Governor Jerry Brown’s newly revised budget proposal saves some money on drought response, thanks to California’s rainy winter.
But food banks are also bracing for cuts to the state’s Drought Food Assistance Program. Last year’s budget included around $18 million in food assistance for places hard-hit by the drought. In the newly proposed budget, the Drought Food Assistance Program gets zero.
“And even though the rains have returned, it’s very clear that hunger is a serious crisis in this state,” says Andrew Cheyne with the California Association of Food Banks.
Cheyne says demand at food banks is up in recent months among immigrant communities. He says people who feel afraid to give identifying information in paperwork for food stamps can still get food, no questions asked, from food banks.
Correction: This story on California's Drought Food Assistance Program also mentioned funding for CalFood, which supports food banks throughout the state. The original story quoted an official with the California Association of Food Banks who told us – erroneously – that CalFood funding was cut to zero in the governor's proposed budget. The story has been corrected. We regret the error.