Governor’s Budget Prioritizes Human Services Programs
On January 10th, Governor Newsom released his proposed 2020-2021 budget for the State of California. We were thrilled to see that the year-round advocacy efforts of the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank and our statewide anti-hunger coalition partners achieved significant investments for low-income Californians.
Governor Newsom’s proposed budget signals the State’s willingness to join us in our efforts to help the more than 4 million (11.2%) Californians struggling to feed themselves and their families.
Here are a few of the new State investments that will help feed our neighbors:
- Food for Food Banks: $8 million will be allocated for CalFood to support food banks’ purchase of California-grown foods.
- An additional one-time $20 million investment to support increased food purchases to help mitigate the loss of CalFresh benefits due to federal food stamp cuts.
- Improved School Meals: $60 million to increase the state’s portion of the school meal reimbursement rate, which should result in higher nutritional quality meals for kids.
- College Pantries: $11.4 million will be invested to establish or support food pantries on college campuses, like the ones the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank has developed.
More Work Needed to End Hunger Among Vulnerable Californians
The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank advocated, along with our partners at the Californians for SSI (CA4SSI) Coalition, for a much-needed restoration of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) grants. These grants were cut during the Great Recession and never restored once the economy improved. The maximum federal SSI benefit of $771 a month is just 74% of today’s federal poverty line, and leaves some of our most vulnerable neighbors hungry and impoverished. We know SSI is a crucial program in helping lift seniors and disabled Californians out of poverty and we will continue to advocate for SSI increases in the final budget agreement.
We are also pushing to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Young Child Tax Credit to immigrant families who pay taxes, earn insufficient wages from their jobs, and experience significant economic disparities in our communities.
San Francisco-Marin Food Bank Policy and Advocacy 2020 Outlook
In the coming months, the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank will continue to advocate for programs and policies that will alleviate hunger in our communities. We cannot achieve #FoodforAll without a strong social safety net, the support of our elected officials, and the countless contributions of our community-based partners and supporters.
Stay tuned for more Policy & Advocacy updates throughout 2020!
Photo: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press