Very Brief Crash Course: Policy and CalFresh

Hi CalFresh Participants!

Policy has a huge influence of CalFresh recipients and how they access benefits. We wanted to highlight the major pieces of legislation that affect CalFresh as well as a few other federal nutrition programs:


Farm Bill

What it does: One of the largest comprehensive pieces of legislation that guides and provides funding for federal farm and food policies. The Farm Bill funds the CalFresh/SNAP program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), USDA Snack Program, Food Distribution Programs for Native Americans, among other food and nutrition programs.

When will there be space for action: The Farm Bill is typically renewed every five years and it was just recently authorized in 2014. The latest version of the Farm Bill included $8.6 billion in cuts to the SNAP/CalFresh program.

For more information, please visit FRAC Action Council.

Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization

What it does: Provides the guidelines and funding for federal child nutrition programs including School Breakfast, National School Lunch, Child and Adult Care Food, Summer Food Service, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Programs, and Women, Infant and Children (WIC).

When will there be space for action: The current law is due for reauthorization by September 30, 2015.

For more information, please visit FRAC Action Council.


The state legislative session is over for this year but we wanted to share which bills have passed both the house and the senate and are now waiting for the Governor’s signature. 

AB 515: Farm to Food Bank Tax Credit

What it does: Provides tax credit incentives for farms to donate surplus produce to local food banks to help increase the access of fresh fruits and vegetables for low income Californians.

AB 1321 California Nutrition Incentive Program

What it does: Creates a Matching Grant Program that allows California to bring money from the federal government to allow low income Californians to double up their CalFresh benefits at participating farmers markets. 

For additional information on the bills that passed and died this legislative session, please check out Hunger Advocacy Network’s 2015 Legislative and Budget Agenda.

Current News

As the nation prepares for another potential government shutdown by October 1st, CalFresh recipients might see a delay or postponement of their benefits for next month. If Congress is unable to reach a compromise within the next week, the U.S.  Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not have the funding available to continue benefits for recipients which could be detrimental for CalFresh/SNAP recipients. For more information, please click here