Second Harvest would like to highlight policies and administrative opportunities that would allow us to better fight hunger in California and nationally. As bills are introduced, we will offer a more specific policy agenda, but our principles and key issues are outlined below.
- SNAP/CalFresh: Continue to protect and strengthen this important supplemental grocery benefit program. Oppose structural changes or cuts to funding.
- School Meals: Universal, free school meals are our long-term goal. Universal school meals reduce stigma, which increases participation in meals. And they ensure that all children are well-nourished and ready to learn. Reauthorizing and strengthening this important nutritional program is a key priority.
- Summer Meals: Summer meals help keep children well-nourished when school is out. Fully funding these programs in low-income areas is an important priority and we also want to work to create adjustments for local cost of living.
- The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP): TEFAP is an important source of food for food banks. We advocate for strong funding, including providing $100 million for TEFAP storage and distribution.
- Public Charge: We will continue to speak out against changes to Public Charge that spread fear and keep people from using the nutritional benefits to which they are entitled.
- Charitable Deductions: Extend the individual charitable deduction to all taxpayers subject to a minimum giving floor.
- CalFood: Support for food banks to purchase $24.5 million worth of California-grown foods to feed those in need.
- Food Bank Infrastructure Capacity: Provide $20 million one-time funding to expand the capabilities of California’s food bank network.
- Food Donation Tax Credit: Expand the current donation tax credit to include other California-grown foods such as dairy, eggs, rice, nuts and meat in addition to the existing credit for fruits and vegetables. This will improve health and reduce food waste by expanding the variety of healthy foods donated to food banks.
- CalFresh Enhancements: Ensure all eligible Californians have effi cient and equitable access to CalFresh by phone, online or in-person as part of an integrated safety net. Work to better align Medi-Cal and CalFresh enrollment.
- School Meals: Create and sustain hunger-free schools by increasing their capacity to provide free, healthy school meals made with California-grown fruits and vegetables to all low-income students.
- Pre-School Meals: Ensure that low-income children in public pre-K have access to nutritious, free meals and provide supplemental state funding for child care programs to serve nutritious meals to low-income children in their care.
- Direct Certification: Work with our school districts and counties to improve Direct Certification numbers for school districts and ensure that all eligible students are identified. This will allow more schools to off er universal school meals.
- Free and Reduced-Price Meal (FRPM) Forms: Work with the state to design simpler forms that don’t intimidate families , and de-emphasize the optional Social Security number question.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Cash-Out: Work closely with our counties to enroll SSI participants in CalFresh. Support a state budget that fully funds “hold harmless” provisions.
- Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs): Collaborate with our counties to ensure exemptions for ABAWDs who receive CalFresh.
- Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB): Work to ensure the timely implementation of the California Fruit and Vegetable EBT Pilot Project by the California Department of Social Services. This incentive pilot will make healthy food more affordable for low-income families.
Visit SHFB.org/advocacy for more information