Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, said Monday legislation that he introduced would provide six months of emergency food assistance to low-income Californians struggling financially due to COVID-19, regardless of immigration status.
“Every week, I have personally seen thousands of people line up at midnight, while most people should be sleeping, just to get milk and eggs for their families,” Santiago said. “The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has doubled the amount of people they are serving since the pandemic hit, and food banks across the state are experiencing similar increases.”
Santiago was joined by representatives from the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights-Los Angeles for a socially distanced news conference urging support for AB 826, which would allocate each qualified applicant $300 per month and up to $600 per household to use for purchasing groceries.
“Food distributed through our programs and agencies has doubled since the outbreak, and while we provide nutritious food to everyone who needs food assistance, the demand is so high that we need to implement additional strategies to reach those who are fighting hunger,” said Los Angeles Regional Food Bank President and CEO Michael Flood.
“This kind of bill is important to be able to assist communities that need assistance,” he said.
“COVID-19 does not discriminate,” CHIRLA Executvie Director Angelica Salas said. “However, immigrants and communities of color are more likely to suffer from underlying health conditions. Furthermore, communities of color and immigrants have disproportionately been affected by losing their jobs or lives to COVID-19.”
AB 826, which is currently awaiting a vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee, is also supported by the California Association of Food Banks and the Western Center on Law and Poverty.