Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) has introduced SB 1147 to improve California’s CalFresh participation rates by creating statewide customer service performance standards and goals.
The following information is from Senator Mark DeSaulnier:
CalFresh is California’s version of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). California has the lowest participation rates in the nation for a state-based SNAP program.
“Increased participation in CalFresh will allow more families to spend more of their income on necessities other than food and ultimately help the economy grow,” Senator DeSaulnier said. “Low CalFresh participation rates cause the state to miss out on the potential of $8.7 billion in economic activity. We must work with local and federal partners to accurately measure each county’s progress in meeting statewide goals and implement best practices to reduce food insecurities among California’s most vulnerable working families.”
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), only 55% of Californians eligible for CalFresh participated during the 2010 fiscal year. This legislation also seeks to increase transparency by making county-level data indicators of service and performance regularly available to the public.
Senator DeSaulnier has made addressing poverty and inequality in California a top priority, and this bill is a part of those efforts. Senator DeSaulnier also chairs the bicameral, bipartisan Ending Poverty and Inequality in California Caucus.
48.8 million Americans, including16.2 million children, lived in food insecure households in in 2010. A food insecure household, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), experiences periods when the household is uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all its members because they have insufficient money or other resources for food.