CalFresh & Income Support

Something for Everyone:
Your Role in Increasing
CalFresh Access and Participation
Alexis Fernández, MSW
Nutrition Policy Advocate
California Food Policy Advocates
Today’s Discussion
• Introduction to CFPA & Our Work
• Why CalFresh Matters
– The CalFresh Facts
– CalFresh, Hunger & Food Insecurity
– CalFresh & Income Support
– CalFresh and Nutritional Quality
• The Big Picture
• What You Can Do
• Q&A
Who We Are and What We Do
CFPA is a statewide policy and advocacy
organization dedicated to improving the health and
well-being of low-income Californians by increasing
their access to nutritious, affordable food.
Visit for more info.
Focus on the Federal Nutrition Programs
• CalFresh/SNAP
• National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
• School Breakfast Program (SBP)
• Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
• Afterschool and Summer Nutrition
• Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
And more!
Why the Federal Nutrition Programs
• Scale, scope, and reach
– 4+ million Californians receive CalFresh; just under 4 million
more are eligible and do not participate
– 2+ million low-income students participate in the school lunch
• Entitlement programs reach those most in need
– Benefits must be provided to all eligible applicants
– Eligibility is based on income
• Strengthen the social safety-net by preventing food insecurity,
ensuring sound nutrition and promoting over health and well-being
Why CalFresh Matters
• The overall health and well-being of your community is protected
when we ensure that all individuals and families have access to
healthy, affordable food.
• The federal nutrition programs can be essential tools in building a
healthy, productive community. CalFresh plays a supporting role in
the quality of community life and an economy that provides
opportunities for all.
• Maximum utilization results in maximum impact.
Less CalFresh, Means Less for Everyone.
The CalFresh Facts: Caseload
In 2013 California’s CalFresh caseload has grown to provide
benefits to more than 4 million Californians.
In January of 2013,
over 107,000 individuals received
CalFresh benefits in Santa Clara County
The CalFresh Facts: Participation
• California’s CalFresh participation is the lowest in the country;
we only reach 55% of eligible Californians.
• This results in a significant loss of federal dollars that could
benefit both low-income families via direct nutrition assistance
and local economies via related economic activity.
– If we increased participation to 100%, California would receive an
estimated $4.7 billion in additional federal nutrition benefits. These
benefits would generate $8.3 billion in additional economic activity.
– If we increased CalFresh participation in Santa Clara County to
100% we could bring in $96 million in benefits for local residents
and nearly $172 million in additional economic activity.
The CalFresh Facts: Characteristics
Average monthly CalFresh benefit: $149.05
– About $1.60 to $1.66 per meal
The households:
94% have income below the FPL
36% have income from earnings
38% have more than two people; 39% are single adults
62% include children; 5% include seniors
CalFresh, Hunger & Food Insecurity
3.8 low-income adults in California were food insecure during the most
recent economic downturn.
– 1 in 6 Californians had very low food insecurity; double the number from
96,000 adults in Santa Clara County were food insecure during this same
Nearly half of low-income households with children could not afford
sufficient food, and approximately 51 percent of Spanish-speaking, lowincome adults experienced food insecurity — the highest level of food
insecurity among all low-income groups.
Food insecurity increased in most California counties between 2007 and
2009. Northern Bay Area counties experienced a 14 percent increase, and
in Southern California counties other than Los Angeles, there was a 10
percent increase.
CalFresh & Income Support
CalFresh & Income Support
CalFresh & Income Support
CalFresh & Income Support
CalFresh & Nutritional Quality
A Note On Other Nutrition Benefits
• CalFresh can’t do it alone!
– School breakfast and lunch
• 75% of low-income children in Santa Clara County participate in NSLP
• Only 32% participate in school breakfast
• This low participation rate translates to $11,495,000 in untapped federal
meal reimbursements for the county
– Child & adult care food program
– Women’s, Infants, and Children (WIC)
– Emergency food providers
• Nutrition benefits work better together.
• Combined with CalFresh, the benefits you provide make it more
likely that individuals and families have consistent access to
nutritious, affordable food.
The Big Picture
• It’s in the best interest of our communities to ensure all members
are able to lead healthy, productive lives.
• Hunger, food insecurity, and poverty negatively impact the overall
health and well-being of our entire community.
• CalFresh plays a significant role in reducing hunger and food
insecurity, providing income support, and improving access to
healthy, affordable food.
• California has a lot of room to improve when it comes to CalFresh
participation; we can all do something to assist in this effort.
What We’re Doing to Help
SHFB is….
Able to support your CalFresh role
Hosting application assistors at your site
Expanding their commitment to CalFresh
Growing their application assistor & outreach team
Engaging local decision and policy makers
Working with a statewide network of advocates
CFPA is…
Continuing our advocacy efforts to ensure that every community across the
state has simple, straightforward, and consistent access to CalFresh.
Focusing on improved customer service so that applying is less
burdensome for Californians.
Promoting the critical role that nutrition plays in supporting overall health
and well-being.
What Santa Clara County is doing to help
Improvements in your county reflect statewide efforts to improve
access to CalFresh. Including significant policy changes to remove the
finger imaging requirement and move to semi-annual reporting.
Taking steps to improve program access in Santa Clara
• Ability to apply online
• Kiosks available to complete the online application
• Undergoing business process reengineering efforts
• Document imaging
• After hours voicemail services
• Partnering with CBO’s to conduct outreach activities
• And more…
What You Can Do to Help
What Will
You Do?
Contact Information
Alexis Fernandez, MSW
Nutrition Policy Advocate
California Food Policy Advocates
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 510.433.1122 x111

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