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Swipe Out Hunger Testifies before California Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance

Emily Hinton is the Policy Fellow at Swipe Out Hunger. Emily Hinton is the Policy Fellow at Swipe Out Hunger, where she assists with research and analysis around anti-hunger policies and legislation.

In early February, Emily submitted this written testimony to the California Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance. This committee has oversight over every aspect of public impact and sets the priorities for the state on where the state spends money.

For the consideration of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance,

I write to you today on behalf of Swipe Out Hunger, a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating student hunger on college campuses across the nation. At a time when so many Californians are struggling, we are thankful for Governor Newsom’s 2021-2022 proposed budget investment in higher education. The budget proposal reflects an administration that continues to be student-centered and committed to closing equity gaps. We are pleased to see emergency financial aid grants, funding for digital equity and mental health services, and the continued reinvestment in student basic needs for both the University of California (UC) and the California State University (CSU) systems. However, we would like to see ongoing budget support for student basic needs reflected in the budget for California Community Colleges as well. Although a $100 million in one time funding is a gracious budget allocation, the issue of student basic needs is continuous and requires ongoing attention such as hiring mental health experts or developing a basic needs resource center; things which require ongoing budget support. The California Community College is the largest system of higher education in the country with more than 2.1 million students across 116 campuses. 30 percent of University of California graduates and 51 percent of California State University graduates, first started at a community college. Yet while attending community college, many of those students experience hunger and housing insecurity. With over half of California graduates beginning their college journey at a community college it is important that California invests in student basic needs from start to finish, so that students may be successful in achieving that degree.

We ask that you please consider an ongoing budget for student basic needs for California’s Community Colleges.

Thank you for your consideration.

Emily Hinton
Policy Fellow
Swipe Out Hunger

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