The CalFresh Program (Formerly known as SNAP)

No one in America should go hungry. But every day, hardworking and retired individuals and families face the choice between buying enough food and paying for basic life necessities like rent, heat and electricity. In addition, unexpected day-to-day circumstances like car repair or the loss of a job can easily push a household into food insecurity.

The CalFresh Program, formerly called Food Stamps, is a federal-assistance program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that provides food and nutrition assistance to low- and no-income people and families.

The number of people participating in Cal Fresh/Food Stamps in August 2010 was 25.5 million more persons than in July 2000, when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade (16.9 million individuals). Nonetheless, gaps in participation remain. One in three people eligible for CalFresh go un-served. Studies show that families who do not have access to healthy foods and nutritional education suffer from higher rates of obesity. Eating healthy is important for the development of each individual throughout their lifetime in reducing diabetes, disease, and obesity.

Did you know obese or overweight children make up 25% of San Diego County and are at great risk of developing diabetes? It has been reported that over 500,000 people in San Diego are under nourished. Children without access to healthy eating can experience behavioral and social problems that they otherwise wouldn’t if they were simply not hungry.

When approved for CalFresh, recipients will receive a plastic debit card called an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The EBT card looks like a bank card or credit card. EBT cards are used to pay for your food in the supermarket, certain farmers markets or other food stores. Each month, your benefits are directly deposited into your EBT card account.

Applying for CalFresh Benefits:

Complete the pre-screening tool to see if you can apply. If you do, you will need to submit proof of your information (identity, income, expenses, etc). You will be contacted for an interview and will be notified within 30 days of your acceptance or denial. (Emergency victims apply differently) and visit a Thrive San Diego tax site or San Diego County Family Resource Center in your area for eligibility and application assistance.

Visit www.calfresh.ca.gov or www.fns.usda.gov/snap for more information.

 

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