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CalFresh promotes healthy eating

OW Staff | 4/24/2013, 5 p.m.

Despite the fact that a record 1.13 million individuals in Los Angeles County received CalFresh benefits in January 2013, there are still many residents in immediate need of assistance who are unaware that they may be eligible for the benefit.

Consequently, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has voted to launch another campaign reminding people that May is CalFresh Awareness Month and that the help is available.
Additionally, the compaign is designed to promote healthier food choices in the nation's largest and most diverse county.

In its third year of observance, CalFresh Awareness Month has become one of the most comprehensive and coordinated efforts in the State of California to bring awareness to the availability of the federally-funded supplemental nutrition food benefit that helps low-income families and individuals.

According to the United Stated Department of Agriculture, the number of nationwide homes lacking adequate food more than tripled in the last four years. Studies suggest that household hunger negatively impacts the intellectual, physical, and emotional development of children and puts them at greater risks for obesity, diabetes and other diseases.

This year, the campaign will again place a heavy focus on the nutritional benefits of CalFresh, enlisting the help of the Department of Public Health administered Network for a Healthy California, local farmers' markets, food banks and school districts, to emphasize the benefits of healthier food choices and exercise.

The annual campaign's community kick-off event will take place on Monday, April 29, at Superior Market in Lynwood. The 39-store grocery chain is serving this year as a major CalFresh outreach partner, utilizing its locations to share information with the community.

For more information, visit dpss.lacounty.gov/dpss/calfresh or call the DPSS Customer Service Center at (866) 613-3777.
CalFresh highlights:

* You may be eligible to receive CalFresh benefits, whether or not you work, if you have a low income.
* The benefits can be used to purchase seeds and plants to grow food for household use.
* The average amount of CalFresh benefits received per household is about $200 per month.
* CFAP is a state-funded Calfresh program for legal permanent non-citizens residing in the U.S., and determined ineligible for federal food stamp benefits solely due to their immigration status.
* If you are receiving SSI/SSP, you cannot receive CalFresh benefits in California. However, your family may be eligible to receive CalFresh benefits.