CWDA Co-Sponsors SB 282 with Sen. Wiener
Bill would increase CalFresh access for prepared food for homeless, elderly or disabled and create employment opportunities


CWDA is co-sponsoring SB 282, known as the Reducing Hunger Among Vulnerable Californians Act of 2017, with Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to increase access to prepared food for low income homeless, elderly or disabled Californians and also create employment opportunities for childless homeless adults.

Specifically SB 282 will:

  • Increase access to prepared foods by codifying and clarifying the rules for the CalFresh Restaurant Meal Program (RMP) which allows homeless, elderly, or disabled people to use food benefits to purchase prepared meals in participating restaurants. Federal law currently allows states and counties to participate in this program, but lack of clear state law on the issue discourages participation by counties. Currently only 8 of California’s 58 counties participate.
  • Create employment opportunities by requiring DSS to seek a federal waiver that allows counties to use CalFresh Employment and Training (E&T) to support a subsidized employment program. CalFresh E&T is a federal matching fund that allows counties to support specified employment and training activities, but the state must obtain a waiver from the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture to participate.

SB 282 is also co-sponsored by the Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations and the Western Center on Law and Poverty.

“Many counties have created effective subsidized jobs programs for parents receiving aid through the state’s welfare-to-work program for families. SB 282 seeks to extend this proven concept to include childless adults participating in the CalFresh Employment and Training program,” said Cathy Senderling-McDonald, Deputy Executive Director of CWDA. “Subsidized employment creates connections with employers, boosts skills and job history, and often leads to a permanent position, further reducing hunger and the risk of homelessness for these California residents.”

See the full press release from Sen. Wiener’s office here.