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In our nation of wealth, no one should go hungry. We call on the California Congressional Delegation to take decisive action to end hunger and advocate for policies that address the systemic poverty facing our state.

Strengthen SNAP Through the Farm Bill

The Farm Bill is the leading legislative driver of our nation’s food and farming policy. The Farm Bill is reauthorized approximately every five years and sets food and agricultural policy that provides a safety net for our country’s agricultural producers and helps our low-income communities put food on the table, including funding CalFresh/SNAP benefits.

2023 Farm Bill

Child Nutrition Reauthorization

California anti-hunger advocates ask our Delegation to support bold proposals that protect and strengthen the child nutrition programs, and prioritize investments in low-income children. Any investments, however, must be made without undermining programs serving low-income communities.

Nearly half of California’s children live in or near poverty, the highest of any state. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the most important child hunger program. The 2018 Farm Bill that rejected SNAP time limits for families with children and gutting Broad Based Categorical Eligibility was a key victory against childhood hunger. Yet, with so many children experiencing hunger, we cannot simply protect the status quo. Child nutrition programs have not been improved since the 2010 Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act.

2022 Child Nutrition Priorities

Together We Protected SNAP from Regulatory Attacks!

Over the past several years, we successfully protected SNAP from regulatory attacks that would have weakened the program and exacerbated hunger across the country.

Public Charge

In September 2018, the Trump administration announced that they would propose a federal rule requiring health and nutrition benefits to be considered in immigration public charge determinations. After years of fierce advocacy led by the national Protecting Immigrant Families campaign and multiple lawsuits, on March 9 2021 this harmful rule was permanently blocked nationwide. Following this change, California health and human services leaders issued a joint statement, a new Public Charge Guide for individuals and families in English and Spanish, and a letter to counties providing information on this significant change. You can read CAFB’s statement here.

Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD)

This cruel rule would have mandated that people with “ABAWD” status could only get CalFresh for three months in a three-year period if they did not meet certain special work requirements. It would have cut off CalFresh for an estimated 700,000 people. Thankfully on October 18, 2020, a federal judge in the District of Columbia struck down the ABAWD rule. You can read a joint statement by the Western Center on Law and Poverty, the Impact Fund, and Pillsbury here.

Categorical Eligibility

The long-standing Categorical Eligibility rule simplifies access to CalFresh for households receiving TANF benefits, and allows states to raise income reporting thresholds to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. If the proposed federal rule proposed in July 2019 would have taken effect, it would have reduced the total number of households participating in SNAP by 9 percent and lowered annual SNAP benefits paid out nationwide by 5 percent. In January 2021, the USDA withdrew this proposed rule.

Standard Utility Allowance

This September 2019 proposed rule would have changed how states take households’ utility costs into account when determining the amount of CalFresh benefits households qualify for. In reality, this would force people to choose between paying their utilities and purchasing food, and disproportionately and detrimentally impact people with disabilities and older adults. In January 2021, the USDA withdrew this proposed rule.

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