By Lemor Abrams

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Jessica Garcia may not be a chef, but she’s proud of her Mexican food.

That food has helped raise money for her struggling sister in Tijuana.

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“I didn’t even know that this was illegal until someone else brought it to my attention,” she said.

Food inspectors eventually shut down the startup she worked with. Foodnome was a community of Davis foodies who sold their home-cooked dinners.

They weren’t alone. Mariza Ruelas of Stockton said she was slapped with 80 hours community service, a $230 fine, and 3 years of probation.

The crime? Selling ceviche to pay for her son’s karate lessons. Ruelas was one of several Stockton women charged with misdemeanors, for operating a business without a license.

“I just thought it was kind of extreme. I hear of people getting arrested for far worse and they get like a slap on the risk,” she said.

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The single mom of six says her legal battle is behind her, but now she’s leading a food fight at the state Capitol. Advocates whipped up a bill that would make California the first state to regulate the home-cooked meal market.

Assembly Bill 626 will allow annual kitchen inspections by county health departments. Cooks could only sell $50,000 worth of food a year and 60 meals a week.

The health department says food prepared in a facility that hasn’t been inspected creates a public health risk.

Home cooks are open to new rules, as long as they can reap the rewards.

“I can make a really good living out of selling my food,” Garcia said.

The California Department of Public Health wouldn’t comment on the legislation.

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The bill already cleared the Assembly and is now on the way to the state Senate for a full vote.