Assembly Approves Sen. Dodd’s College Student Hunger Bill

Thursday, August 4, 2022

SACRAMENTO – The California Assembly today approved legislation from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would provide food aid to low-income college students, ensuring the underserved population receives adequate nutrition to fulfill their educational goals.

“It’s no secret that going to college is expensive, but students shouldn’t have to starve to get a college education,” Sen. Dodd said. “Many students today are struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table. My bill addresses chronic hunger, helping more Californians achieve their educational and career goals.”

Nearly one in three California college students faces food and housing insecurity, according to a survey by the California Student Aid Commission. Students of color are more likely than others to report needs in both areas, the survey said.

Senate Bill 20 would require the Student Aid Commission to proactively notify students of their eligibility for Cal Fresh benefits. Many low-income students are not aware that they may qualify for food assistance through Cal Fresh. About 100,000 students would benefit from the proposal. It is a follow-up to SB 173, written in 2019 by Sen. Dodd, which streamlined the Cal Fresh application process for college students enrolled in work-study. That bill was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Supporters include the Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations and the University of California Student Association.

The Assembly approved SB 20 with overwhelming support. The bill heads next to the Senate for concurrence before going to Gov. Newsom for a signature by Sept. 30.


Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Yolo, Sonoma, Solano, Sacramento and Contra Costa counties. More information on Senator Bill Dodd can be found at