California Association of Food Banks Responds to Governor’s May Revise State Budget Proposal
mayo 12, 2023
This morning Governor Newsom released his May Revise of the 2023-24 state budget plan, which outlines his priorities and vision for California. We are very grateful for the many proposals to address significant challenges California is facing today, including the unprecedented CalFresh benefits cliff and resulting hunger crisis. We urge the Governor and budget leaders to continue to proactively invest in programs to help fight hunger and poverty — which otherwise may lead to a rise in food insecurity that could last a decade.
Hunger is again on the rise, with over 1 in 5 households impacted, and a disproportionate impact experienced in Black and Latine communities. It is more important than ever to ensure that low-income Californians are centered in the State budget so that we can continue to build on the tremendous investments that prevented a full-scale hunger crisis through the pandemic.
In March, CalFresh recipients — more than 5 million Californians — received their last Emergency Allotment, which provided a critical boost to their benefits throughout the COVID-19 crisis. And this summer, California will issue the final installment of the highly impactful Pandemic EBT benefits, as a result of the ending of the Federal Public Health Emergency status. In total, the end of these two Federally funded benefits programs represents a loss of one third of the meals in California’s food safety net, and we are already seeing the impact of this at food banks who are reporting alarming spikes in demand throughout their communities.
We are grateful to Governor Newsom for protecting investments in many important anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs that support millions of Californians every day:
In addition to these important priorities, we call on budget leaders to include the following priorities that are critical to mitigating hunger:
The May Revise proposes a withdrawal of $450 million from the Safety Net Reserve. Health and human services investments should instead come from other reserves: the purpose of the Safety Net Reserve is for spikes in enrollment, which we do not currently have but may still occur, especially given the projection for a potential recession.
As we look to final budget negotiations in the weeks ahead, we call on Governor Newsom and the Legislature to act boldly and commit to investing in our state’s network of food banks, emergency food providers, and safety net programs as we work together to mitigate hunger.