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January 28, 2011

CalFresh Outreach: A New Focus for People in Need.

“Are you eligible to receive CalFresh?”. Many clients at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services have picked up fliers asking this question. In response they want to know, what is CalFresh anyway?

CalFresh is the new name for the Food Stamp program for California, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (S.N.A.P). This federal program, administered at the county level, provides money for eligible households for the purchase of food every month. While the benefits were formerly received as “stamps” or coupons, for the last ten years they have come in the form of electronic benefits transfers (E.B.T.) on plastic cards that are used like debit cards. The new name seeks to reflect the change from stamps to cards and focus on fresh, nutritious food that comes from our region.

Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services has joined a host of non-profit agencies in carrying out CalFresh outreach: prescreening individuals to see if they might be eligible and assisting with the initial application and follow-up. This outreach is crucial as only about half of eligible people in California actually receive the assistance to which they are entitled. Enrollment in CalFresh assists individuals and families to need meet their nutrition needs in the face of economic challenges, in fact, most CalFresh recipients are children. Increased enrollment in CalFresh benefits the local economy as every $5 of new SNAP benefits generates $9.00 in total community spending. By reaching out to our clients, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services helps to overcome some of the barriers to enrollment in this essential program and end hunger in our region.

To learn more about S.N.A.P. outreach and the economic benefits of the program go to
or follow the link on the food assistance page of our website at