The Advocacy Team at the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano is encouraged by another year of progress in the food security movement. On June 27th, Governor Newsom signed the 2022 Budget Act (SB/AB 178) – this Budget makes multiple investments in anti-hunger initiatives that will further the creation and strengthening of a robust social safety net. The Food Bank thanks the California Legislature for uplifting the needs of food insecure Californians and recognizing the essential nature of food banks as we collectively serve our communities for supplemental and emergency food needs 365 days a year.
Some of the highlights from this 2022-2023 Budget that we’ve advocated for are:
- $120 million one-time investment in the CalFood program – this will allow food banks to purchase and distribute California-grown foods. This includes $112 million in the 2022-2023 budget year to be spent over three years, in addition to the $8 million established in the annual base budget.
- Over $2 billion to implement School Meals for All, make improvements to school kitchen infrastructure, enhance school food procurement, and related school meal investments
- Expansion of the California Food Assistance Program to Californians age 55+ regardless of immigration status
- Inclusion of CalFresh data for college students in the CDSS CalFresh Data Dashboard, this will ensure greater access to CalFresh for college students
The above investments highlight a few of the milestone achievements we can be proud of in California. Although not all of the items we advocated for are included in the 2022 Budget Act, we will continue to partner with our community members, elected officials, and food security network to prioritize legislation that supports our social safety net throughout all times and bolsters the infrastructure of California food banks.
“Achieving food security is a collective movement – one that will require long-term solutions that address the root causes of hunger in our communities. Legislative advocacy allows us the opportunity to directly engage in the creation of effective public policy that strengthens our social safety net, mitigating hunger-causing factors along the way.” -Cassidie Carmen Bates, Government & Public Affairs Manager
Thank you to the California Legislature for prioritizing food security in the 2022 Budget Act and we are deeply grateful to all of our community advocates and elected officials who have partnered with us in efforts to articulate the hunger need in Contra Costa and Solano Counties. If you’re interested in joining us as an anti-hunger advocate, you can learn more here.