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City Encourages Eligible Community Members to Apply for CalFresh Food Benefits

Post Date:September 11, 2019 9:00 AM

CalfreshThe City of West Hollywood is getting the word out about the expansion of CalFresh to now include individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). CalFresh, known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, seeks to improve nutrition by providing monthly food benefits to individuals and families with low incomes.

CalFresh beneficiaries are issued an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) debit card, which recipients can use to buy food at grocery stores, farmers markets, and other approved locations. This helps individuals and families afford fruit, vegetables, and other nutritious foods. The amount of benefits a household receives is dependent on household size, income, and monthly expenses, such as housing and utilities. Currently, only 16 percent of eligible West Hollywood residents are enrolled in CalFresh.

New eligibility standards mean applying for or receiving CalFresh will not change SSI eligibility or benefit amount in any way; individuals may qualify for up to $192 per month in food assistance. There are more than 60 grocery stores, food retailers, restaurants, and farmers markets in and near West Hollywood that accept CalFresh.

CalFresh benefits can be used for a wide range of products, but there are some restrictions. Full details regarding eligibility and qualified income brackets are available by visiting the CalFresh webpage provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS).

Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS), through generous support from Cedars-Sinai, is expanding its ability to help West Hollywood residents successfully complete CalFresh applications. Both JFS and Cedars-Sinai are committed to supporting the health and well-being of the West Hollywood community and actively collaborate to advance the City’s Aging in Place/Aging in Community initiative, as well as the City’s efforts to address issues related to poverty. Connecting more eligible West Hollywood residents with CalFresh is a strategy that promotes healthy aging, reduces poverty, and addresses food insecurity, an issue of great importance to community members as outlined in the City’s 2019 Community Study.

CalFresh is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program, providing nearly 3.8-million individuals (one in 10 Californians, including nearly two million children) with food benefits each month. These federally funded benefits total approximately $515 million in monthly food purchases. Food benefits for one person range from $15-$192 per month; the average benefit amount for older adults and people with disabilities is approximately $105-110 per month.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based federal income supplement program that provides a monthly benefit to individuals who are blind, elderly, or have a disability.

The City of West Hollywood has information about applying for CalFresh at www.weho.org/calfresh. Community members can call JFS at the West Hollywood Comprehensive Service Center for application assistance: (323) 851-8202.

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Anderson, the City of West Hollywood’s Strategic Initiatives Program Administrator, at (323) 848-6839 or at eanderson@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496. For up-to-date news and events, follow the City of West Hollywood on social media @WeHoCity and sign up for news updates at www.weho.org/email.
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