In the absence of federal action, state leaders must also act to prevent disparities from worsening. Nearly thirty percent
of households eligible for our largest federal food assistance program, CalFresh, are not being reached
. That doesn't even include the million or more who are likely eligible, but can't participate due to their immigration status. State leaders can step up and fill this gap by providing excluded immigrants with a comparable form of nutrition assistance. And to close the CalFresh participation gap, state leaders can help by maximizing federal waivers to ease application and reporting burdens, especially for older adults and people with disabilities. By making CalFresh easier to access, fewer children and families will go hungry and we can access federal dollars to help stimulate the state's food and agriculture sectors.