Current law requires each public and private postsecondary educational institution that is located in a county that participates in the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) to apply to become an approved food vendor for the program, if the institution operates any qualifying food facilities, as defined, on campus, or to provide contracting on-campus food vendors, as defined, with specified information about the program. This bill would require an approved on-campus qualifying food facility that participates in the RMP pursuant to the bill to meet all of the requirements for participation in that program.
AAP Positional Letter
August 29, 2018
Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
California State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 1894 (Weber): Postsecondary education: student hunger
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Governor Brown,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, supports AB 1894 (Weber), to improve access to federal benefits for California’s low-income college students by expanding the CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) to all California State University locations regardless of whether or not their county has chosen to participate in the program for the non-student population.
New research shows a high prevalence of food insecurity and hunger on California’s College campuses. According to California State University (CSU), one in five CSU students experience hunger and one in ten experience homelessness. The University of California Regents found in a recent survey that one in five University of California (UC) students do not have access to adequate food or nutrition. Furthermore, Hope Lab, which conducts research aimed at improving equitable outcomes in postsecondary education, reports that nationwide half of all community college students are struggling with housing and/or food insecurity. Food insecurity can impair a young person’s ability to concentrate and perform well in their studies.
The Restaurant Meals Program is an option within the SNAP program allowing CalFresh recipients to purchase food from participating restaurants. Participation by counties in the RMP is voluntary with only nine counties in California choosing to participate. Ten CSU campuses are located in counties that do not participate in the RMP, leaving out many CSUs throughout the state, and leaving behind students who could benefit from the program.
AB 1894 (Weber) authorizes a statewide memorandum of understanding to be entered into the Department of Social Services and the CSU, allowing on-campus facilities to apply for the Restaurant Meals Program regardless of whether or not the county is a participant, thereby reducing food insecurity and helping all California students reach their full potential.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide respectfully request you to sign AB 1894 (Weber) into law. 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: Office of Honorable Shirley Weber, California State Assembly (Author); Lydia Bourne, AAP-CA Lobbyist