Food4All Coalition Responds to Governor’s Proposed Revisions to the 2024-25 State Budget

Published on May 10, 2024 in CalFresh, Food4All, Immigrants, Older Adults


May 10, 2024


Linda Zhang,, 516-395-5866

Food4All Coalition and Anti-Hunger Advocates React to Gov. Newsom’s May Revision Budget Delaying Food Benefits to Immigrant Californians Aged 55 and Over

Los Angeles – Today, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his May Revision of the 2024-25 state budget plan, which stalls California’s progress towards fair food access by delaying the state’s previous commitment to provide food access to immigrant Californians aged 55 and older.

The governor’s proposed budget revision goes back on the promise made in the 2023-24 state budget plan by delaying the expansion to 2027. As a result, hundreds of thousands of older Californians will continue to be cut out of accessing critical food programs, solely due to their immigration status.

Nearly half, or 45 percent, of undocumented Californians are food insecure. A delay in programs that address this urgent need for food, especially in a deficit year, leads to worsened and costly health outcomes.

In the coming negotiations over the state budget, the Food4All coalition will continue to work with members of the Legislature and the governor’s office to advocate for the removal of exclusions to food assistance based on people’s age or immigration status and ensure that all Californians have access to the food they need. No exceptions, no exclusions, no delays.

In response to Gov. Newsom’s revised budget plan today, the below members of the Food4All coalition issued the following statements:

Benyamin Chao, Health & Public Benefits Policy Manager at California Immigrant Policy Center:

“We are profoundly disappointed by the governor’s decision to go back on his word and delay food access to thousands of older immigrant Californians. It is unfair to propose balancing the state budget on the backs of vulnerable Californians. By neglecting the basic needs of immigrant families, we not only betray our state’s values but also jeopardize the economic resilience and social fabric of our communities.”

Jackie Mendelson, Policy Advocate at Nourish California:

“Excluding older immigrants from our food safety net for two more years is a deeply disappointing step backward for a state that boasts values of equity and inclusion. Our state leaders have failed to invest in the wellbeing of all Californians. Once again, immigrant communities are denied access to food, a basic need, and left out of a safety net program that provides a lifeline to families experiencing food insecurity and heightened economic hardship. Californians cannot afford to wait for Food4All.”

Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger):

“Ensuring food security for all Californians is not just a moral imperative, but an economic necessity. Our state budget can do much more to ensure the human right to food for the entire household. Excluding immigrant communities, especially those who grow our nation’s food, undermines our collective well-being and hinders our state’s ability to thrive.”

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles):

“Nothing is more important than ensuring that all of our communities can afford to feed their families. Postponing Food4All is unjust – California’s immigrant communities cannot afford to wait for access to food assistance. If we want our state to be a place where everyone can thrive, we must ensure Food4All is enacted with no exceptions and no delays.”

Dr. Seciah Aquino, Executive Director at Latino Coalition for a Healthy California:

“Food insecurity continues to be a very pervasive issue among Latines in California, especially undocumented individuals. Over 85 percent of the undocumented population in California is Latine and Indigenous Mesoamerican. Access to food is an absolute necessity to lead healthy and thriving lives, regardless of documentation status or age. We are disheartened by the May revision proposal to delay life-saving food access to undocumented adults 55+ and urge the governor to take action and not stall this expansion. Latine and Indigenous individuals, who harvest the food on our tables, must have access now.”

Melissa Arvizu, Director of Nutrition & Food Security Programs at National Health Foundation:

“Governor Newsom’s proposed delay to the expansion of food assistance to seniors over the age of 55 is disappointing. We are witnessing growing food insecurity in the communities we serve throughout Los Angeles and how vital these benefits are. Our belief that all people deserve access to food fuels our continued fight for food for all Californians regardless of age or citizenship.”


The Food4All coalition is a diverse, robust coalition of more than 100 anti-hunger, anti-poverty, immigrant rights, and grassroots organizations that are working together to bring an equitable food safety net that does not discriminate based on immigration status.

Founded in 1992 and operating for over a quarter century as California Food Policy Advocates, Nourish California is a nonpartisan, statewide 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We engage in policy advocacy and research at the local, regional, and state levels in California and at the federal level. When our small team isn’t out meeting with communities, partners, and policymakers, we can be found in our offices in Oakland, Los Angeles (virtual), and San Diego (virtual).

The California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) is a statewide immigrant rights organization that advocates for policies that protect and advance the rights of immigrants and their families throughout California. CIPC combines legislative and policy advocacy, strategic communications, statewide organizing, and regional coalition capacity building to pursue its mission of advocating for policies that uphold the humanity of immigrants and refugees while advancing racial, social, and economic justice.


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