Good food news for Sacramento

Read more SN&R reporting on this topic by following the Food Access link at Read a February report from the California Food Policy Advocates on the eligibility subject at

Food is a basic human right, not a privilege.

That’s why we’re encouraged to learn that nearly twice as many eligible Sacramento residents have been getting food stamps (now known as CalFresh) as did in 2007, according to the California Department of Social Services.

Some 246,000 Sacramento-area citizens participated in CalFresh during the month of January, compared to 139,000 during the same month five years ago. Some of this is due to the economy, but much of it can be credited to new efforts to get eligible people to enroll in the program.

For a long while, California eligibility rates for CalFresh, a federally funded, state-run program, were woefully low with only half of qualified people participating. Millions of people who needed food aid—most of children and the elderly—were simply not getting it. But thanks to efforts by food-access advocates and government officials, the enrollment process has become somewhat less intimidating.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature last January on Assembly Bill 6, which removed the requirement of fingerprinting to participate in the CalFresh program went a long ways to setting things right. There’s no need to argue about this one. If people are hungry, we need to see that they get food.