The Los Angeles County Departments of Public Social Services (DPSS) and Public Health (DPH) have launched the annual CalFresh Awareness Month (CFAM) campaign during the month of May.
The goal of the campaign is to prevent food insecurity by ensuring the health and well-being of thousands of low-income families and individuals in the nation’s largest municipal county.
CalFresh is California’s version of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The program provides monthly food assistance to qualifying L.A. County residents at risks of hunger.
A 2022 study by the Public Exchange at the USC Dornsife College found that more than 800,000 L.A. County households experienced some form of food insecurity between July 2021 to July 2022 — an increase of 24 percent from 17 percent the previous year. It’s believed that among low-income households, food insecurity today is higher than pre COVID-19 pandemic levels.
One of the highest priorities of the County of L.A. is to aggressively address food insecurity, or the lack of consistent access to enough food to maintain an active and healthy life. The partnership is working together to help individuals and families receive this critical support. With the help of Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, DPSS and DPH are administering grants to community-based organizations to conduct culturally appropriate outreach to assist communities that suffered disproportionately from health and economic conditions caused by the pandemic.
“So many lives are transformed by receiving CalFresh,” said DPSS Director Jackie Contreras. “That’s why outreach and enrollment are so important to ensure that every eligible resident receives the benefits they need, as quickly as possible.”
Throughout the month of May, the CFAM partnership will participate in community events held countywide, conduct media outreach, and social media, to amplify messages about the benefits of CalFresh. This year’s theme, “The Power of Partnership,” exemplifies the commitment to encourage eligible residents to apply. The partnership includes the support of the 88 cities of the County, university and community college campuses, school districts, and farmers’ markets, to inform the public about the program.
The campaign, which initiated in L.A. County in 2011, serve today as “best practices” for outreach strategies, are now implemented by California Counties statewide. On Thursday, May 4, the partnership will host a Community Kick-off Event and Resource Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Amelia Mayberry Park in Whittier, CA.
Visit https://benefitscal.com/ to apply for CalFresh.