NextGen California and Partners Aim to Expand CalFresh/EBT Access at California Farmers’ Markets with SB 907 (Pan)

For Immediate Release: February 24, 2022 

Contact: Milena Paez, [email protected]

This bill coincides with a corresponding call for a $20 million budget investment for the purpose of combating food insecurity across the state. 

SACRAMENTO – Today, with the introduction of SB 907, NextGen California and Alchemist CDC announce their partnership with state Senator Dr. Richard Pan to help increase access to healthy foods in underserved communities by establishing a grant program to expand EBT access at certified California farmers’ markets — Local Equitable Access to Food (LEAF).  

Statement from Senator Dr. Pan: “All Californians should have access to fresh and healthy food options regardless of their economic status or where they live, and SB 907 will do just that by allowing those that rely on CalFresh to use their EBT cards at farmers’ markets across our great state.”

California must continue to create a holistic framework for tackling the food insecurity crisis. Last year, California became the first state in the nation to provide free, healthy school meals for all K-12 students. To build on this success, the state must increase access to local, equitable, access to food for all Californians. SB 907 (Pan) coincides with a corresponding call for a $20 million budget investment to help expand CalFresh/EBT access to all California certified farmers’ markets. 

Statement from Tiffany Germain, NextGen California Policy Advisor: “As impacts of the pandemic continue, food insecurity remains incredibly high across our state, with Black and Latino families disproportionately suffering from higher levels of hunger.  Local farmers’ markets are an important source of low-cost, fresh fruits and vegetables for Californians in need of food assistance and those communities located in food deserts. California has an opportunity with SB 907 to not only ensure equal access to CalFresh at certified farmers’ markets but to reach our most underserved communities.” 

Statement from Sam Greenlee, Executive Director of Alchemist CDC: “If we want CalFresh dollars to help low-income Californians purchase nutritious food and support California’s small farmers, it is critical that the state support increased EBT access at certified farmers’ markets. This bill will provide the basic infrastructure that enables federal nutrition dollars to simultaneously address hunger, support small and midsize California farmers, and stimulate local economies.” 

NextGen California is committed to working with the Newsom Administration, the State Legislature, and our various coalition partners to ensure our investments serve our most vulnerable community members. Now, California has the unique opportunity to truly raise the bar on progress by making bold investments to advance a more prosperous and sustainable future for all. 

The mission of NextGen Policy and NextGen California is to fight for progressive policy change to address environmental, social, racial, gender, and economic inequities in California through justice-centered legislative advocacy, grassroots partnerships, and democratic civic engagement. 

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Learn more about SB 907 (Pan)