CHAC—A strong advocacy track record:

CHAC is proud to put forward an agenda that prioritizes the most impactful policies for ending hunger and poverty in California. From its earliest days, for example, CHAC helped establish and secure permanent funding for the California Food Assistance Program that provides benefits to immigrant families who are legally present but denied CalFresh benefits (SNAP) from the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. Together with other coalitions and partners, CHAC is able to lift up fundamental issues of hunger and routinely sees success even when facing difficult political odds or fiscal challenges.

Recent policy and budget achievements in California:

  • Food4All budget victory
  • Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, every K-12 student in California will receive free breakfast and free lunch as part of a landmark $650 million investment in the Universal School Meals Program. Not only will universal school meals help every child in California get the nourishment they need to learn and thrive, it will also lead to better outcomes for Black and Latinx children, who disproportionately suffer from food insecurity.
  • Successfully advocated for emergency food $110 million one-time investment for the food bank COVID-19 response and $8 million for food banks to purchase California-produced food
  • Secured an unprecedented $165M and National Guard personnel for food banks in response to COVID-19
  • CalFresh: Removed burdensome reporting requirement for older adults and people with disabilities
  • Successfully advocated for food bank capacity and climate resilience by securing $182 million one-time funding to ensure food banks can meet the need and remain operational during disasters
  • Healthy Food Donation Tax Credit - Helped secure a five-year extension for donations of food to food banks.
  • Emergency funding for school nutrition programs
  • An historic end to the SSI "cash-out" policy, which barred SSI (Supplemental Security Income) recipients from applying for CalFresh.
  • A one-time support of $5.5M for food bank capacity grants, and $8M for the CalFood program.
  • An investment of $9 million to fund financial incentives for CalFresh households to purchase California-grown fruits and vegetables at participating retailers.
  • A 10% increase to the Maximum Aid Payment for the CalWORKS program - the largest one year increase in the California grant in at least 40 years.
  • Expansion of free and reduced price school meals to all charter schools in California.
  • A one-time support of $8M to the CalFood  program that enables California food banks to purchase California grown foods and ongoing annual support of $6M.
  • Increased access to school meals by implementing Medi-Cal Direct Certification statewide and maximize federal provisions to offer free lunch and breakfast to all students in high poverty schools (SB 138 McGuire)
  • Prevention of harmful treatment to school children when their families are unable to pay an unpaid debt to their school food services provider by establishing state standards for collection unpaid fees (SB 250 Hertzberg)
  • Added the Disaster CalFresh Program into statute and establish various requirements of the Department of Social Services and County Human Services Agencies to respond to the need for emergency food assistance in times of disaster (AB 607 Gloria)
  • Repeal of the Maximum Family Grant in CalWORKs (TANF) that denied cash aid to babies born into families already on the program.
  • Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2021 for large employers and by 2023 for small employers.
  • A one-time Cost of Living Adjustment for those on Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Payment program (SSI/SSP), the first reinvestment after a decade of cuts.
  • $40M in matching state funds for counties to create SSI advocacy programs to house individuals during the long application & appeals process, improving their chance of success.
  • $5M for state Nutrition Incentives that enables California to draw down federal matching funds and together double the value of CalFresh benefits used at farmer’s markets.
  • $2M for grants to fund school breakfast programs.
  • First ever General Fund support of $2M for the CalFood program that allows food banks to purchase California grown foods.
  • Introduction of the state Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers.
  • Expanded eligibility for comprehensive Medi-Cal health coverage to all youth regardless of citizenship status.
  • Repeal of the lifetime ban on CalFresh, CalWORKs and child care for those with a felony drug conviction.
  • Extended CalFresh to households with incomes up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level through Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility.
  • Draws down some $275M in CalFresh benefit by investing $9M in the State ‘heat and eat’ program (Energy Assistance Subsidy Benefit) that triggers higher benefit levels.