Today we learned that the California Legislature has included Food4All in its version of the 2021-22 State Budget. If enacted, the proposal would modernize the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) by expanding eligibility to all those excluded from CalFresh solely due to immigration status.
We applaud the Senate and Assembly leadership for prioritizing a permanent solution to the immigrant exclusion in CalFresh. California can lead the way by advancing bold policy solutions like Food4All that reject racism and xenophobia by creating an equitable nutrition safety net.
We also thank Senator Hurtado for her leadership on Food4All (ComidaParaTodos), our cosponsors California Immigrant Policy Center, and our Food4All Coalition partners.
While today's news brings us one step closer to a California where immigration status is no longer a barrier to vital food assistance, our work is far from finished. We look forward to continuing to advocate with the Legislature and Newsom administration during the next critical weeks to ensure Food4All is included in the final budget.
Together, we can take a bold step forward toward a future where all Californians — regardless of immigration status — have the food they need.
Take Action here.
Join the Food4All campaign here.
While the majority of Californians are eligible to receive CalFresh food assistance if the need arises, current laws explicitly exclude undocumented immigrants, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and others from federal SNAP/CalFresh and the state-funded California Food Assistance Program (CFAP). These are not isolated communities. Roughly one in six of California kids lives with at least one undocumented parent, and nearly one in ten California workers is undocumented. They are our neighbors, our friends, our classmates, the frontline workers who keep us safe, the teachers who educate our kids, and the healthcare professionals who put their lives on the line to heal others.
Yet, despite making significant and ongoing contributions to California’s overall prosperity, immigrants with temporary or undocumented status face discrimination and structural barriers to employment, education, and public services. As a result, children with working immigrant parents are twice as likely to live in poverty than children with non-immigrant working parents. The pandemic has worsened hardship for immigrants across California, many of whom are locked out of economic relief, including our most effective anti-hunger program—CalFresh/CFAP.