CalFresh Awareness month started in 2011 to bring awareness, dispel myths and assist families, individuals, students, veterans and the elderly to apply for CalFresh benefits. CalFresh is also known by its federal name, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps. CalFresh is a food and nutrition program that helps bridge the gap of food insecurity by providing consistent and dependable access to nutritious food for low-income families and individuals who meet certain income guidelines. CalFresh is shown to reduce poverty, promote healthy eating and living, and to prevent hunger. Eligibility to the program and the amount of benefits issued depends on the household size, income and certain living expenses. Benefits are accessed by using an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.
The CalFresh program helps to strengthen our community. Research has shown that for every $1 of CalFresh benefits spent at local retailers, $1.79 is returned to the local economy. For example, the total dollar amount of CalFresh benefits distributed in Sacramento County in April, 2017 was $27,124,253. This represents $48,552,412 into the Sacramento economy through food purchases at our local markets, grocery stores and farmers’ markets. CalFresh contributes an average of $325 million annually to the Sacramento economy.
CalFresh also supports other food and nutrition programs. The Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) provides for recipients who are over 60 years of age, disabled, or homeless to use their CalFresh benefits to purchase hot meals at participating restaurants. Sacramento County is one of eight counties in California participating in this program. CalFresh also supports the School Lunch program so the students in CalFresh families receive free school lunches, and the Market Match Voucher Program (MVP) that is offered at some farmers’ markets. The MVP allows CalFresh customers to increase their CalFresh dollars. For example, for every $20 the customer spends to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ market, the market adds an additional $5.
We all benefit from having a healthy community. Individuals and families are encouraged to apply. Visit us online at www.MyBenefitsCalWIN.org to complete an application today, or call us at (916) 874-3100.
It’s May – get the word out!