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California Association of Food Banks Pushes Governor to Combat Hunger and Poverty in Budget Release

January 10, 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Media Contact:
Daniela Ogden, California Association of Food Banks
 (510) 350-9919, daniela@cafoodbanks.org

Sacramento – Governor Jerry Brown releases his last California state budget today, and members of California Association of Food Banks (@cafoodbanks) hope it includes funds for both CalFood and California State Supplemental Payment. California has the highest rate of poverty in the nation once the cost of living is taken into consideration and the state budget has historically placed little emphasis on funding social safety net programs.

Food bankers and anti-hunger advocates are requesting $17.5 million be added to the budget for the CalFood Fund. An investment of this size would provide some 87.5 million meals to hungry Californians. Advocates are also requesting that SSI payments return to their pre-Great Recession amounts, $233 a month for individuals and $568 a month for couples. 

“While California food banks are always spread too thin, 2017 created even more challenges to feeding people,” said Andrew Cheyne, Director of Government Affairs for California Association of Food Banks. “We responded to some of the worst wildfires we’ve ever seen, experienced wide-spread fear around immigration, and are still reeling from the passing of the tax plan last month.”

CalFood strengthens the emergency food network by enabling California food banks to purchase California-grown foods, which also makes it a benefit for the state’s agricultural sector. Unlike other social safety-net programs like CalFresh, it is a no-questions-asked form of aid that families can access immediately during difficult times. This assistance is especially helpful for people impacted by natural disasters, seasonal employment, or other unforeseen circumstances.

California State Supplemental Payment is a state-supported addition to Supplemental Security Income due to the state’s high cost of living. Supplemental Security Income is a safety net program administered by the Social Security Administration that provides a very basic income to older adults and people with disabilities with no or very limited other income or resources.

“Governor Brown frequently speaks about California as the bellwether of positive social change in the US,” said Cheyne. “Today we’re offering him an opportunity to show the rest of the country that it is possible to have both a robust economy and a well-cared for population. We hope he takes us up on it.”

WHEN: Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 9:00

WHERE: California State Capitol, Governor’s Press Conference Room, Room 1190, Sacramento, CA 95814

WHO: Andrew Cheyne, Director of Government Affairs with California Association of Food Banks, is available for interview. Call (651) 246-4738 to be connected.

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.


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