AB 323 (Berman) would allow counties to provide CalFresh applicants a referral to 2-1-1 services, which can connect them with a robust list of up-to-date resources to address the multiple needs of families, instead of a printed list of food providers.
AAP Positional Letter
April 28, 2017
The Honorable Marc Berman
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0024
Fax: (916) 319-2124
RE: AB 323 (Berman): CalFresh: emergency food provider referrals.
AAP-CA Position: SUPPORT
Dear Assemblymember Berman:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, strongly supports your proposed legislation AB 323 (Berman). This bill would allow counties to provide CalFresh applicants a referral to 2-1-1 services, rather than a printed list of food assistance providers.
Existing law requires each County Human Services Agency to compile a list of emergency food providers in the area served by the local CalFresh office and make the list available upon request. However, many California counties currently instead offer referrals to free 2-1-1 services, which connects Californians quickly and effectively to existing health and human service programs, joblessness support and disaster response information in their communities. While this does not perfectly follow the letter of the law, it represents an improvement in quality of service in that 2-1-1 services can be continually updated; are offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; and are available in 150 languages.
AB 323 (Berman) would encourage counties to use these services by explicitly permitting their use in state law. This would help hungry families more easily and effectively access food assistance, thus improving the health and well-being of children across the state.
Pediatricians strongly support AB 323 (Berman). We thank you for your public service and for your leadership on behalf of the health and well-being of children, youth, and families in California.
Jacques Corriveau, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Chair, State Government Affairs Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
CC: Kris Calvin, CEO; AAP-CA Leadership; Lydia Bourne