Governor Signs Sen. Dodd’s College Student Hunger Bill

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would help provide food aid to low-income college students, ensuring the underserved population receives adequate nutrition to fulfill their educational goals.

“Many college students have been struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table,” Sen. Dodd said. “That’s why I appreciate the governor signing my bill, which addresses chronic hunger, helping more Californians achieve their educational and career goals. This is a big step toward ending food insecurity and helping more people get a college education.”

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 governor signed SB 20 Monday after it won unanimous, bipartisan support in the Assembly and Senate.




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