Today, Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) released the following statement after Senate Bill 108—The Human Right to Food Act – passed the Senate 35-1:
“California is teetering on the cusp of a food crisis similar to that of 1974,” said Senator Hurtado. “As the state’s population grows our ability to keep pace and feed the residents of California and the nation will be challenged. We must prepare for these challenges, which is why I introduced this bill. By declaring a human right to food, state agencies will have to consider that right and making sure the people in our state are fed now, and in the future.”
California produces more than 400 commodities in the American food supply chain, provides two-thirds of our nation’s fruits and nuts, and one-third of its vegetables. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 10 million Californians struggled with food insecurity. The pandemic and resulting economic slowdown has only served to increase food insecurity.
Senate Bill 108—The Human Right to Food Act—will require California’s governmental agencies to consider the human right to food as they create, amend or adopt regulations. It will also require reporting on the current and future status of food, food production, and food assistance.
Senator Hurtado has also introduced Senate Bill 464, the Comida Para Todos (Food for All Act.) This bill will provide greater food security to low-income immigrant workers by expanding eligibility for state funded nutrition benefits to anyone ineligible for CalFresh due solely to their immigration status.