Skip to main content

Assembly Member Santiago Announces the Food for ALL Act

For immediate release:
Assemblymember Miguel Santiago

(Sacramento, CA) – Today Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) announced the introduction of AB 311—The Food for ALL Act and joined principal co-author StateSenator Melissa Hurtado (D-Bakersfield). AB 311 expands access to the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to all income eligible Californians of all ages regardless of immigration status.

“No one should go hungry, no matter their immigration status, especially as the price for staple items such as milk and eggs continues to rise,” said Assembly Member Santiago. “Immigrant communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and are now faced with rising food costs. That’s why we’ve introduced legislation that will expand food assistance access to ALL, regardless of immigration status or age. This is urgent, we must act now.”

Senator Hurtado said, “Hunger knows no border, no race and no nationality. It is unacceptable that 2 in 5 undocumented immigrants, and nearly two-thirds of undocumented children live in a food insecure household. I am proud that last year we were able to combat this insecurity by expanding access to food assistance to older Californians, regardless of their immigration status. But the fight isn’t over--we must continue until all Californians have equal access to food assistance!”

"The pandemic and rising cost of food have worsened hardships across California, particularly among underpaid workers without current immigration status. The Food4All legislation introduced last week puts forth our vision for all Californians who are struggling to afford food to gain access to vital food assistance regardless of their immigration status. As the need for immediate relief becomes more urgent, our communities cannot afford to wait for the increased delays to food assistance in the January proposed budget,” said Benyamin Chao, Health Benefits Policy Manager at the California Immigrant Policy Center. “No one should be prevented from being able to afford basic needs like food due to the place of their birth."

"Immigrants across California continue to experience deep hardship due to the pandemic and now the rising cost of food due to inflation, yet remain unjustly excluded from critical food assistance programs like CalFresh. When every Californian, no matter their age or immigration status, has access to the food they need, our communities and economies thrive. AB 311, ‘Food4All’ ensures urgent and equitable access to food assistance to all California immigrants, regardless of their immigration status. When every person has the food they need, California can be a more resilient, thriving state,” said Betzabel Estudillo, Director of Engagement, Nourish California.

Assembly Member Miguel Santiago secured $35 million in the 2022-23 State Budget to expand CFAP access to low income Californians ages 55 and older, regardless of their immigration status. Unfortunately, this excludes undocumented immigrants ages 54 and younger. The goal of AB 311 is to build on the $35 million in the 2022-23 State Budget by expanding CFAP access to Californians of all ages, regardless of immigration status. AB 311 will be heard in policy committee in March.

Assembly Member Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization. He also sits on the Assembly Committees on Public Safety, Health, Higher Education and Utilities and Energy. He represents the 54th District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Commerce, Montebello, and Vernon.