With only 66% of eligible households enrolled, California has one of the lowest SNAP (food stamp) participation rates in the nation. Over 3 million Californians are not receiving the federal benefits they are qualified to receive, amounting to $2.5 billion in unused funds. In real life terms, this means that families who could be putting more food on the table aren’t, simply because of the barriers involved in applying for CalFresh (in California, SNAP is called CalFresh).
Making a Difference through CalFresh Outreach
In 2003, CAFB became the first nonprofit to administer the government’s CalFresh Outreach funds in California. Along with access to federal funding, CAFB also provides our CalFresh Outreach partners assistance with program planning, fiscal compliance, training and implementation. At the local level, partners educate potential applicants about CalFresh and assist interested parties with the application process.
In 2014, CAFB administered $3.5 million to 50 food banks and other nonprofit partners conducting CalFresh outreach activities in their communities. Together with our partners we reached over 1 million people with information about how to apply for CalFresh benefits.
While California’s participation rate continues to lag far behind the national average, CAFB and our members are making gains as we help low-income families secure the support they need for a healthy diet.
How to Participate in CalFresh Outreach
To learn more about how your organization can participate in our CalFresh Outreach program, please contact our Director of Programs, Stephanie Nishio at firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 350-9905. If you’re interested in becoming a CalFresh outreach volunteer in your community, contact your local food bank.
Learn more about how CAFB and our partners are advocating to improve the CalFresh system and bring about a dramatic increase in enrollment.
Opening New Doors to Ending Hunger - A Case Study on Food Stamp Out-of-Office Applications in California