Vicky, who offers everyone a warm smile in greeting, lives in the town of Gardena, located in the South Bay of Los Angeles County. Vicky weathered the bulk of the Great Recession holding onto a part-time job that allowed her to make ends meet. But a car accident in March 2009 prevented her from being able to work, and she could no longer afford to purchase food. Signing up for SNAP (CalFresh in California) benefits changed that. Vicky was thrilled to buy healthy food again, especially when she discovered she could have hot meals delivered to her home because painful arthritis makes it difficult for her to go grocery shopping and to stand at the stove while cooking. As a result, the home delivery improved her nutrition and her overall wellbeing.
Because Vicky believes in the importance of nutrition safety net programs, she travels from Los Angeles County to Sacramento for the annual Hunger Action Day. She raises her voice with hundreds of others to speak out against cuts to vital programs like SNAP. She wants legislators to know, as they push numbers around on the page to bolster other programs; the SNAP benefits help Vicky and many others survive.