Take Action! Tell Governor Newsom to Raise the CalFresh Minimum Benefit

Published on Jun 15, 2023 in Adults, CalFresh, Child Nutrition, Older Adults, State Legislation

We are excited to share that the CalFresh Minimum Benefit Increase budget request was included in the joint Legislative budget bills (AB 101 & SB 101) at $30 million to implement a pilot program. Nourish California, California Association of Food Banks, Hunger Action Los Angeles, and GRACE/End Child Poverty California would like to thank Legislative leaders, especially Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins, Senate Budget Committee Chair Nancy Skinner, Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon, and Assembly Budget Committee Chair Phil Ting for supporting this urgent proposal.  

We also thank supporters of the budget request for making your voices heard. Your advocacy means we are one step closer to ensuring the state increases CalFresh benefits to help mitigate the harm caused by the CalFresh benefits cliff. Together, we've moved one step closer to ensuring no one who participates in CalFresh receives less than $50 per month in food assistance. Thank you.

We would also applaud Senator Menjivar for her strong leadership on the CalFresh Minimum Benefit Increase, and for her unwavering commitment to improving food access for Californians with low income.

What's next?

Now is the time to take action. Governor Newsom needs to hear from you! 

We need your help to ensure  the final budget approved by the Governor includes funding for the CalFresh Minimum Benefit Increase. Negotiations are happening now — don’t wait, make your voice heard and support increasing CalFresh benefits today.

1) Call and/or Email Governor Newsom

Call and leave a message using the handy script below. Or email the Governor through his office’s online comment portal:

  • Select “Budget May Revision 2023-24” in the dropdown menu.
  • Then “Leave a Comment” then click the “Next” button.
  • Click “Pro” for position, then leave your full message, using the template at the below for the body of your message.
  • Both individuals and organizations are welcome to comment, so please do share this call to action with interested partners, colleagues, friends, and family!

Sample script: 

Hi, my name is _____ and I live in ______. I’m calling to urge Governor Newsom to support the CalFresh Minimum Benefit Increase, which will raise the CalFresh minimum benefit from $23 per month to $50 per month. Please include the CalFresh increase in the final budget. Thank you.

  • Many Californians need more help putting food on the table, We need to raise the CalFresh minimum benefit from $23 per month to $50 per month.
  • Pandemic-era CalFresh benefit boosts expired abruptly in March. Raising the minimum benefit is one way to help mitigate the harm of those drastic cuts.
  • Many older adults and people with disabilities only receive $23 a month in food assistance. The state should raise that to $50.

2) Show your support on social media!

Tweet or post your support and tag Governor Newsom (@CAGovernor).

Sample tweets:

Raising the CalFresh minimum benefit  will ensure no one receives les than $50 CalFresh per month. Plz include in the final #CABudget @CAGovernor

We need to help more Californians afford the foods they need. Plz support raising the CalFresh minimum benefit to $50/mo in the final #CABudget @CAGovernor

DYK many CalFresh recipients only receive $23 per month? That's not enough to afford even the basics. Let’s raise the minimum benefit to $50/month. Plz include in the final  #CABudget @CAGovernor

Thank you for your leadership working to raise the CalFresh minimum benefit @SenatorMenjivar! @CAGovernor, please ensure this urgent proposal is included in the final #CABudget. Californians need help putting food on the table.


More than an estimated five million Californians experienced a devastating cut to their CalFresh benefits when federally funded emergency (pandemic) allotments ended in March. The average CalFresh household lost $163 per month. More than one in 10 households saw their benefits slashed from $281 to $23 per month. Increasing the minimum CalFresh benefit is one way to help mitigate this loss. California can — and should — join the several other states that have already taken this action to help prevent poverty and food insecurity.

Questions? Contact: Jared Call at jared@nourishca.org.