CalFresh is the name of California's federally-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP). Although it is also commonly known as "food stamps," the name of the program was changed several years ago in order to emphasize the program's growing emphasis on nutrition.
CalFresh is one of the largest anti-hunger programs in the United States, providing assistance to over 1.5 million people.* While this program does successfully help over a 3.5 million people**-including the elderly, disabled, children, the unemployed, and low-income workers- it also ranks LAST in the nation with regards to its participation rate. This means that roughly 45% of those eligible for the program are currently not participating in it, the largest such participation gap in the nation.***
Second Harvest Food Bank partners with its member charities, other non-profits and assistance programs, as well as the Social Services Agency of Orange County in order to help individuals complete applications and semi-annual reports.
As a Community Based Organization(CBO), we have staff members who have been trained by SSA in submitting applications on behalf of SNAP applicants. Our bilingual outreach workers travel to low-income communities throughout Orange County in order to most-effectively reach those in need. After determining a person's eligibility, we meet with them to help submit an application and turn in all of their relevant documents. They then receive a phone interview from a social worker, and are mailed an EBT card if they qualify for the program. This process is far more convenient for many low-income families and individuals, and at no point requires them to travel to a SSA office.
To learn more and see if you qualify, click here.