Immigrants are an essential part of our country and our home state where half of California’s kids are children of immigrants. Immigrants come to California seeking opportunity, but face discrimination and other barriers that make it difficult to escape poverty and live healthy, full lives; especially if they are undocumented. Despite their vital contributions, immigrants have historically and explicitly been excluded from accessing essential services such as food, healthcare, and education.
#Food4All is the first campaign of its kind to address the longstanding discrimination in our state’s nutrition safety net. Led by Nourish California and California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC), alongside a strong coalition of community organizations across the state, this campaign seeks to modernize the California Food Assistance Program to provide essential food assistance to any immigrant who is ineligible for federal CalFresh due solely to their immigration status.
From the fall of 2019 through the end of this June, Change Consulting partnered with Nourish California to support the #Food4All campaign through a story-centric approach. We provided research and communications strategy recommendations, planning, messaging, storytelling training, digital and earned media outreach. We worked with inspiring immigrants and advocates to develop and share their personal stories online, in the news, and in hearing testimonies.
In February 2021, Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) introduced the #Food4All bill, SB 464. We partnered with Nourish California and Senator Hurtado’s office to promote the bill’s introduction and its exciting journey first through the Senate Human Services Committee in March, then passing through the Senate Appropriations Committee in May, then passing on the Senate Floor in early June. At the end of June, funding for #Food4All implementation was included in the 2021-22 State Budget and the bill passed the Assembly Human Services Committee.
At each of these critical steps, Change Consulting supported the coalition’s efforts drumming up support for the bill through ongoing earned and social media outreach. Media coverage highlights include:
- Sacramento Bee: Proposed law would give undocumented Californians access to state food assistance
- An op-ed by the bill sponsor Senator Melissa Hurtado in CalMatters: Let’s make California a state where there is food for all
- Radio Bilingüe: Extra Edition: Climate Corps, Hunger Aid
- Univision Fresno: Proponen iniciativa legal para ampliar asistencia de alimentos, sin importar estatus legal
- KQED: ‘Essential for Everyone’: Food Aid Bill for Undocumented Californians Gains Momentum
- Public News Service: Lawmakers Consider Food Assistance for Undocumented Californians
We are proud to have been a part of this important campaign to stop excluding immigrants from receiving the food assistance they need. The bill’s success so far has been promising, but there are still several hurdles to tackle in order to make #Food4All a reality. Given Food4All’s success in this year’s budget process, Senator Hurtado has decided to make SB 464 a two-year bill that will move forward at the start of the 2022 Legislative session.
#Food4All still needs all Californians’ support to become a law and start benefiting California immigrants.
Here are immediate actions you can take to support #Food4All and end the exclusion of immigrants for California’s nutrition safety net:
- Thank the Governor and key legislators for funding #Food4All and tell them that we need their long-term commitment to see it through to becoming a law.
- If you are a community-based organization that advocates for immigrants and/or access to fresh, healthy, culturally appropriate foods, join the #Food4All Coalition.
- Stay up to date on the latest #Food4All developments and sign up for email updates.
We will keep fighting for immigrants and we hope you will too.
The Change Consulting Team