March 10, 2017
The Honorable Robert Hertzberg
State Capitol, Room 4038
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 651-4918
RE: SB 61 (Hertzberg): Emergency Food Assistance Fund
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Senator Hertzberg:
I am writing on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, to let you know that we strongly support your proposed legislation SB 61 (Hertzberg). SB 61 (Hertzberg) would change the name of the Emergency Food Assistance Program Fund to the Emergency Food for Families Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund, and would extend the existence of the program until 2026.
It is of the utmost importance that all California families have access to sufficient and nutritious food. Not only do hunger and malnutrition pose severe immediate and long-term health risks for the person who suffers them, they also have an enormous social cost, as the cost of long-term care for resulting chronic diseases and disabilities far outweighs the cost of preventing them through food distribution. However, despite essential benefits programs such as CalFresh, 40% of low-income households in California cannot afford sufficient food. This is unacceptable for a state as wealthy as California, where no child should go hungry.
SB 61 (Hertzberg) would take one step towards reducing the burden of hunger on California children and families by extending the existence of the newly renamed Emergency Food for Families Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund. This fund represents a convenient and entirely voluntary way for California taxpayers to help their neighbors in need put food on the table and raise happy, healthy children.
Pediatricians across the state support SB 61 (Hertzberg). We thank you for your leadership on behalf of the health and well-being of children, youth, and families in California.
Zoey Goore, M.D., M.P.H., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Executive Board Member, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
CC: Kris Calvin, CEO; AAP-CA Leadership; Lydia Bourne