(From Press Release) – Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, introduced legislation today ensuring low-income college students have reliable access to food through the Cal Fresh program.
“Students shouldn’t be forced to make the heartbreaking choice between getting an education and eating,” Sen. Dodd said. “Hunger is a serious problem on college campuses across the state and my bill takes an important step toward putting food on the table.”
Food insecurity among college students is, in fact, a national issue. A recent Government Accountability Office report shows a third of all college student are struggling to afford food and basic nutrition. It recommends the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service take steps to enroll people in federal food assistance programs.
Senate Bill 173 addresses the problem on a state level by removing barriers to students to get subsidies under Cal Fresh, in part by streamlining the application process. More than 50,000 California college students could be enrolled in food assistance thanks to the senator’s legislation.
Support is expected from the California Welfare Directors Association, the County of Yolo and student groups.
“Food insecurity is a growing crisis on our college campuses,” said Don Saylor, chairman of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors. “This bill will help combat student hunger by ensuring students have the necessary documentation to verify their potential eligibility to receive federally funded Cal Fresh benefits.”