Would make a household that is terminating its participation in a TANF-funded or state maintenance of effort-funded cash assistance program, or a state-funded cash assistance program that provides assistance to families with children, eligible for transitional CalFresh benefits upon certification and guidance issued by the State Department of Social Services to the county human services agencies. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.
AAP Positional Letter
February 28, 2018
Honourable Blanca Rubio
Chair, Assembly Human Services Committee
State Capitol, Room 5175
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 1892 (Jones-Sawyer) – CalFRESH
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Chair Rubio,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, supports AB 1892 (Jones-Sawyer). This bill would require each county human services agency, to the maximum extent permitted by federal law, to provide transitional CalFresh benefits to households terminating their participation in the Cash Assistance Program for Aged, Blind, and Disabled Legal Immigrants or the County Relief, General Relief, or General Assistance program, and to nonminor dependents exiting foster care.
Existing federal law provides for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known in California as CalFresh, under which supplemental nutrition assistance benefits allocated to the state by the federal government are distributed to eligible individuals by each county.
AB 1892 (Jones-Sawyer) would ensure that households terminating their participation in Cash Assistance Program for Aged, Blind, and Disabled Legal Immigrants or the County Relief, General Relief, or General Assistance program, and nonminor dependents exiting foster care, are provided these transitional benefits.
Per the National Foster Youth Institute (NFYI), more than 23,000 children age out of foster system each year and 20% become homeless. It is critical to include transitional CalFresh benefits for youth aging out of foster care. Food insecurity, the state of not having enough resources to afford healthy and nutritious food, is a major problem for foster youth aging out of the system and is linked to poorer health outcomes – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, learning issues, mental health issues and weakened bones.
AAP Policy states “SNAP benefits reduce both the rate (decrease of 4.4% attributable to SNAP from 2000 to 2009) and, more importantly, the depth of poverty for children in the poorest of poor families.”
AB 1892 (Jones-Sawyer) would provide households the necessary nutritional support as they transition out of assistance programs. Families will not go hungry because of easier and effective access to food assistance, thus improving the health and well-being of children across the state.
Pediatricians across the state urge you to vote AYE on AB 1892 (Jones-Sawyer). Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Susan Wu, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
State Government Affairs Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Assembly Human Services Committee Members
Office of Honorable Reggie Jones-Sawyer, California State Assembly (Author)
Kris Calvin, AAP-CA CEO
Lydia Bourne, AAP-CA Lobbyist
Alina Leung, MD, AAP-CA Policy Analyst