SACRAMENTO - Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation today authored by Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) that would address the growing problem of student food insecurity on college campuses.
Weber, who chairs the Select Committee on Campus Climate, said the bill was inspired both by an intern who struggled with food insecurity and by testimony she heard from students at a hearing she held last fall in San Diego.
“The stories of students living in their car and maybe eating once a day - or even less - were disturbing,” Weber said. “Students who are hungry can’t think, can’t write, can’t read and can’t learn.”
AB 1747 requires state universities and colleges to participate in their county’s CalFresh Restaurant Meal program, establish programs to improve coordination between Campus Food Pantries and California Food Banks, and improve access to funds supporting CalFresh outreach on campus.
A systemwide survey of UC students revealed that nearly one in five students experience very low food security and a total of 43 percent experience some sort of regular food insecurity. A California State University study found that 24% of students surveyed are food insecure and 10% are homeless.