistance Program, school meals for all, supplemental security income (SSI), and other anti-poverty programs that address root causes of hunger. 

We are grateful to Governor Newsom, Budget Chairs Senator Skinner and Assemblymember Ting, Speaker Rendon, Pro Tem Atkins, the Budget Subcommittee Chairs, and our legislative champions who have been true leaders on these critical issues. 

“With hunger still at record levels in California, we had a tremendous opportunity and responsibility this year to center our state budget around the people who are struggling the most, and to ensure that we are investing in the programs and solutions that can make the most impact. We are sincerely thankful to Governor Newsom and the Legislature for continuing to support California’s food banks and taking bold steps toward a hunger-free future for California,” said Becky Silva, director of government relations.

Here are anti-poverty and anti-hunger highlights from the 2022 Budget Act:

  • $120 million one-time for CalFood (including $112 million in the 2022-23 budget year to be spent over 3 years, in addition to the $8 million established in the annual base budget) 
  • Over $2 billion to implement School Meals for All, make improvements to school kitchen infrastructure, enhance school food procurement, and related school meal investments
  • Expansion of the California Food Assistance Program to Californians age 55+ regardless of immigration status
  • Acceleration of SSI grant increases from January 1 2024, to January 1, 2023 (which in combination with the expected federal COLA, will increase SSI/SSP grants by approximately $107 per month)
  • Establishment of the Tribal Nutrition Assistance Program, which will award grants to tribes and tribal organizations to address food insecurity and inequities between CalFresh and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Inclusion of CalFresh data for college students in the CDSS CalFresh Data Dashboard, which will ensure greater access to CalFresh for college students
  • A significant increase to CalWORKs grants by 21% – the biggest increase in the program’s history
  • A change in child support policy allowing families that receive child support payments to receive all of it and not have it redirected to the government
  • Over $205 million to ensure access to reproductive health care
  • Expansion of health coverage to low-income undocumented immigrants of all ages
  • A reduction of civil assessment fees from $300 to $100, and discharge of civil assessment debt that accrued prior to the change in law
  • A change in tax intercept policy stopping the government from intercepting the Earned Income Tax Credit  and Young Child Tax Credit for unpaid debts
  • $100 million for HOPE (Hope, Opportunity, Perseverance, and Empowerment) accounts, which will benefit low-income children who have lost a parent or guardian to COVID-19, and children in long term foster care
  • $9.5 billion in tax rebates for tax filers, including people who file with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

Although we recognize the deep impact that these proposals will have, we were disappointed to not see ongoing funding for CalFood, an investment in Climate and Capacity Resilience for food banks, or permanent authorization of the State Disaster Food Assistance Program. We must continue to work towards preparing our anti-hunger safety net for unforeseeable disasters, and invest in infrastructure that will allow food banks to be climate smart and resilient into the future. 

Access to food is a fundamental human right, and while there’s still much work to do to achieve this for all Californians, we applaud California’s leaders for taking significant steps toward that reality.

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