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AB-826 Emergency food assistance: undocumented persons.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 08/04/2020 09:00 PM
AB826:v94#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  August 04, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  July 21, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  July 02, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 29, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 21, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 826


Introduced by Assembly Member Santiago
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Reyes and Robert Rivas Carrillo, Reyes, Luz Rivas, Robert Rivas, and Blanca Rubio)
(Coauthor: Senator Archuleta)

February 20, 2019


An act to add Chapter 15.5 (commencing with Section 18996.5) to Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to public social services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 826, as amended, Santiago. Emergency food assistance: undocumented persons.
Existing law establishes and requires the State Department of Social Services to administer the CalFood Program to provide food and funding to food banks whose primary function is to facilitate the distribution of food to low-income households, as specified.
This bill would require the department to provide food assistance, as specified, to all undocumented persons in this state, regardless of legal status, who have had their income or physical health, or the income or physical health of a member of their household, negatively affected by COVID-19, upon the appropriation of funds by the Legislature for that purpose. The bill would allow a person receiving funds to receive $300 per month, for 6 months, with a limit of 2 adults receiving funds per household, for a total of $600 per household per month. The bill would require the department to deliver these food benefits through food vouchers or gift cards to retailers distributed through participating nonprofit organizations, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 15.5 (commencing with Section 18996.5) is added to Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  15.5. Emergency Food Assistance: Undocumented Persons

18996.5.
 (a) Upon the appropriation of funds by the Legislature for this purpose, the State Department of Social Services shall provide food assistance to all undocumented persons in this state. state, regardless of legal status, who have had their income or physical health, or the income or physical health of a member of their household, negatively affected by COVID-19. To the extent possible, funding shall prioritize those persons excluded from other forms of food assistance.
(b) Funds provided for food assistance shall be used only for the purpose of purchasing food and shall be limited to the types of purchases allowed under the CalFresh program. program, including the purchase of hot, prepared foods.
(c) A person receiving funds pursuant to this chapter shall receive three hundred dollars ($300) per month, for six months. A limit of two adults per household may receive assistance pursuant to this section, for a maximum of six hundred dollars ($600) per household per month.
(d) The department shall deliver the benefits provided pursuant to this chapter through the electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system. food vouchers or gift cards to retailers distributed through participating nonprofit organizations, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Existing Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) providers under contract with the department.
(2) Members of the California Association of Food Banks.
(3) Nonprofit organizations that have experience serving communities with persons described in subdivision (a), including, but not limited to, nonprofit organizations under contract with the department for the Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI) Project.
(4) Nonprofit organizations under contract with the department for CalFresh outreach programs, as described in Section 18904.2.

(e)“Undocumented persons” means any undocumented immigrant whose income, physical health, or the income or physical health of a member of their household was negatively affected by COVID-19, and who is ineligible for pandemic assistance under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (Public Law 116-136) and unemployment insurance.

(e) “Retailer” means grocery stores and farmers’ markets serving communities with persons described in subdivision (a). The department shall, in consultation with the entities identified in subdivision (d), determine the retailers for each county. To the extent possible, funds shall maximize local employment and economic development, unless food deserts or other access limitations necessitate otherwise.