“Jessica Bartholow, a policy advocate with the Western Center on Law & Poverty — a California-based support group focused on legal advocation of people in poverty — said in an email Wednesday her organization has worked for years to expand the Restaurant Meal Program’s reach. Working with state representatives, the organization has helped lobby to change state laws through the Golden State’s Calfresh Restaurant Meal Program, helping to expand awareness and access to the program.
“Still, the federal law limits the ability of the state to serve all people who need it during the pandemic,” Bartholow said. “Also, other states which want to offer the program are limited in their ability to do so. California has asked for a waiver to allow the state to serve all SNAP recipients through RMP during the recession but the [U.S. Department of Agriculture] hasn’t approved it.”