Throughout the 2022 Legislative session, Nourish California worked with members of California’s State Assembly and State Senate to help connect Californians to the food they need to live a better life. More importantly, we worked with organizations and individuals across the state that share our values and vision of a California for all. Together, we made progress toward our ultimate goal of disrupting poverty, ending hunger, and ensuring equitable opportunity.
Major Win for Immigrants and Equity
The 2022-23 budget includes funding for Food4All to remove exclusions to the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP)/CalFresh for Californians 55 and older, regardless of immigration status. This means that California will be the first state in the nation to provide food assistance benefits to undocumented adults. We thank our cosponsors, the California Immigrant Policy Center, the over 140 organizations in the Food4All Coalition, Governor Newsom, our Legislative champions — in particular Senator Nancy Skinner, Senator Toni Atkins, Assemblymember Phil Ting, Assemblymember Anthony Rendon, Senator Eggman, and Assemblymember Santiago for their leadership and their vision to build a truly equitable nutrition safety net.
While this is a win for the Food4All campaign as well as older adult immigrants who will be able to receive critical food assistance through access to CalFresh benefits, it is not enough. There are many more California immigrants younger than 55 who will continue to face rising food insecurity and inequitable access to our nutrition safety net without a full investment in Food4All. We invite you to join us as we continue to build our campaign in 2023.
More Help Needed to Feed Our Youngest Learners
We also cosponsored SB 1481 (Becker) with the CACFP Roundtable. This timely and important bill would increase funding for child care meals and end the “pay penalty” that discriminates against daycare home child care providers. These are mainly Black, Brown, and immigrant women who are often facing significant food hardship with more than half reporting often or sometimes running out of food.
Nourish California will continue to champion policies and state investments to adequately fund child care and will lift up the need for dedicated child care nutrition funding in the state budget. We invite you to join our Food with Care campaign and lend your voice and support.
Opportunities to Improve CalFresh Remain
Our campaign to boost benefits in CalFresh will continue despite AB 2153 (Arambula), which we cosponsored with SPUR, being held in Assembly Appropriations. We are committed to breaking down barriers to accessing CalFresh, and ensuring that benefit amounts allow participants to purchase the foods they want and need to stay healthy. We’ll continue that fight with our many anti-hunger partners in 2023. Join our campaign to make CalFresh work better for everyone.
Advancing Equity In Partnership
As we do each year, we analyzed and took public positions in support of numerous bills and budget proposals. While we supported many bills and proposals focused on fighting hunger in California, we also supported proposals across a range of issues. All had these common aims: to advance equity, reduce hardship and poverty, and support the health and well-being of Californians with low-income. We are proud to work alongside so many dedicated and values-centered organizations to build a California where everyone has the resources and opportunity they need to thrive.
While we celebrate our progress, we are already hard at work listening and learning about the lives and experiences of Californians with low income to inform our 2023 policy agendas. One thing that will not change in 2023 is our urgent focus on improving access to food for Californians who face the greatest needs and the starkest inequities. We look forward to working with you and the larger movement of individuals, communities, and organizations fighting for human rights, dignity, and justice, both within California and beyond.