California Anti-Hunger Legislation

February 20th, 2009
by Colleen Rivecca

St. Anthony Foundation advocates for public policies that will promote nutrition and healthy eating for all, regardless of income.  We were very excited that two of the anti-hunger bills that we’ve supported for years were signed into law in 2008.

New Anti-Hunger Bills

AB 433 removes the asset test for Food  Stamp applicants.  This means that low-income families with savings or retirement accounts worth more than $2,000 will no longer be denied Food Stamps.  The passage of this bill is timely: since the bill was signed this fall, California’s unemployment rate has climbed steadlily.  AB 433 will help newly-unemployed families afford food without depleting their savings.

AB 2300 is an important step forward in helping reduce paperwork burdens on low-income families.  AB 2300 allows families who are already  enrolled in Medi-Cal (the state’s Medicaid program) to enroll their children (and maintain enrollment) in free school meals without additional paperwork.

More work ahead in 2009

During this economic downturn, a lot of political energy will be spent on figuring out how to stimulate the economy.  Economists of all stripes believe that increasing access to Food Stamps is one of the most effective ways to do this.    Not only do Food Stamps allow struggling families to put nutritious food on the table, they create a multiplier effect in local economies, with each dollar of food stamps generating $1.84 in economic activity.  This economic activity not only helps grocers and growers, but also state and local governments.

Join us for Hunger Action Day!

St. Anthony Foundation will be working with anti-hunger groups from across the state to urge our Sacramento legislators to help improve access to the Food Stamp program by:

  • Simplifying the food stamp application process.
  • Enacting reforms that will allow more low income single adults to access Food Stamps.
  • Making it possible for more persons in drug/alcohol recovery programs to access Food Stamps and decrease the likelihood of recidivism.

Hunger Action Day will be on Wednesday May 20, 2009.  If you’d like to join St. Anthony Foundation in advocating for anti-hunger legislation at Hunger Action Day, contact Colleen Rivecca at crivecca@stanthonysf.org.

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