LOS ANGELES, CA — A bill sits on Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk that will provide food assistance to low-income residents. On Tuesday, a coalition of mayors and food bank representatives from around California called on Newsom to sign AB 826, putting $600 in food assistance to low-income residents, including undocumented immigrants.
The bill was authored by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, who said food banks and other nonprofits throughout California have experienced a surge in people seeking assistance since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, food banks have seen anywhere from a 100 percent to 400 percent increase in demand since the start of the pandemic.
"Kids and families are starving during this pandemic," Santiago said. "There is a desperate need among low-income communities, especially undocumented communities, for food assistance right now. I personally have seen thousands of people lining up for just a few boxes of food to get their families through the week."
The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has more than doubled the amount of people it is serving since March, according to Santiago.
"We know that hunger doesn't care about your race, faith, gender identity or immigration status, and with COVID-19 only deepening the crisis of food insecurity for too many families, we must act now to support our fellow Californians," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. "With AB 826, we can meet our obligations to our hardest-hit households and lift up millions of our neighbors who too often go to bed with an empty stomach."
Newsom is expected to take action on the bill by Sept. 30.
Patch has partnered with Feeding America to help raise awareness on behalf of the millions of Americans facing hunger. Feeding America, which supports 200 food banks across the country, estimates that in 2020, more than 54 million Americans will not have enough nutritious food to eat due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a Patch social good project; Feeding America receives 100 percent of donations. Find out how you can donate in your community or find a food pantry near you.
City News Service, Patch Editor Ashley Ludwig contributed to this report.