Support Boosting CalFresh Benefits as AB 2153 (Arambula) Heads to Assembly Appropriations

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Published on Apr 27, 2022 in CalFresh, State Legislation

We are thrilled to share that AB 2153 (Arambula) the CalFresh Fruit & Vegetable Supplemental Benefits Expansion, passed out of the Assembly Agriculture Committee today! Nourish California and SPUR, the bill’s cosponsors, would like to thank supporters of the bill for the strong showing at today’s hearing.

Over 40 organizations and individuals across the state submitted letters of support, and over 10 organizations expressed support during the hearing’s public comment period. We are grateful for all who took time out of their busy schedules to make their voices heard. Together, we can dramatically increase the number and geographic diversity of CalFresh households who can access supplemental benefits, and move the program one step closer to becoming a permanent supplement to CalFresh. Thank you.

We would like to give a special thank you to David Barber-Dunham and members of the Community Council under the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative. David's powerful testimony illustrated the challenges CalFresh participants face affording the foods they need and want to stay healthy. He also told the Committee how helpful supplemental benefit programs have been for him as a !Mas Fresco! participant and that AB 2153 would benefit more people in his situation. We appreciate his willingness to share his lived experience.

We would also like to thank Assemblymember Arambula for his leadership on AB 2153, and for his ongoing commitment to improving food access for Californians with low income.

What’s next?

We have three advocacy actions you can take right now in support of AB 2153

Now that the bill has passed it's policy committee hearings in the Assembly, the bill is moving to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Join us in asking the Committee to move the bill on to the Assembly Floor!

Here are four easy ways to support boosting CalFresh benefits:

1) Call and/or Email these key Legislators:

Please also contact your Assemblymember if they are listed below as members of the Appropriations Committee (find your Rep here):

Sample script: 

Hi, my name is _____ and I live in ______. I’m calling to urge Assemblymember ______ to support AB 2153, a bill that will boost CalFresh benefits to help people afford the foods they need and want to stay healthy. It will also support California farmers and grocery retailers. Please support AB 2153. Thank you. [Or choose one or more of the following reasons or tell them your own]

  • This important bill will help families afford the foods they need to stay healthy and help alleviate the economic strain farmers are currently facing.
  •  In the long-term, AB 2153 will position the program to become permanently available to CalFresh families throughout California
  • No one should go hungry in the great state of California. Food is an essential part of a full and healthy life. AB 2153 is a “win- win-win” that reduces hunger, improves public health, and boosts California’s agricultural economy.

2) Show your support on social media!

Tweet or post your support and tag key members, especially Assemblymember Holden (@ChrisHoldenNews) and Speaker Rendon (@Rendon63rd).

Sample tweets:

#AB2153 is a “win- win-win” that reduces hunger, improves public health, and boosts California’s agricultural economy @ChrisHoldenNews @Rendon63rd https://bit.ly/3EQLbsI

Support AB 2153, the CalFresh Fruit & Vegetable Supplemental Benefits Expansion. Fight hunger, improve health, and support California agriculture @ChrisHoldenNews @Rendon63rd https://bit.ly/3EQLbsI

AB 2153 will bolster households' food budgets and help make California-grown fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable for Californians with low incomes. Support AB 2153! @ChrisHoldenNews @Rendon63rd https://bit.ly/3EQLbsI

3) We are also advancing a state budget request to allocate the funding called for in AB 2153.

Click here to read our budget sign-on letter add your organization in support of funding the CalFresh Fruit and Vegetable Supplemental Benefits Expansion.

4) Stay informed! Sign up to receive AB 2153 updates at our Action Center.

Background

Fruit and vegetable supplemental benefit programs, which provide CalFresh participants with matching dollars when they buy California-grown fruits and vegetables, make food more affordable while also supporting California farmers. Numerous organizations have piloted these initiatives, also commonly known as healthy food incentive programs, at grocery stores and farmers’ markets in California. Evaluations from those programs in California, and others nationally, show that they reduce hunger, improve health, and boost the agricultural economy.

We applaud Assemblymember Arambula's leadership to boost CalFresh and move a major step closer to a statewide supplement benefits program. We need your help to show broad support to the Legislature. You can support AB 2153 by joining our campaign and taking one or more of the actions above today!

Questions? Contact: Jared Call at .