SB-900: Electronic benefits transfer system: CalFresh supplemental benefits.

Session: 2017-2018
Author: Wiener
Status: Dead
AAP-CA Position: Support
To view the status of this bill on the State Website, click here.

Would require the State Department of Social Servicest, in consultation with the Department of Food and Agriculture and stakeholders with experience operating CalFresh nutrition incentive programs, to include within the EBT system a supplemental benefits mechanism that allows a retailer authorized to accept CalFresh benefits to deliver and redeem supplemental benefits, as specified. The bill would define supplemental benefits to mean additional funds delivered to a CalFresh recipient’s EBT card upon purchase of California-grown fruits and vegetables using CalFresh benefits, and to be redeemed only for purchases allowed under the CalFresh program at an authorized retailer.

AAP Positional Letter

April 2, 2018

Honorable Scott Wiener
Chair, Senate Human Services Committee
State Capitol, Room 5100
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: SB 900 (Wiener): Electronic benefits transfer system: CalFresh supplemental benefits
AAP-CA Position: Support

Dear Chair Wiener:

The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, supports your proposed legislation SB 900 (Wiener), which would make fresh, locally grown produce more accessible for low-income families.

At less than $140 per person, monthly CalFresh benefits are inadequate to support a diet with recommended levels of sufficient fresh fruits and vegetables, essential for a healthy lifestyle. This means that the millions of Californians who depend on CalFresh for food—a majority of whom are children—are not able to eat in a manner that supports their health. This can have significant long-term consequences, as children who do not regularly consume fruits and vegetables are far more likely to develop certain conditions and illnesses over the long term, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, that compromise quality of life and reduce longevity.

SB 900 (Wiener) would improve the availability of fresh produce to California children and families by providing additional CalFresh funds to facilitate their purchase. This bill stands to improve children’s health while also encouraging consumption of California produce and reducing the environmental footprint of food imports.

Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 across the state strongly support your proposed legislation SB 900 (Wiener). Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.


Kris Calvin
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California

cc: Members of the Senate Human Services Committee
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne