Millions More Californians Could Use CalFresh Benefits to "Eat Real"
Today is Food Day, a day to highlight the movement for healthy, affordable and sustainable food. The Network for a Healthy California (Network) and CalFresh (formerly the food stamp program) will observe Food Day by addressing the millions of Californians who have limited access to food due to lack of money and other resources by promoting enrollment in CalFresh as a way for low-income families to "eat real" and keep hunger at bay.
Americans from all walks of life will come together to talk about health, nutrition and hunger at events across the country and throughout the state. In Monterey Park the Network Children’s Power Play Campaign joined Ynez Elementary School to conduct informational booths and activities for Grade K-5 students addressing topics such as where food comes from and the importance of eating “real foods” in its most natural state.
CalFresh is an important part of the solution to our state’s hunger crisis and a necessary safety net for low-income Californians struggling during tough times. A recent UCLA study showed that CalFresh benefits stabilized individuals and families struggling against hunger by providing access to nutritious and affordable food during a time when the number of low-income adults in California who could not afford enough food increased.
“CalFresh benefits help low-income Californians take home more healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables,” said Dipa Shah-Patel, Registered Dietitian and Project Director, Network for a Healthy California- Los Angeles Region. "By making better choices about what goes in their grocery carts and on their tables, Californians can reduce their risk of obesity and other serious health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer,"
Though CalFresh gives millions of low-income Californians access to more healthy and affordable foods, there are still millions more who qualify but are not enrolled.
In addition to helping individuals and families, CalFresh benefits local economies by returning $1.79 for every $1 of additional CalFresh money delivered to California. It is estimated that if everyone who is eligible for CalFresh participated in the program, approximately $2.8 billion would come back to California.
For information about CalFresh in Los Angeles County, call 1-866-613-3777 or visit www.ladpss.org.
Network participation in Food Day is for the purpose of educating and informing SNAP-Ed eligibles about healthy eating and physical activity and will not include advocacy for or against any specific laws, regulations or ordinances.