Emilio's Story

Home Start receives training and funding from San Diego Hunger Coalition to support its work to connect people in need to CalFresh food assistance. Below is a story about one of their clients.

Meet Emilio. Emilo was diagnosed with a medical condition that required him to change his diet. Thanks to Home Start, he was able to enroll in CalFresh and access healthier food. Unfortunately, earlier this year Emilio had to leave his job and the county for a period due to a death in the family. When he returned, he discovered that his benefit amount had been reduced due to incorrect calculation. The San Diego Hunger Coalition helped him to reinstate the original benefit he was eligible for so he can continue to remain independent. Emilio looks forward to getting his good health back thanks to CalFresh and one day hopes to see his grandchildren attend college.

Emilo Sanchez.jpg

Why did you apply for CalFresh? / ¿Por qué aplico para CalFresh?

Porque lo necesito. No quería aplicar, especialmente con lo del Donald Trump. No quería que me quitaran la residencia pero lo necesitó [CalFresh].

I need it. I didn’t really want to apply, especially with all that’s going on with Donald Trump. I don’t want them to take my residency but I need it [CalFresh].

How did CalFresh/SNAP help you in your time of need? / ¿Cómo le ha ayudado aplicar a CalFresh/estampillas de comida cuando lo necesita?

Si ayuda bastantemente. No es mucho, pero si ayuda. Recientemente tuve un problema médico y he tenido que cambiar mi dieta. CalFresh me ayudado porque la verdad, cuesta mucho las verduras y la comida. El programa [de CalFresh] es excelente. Antes tenía dieta muy loca, mucho McDonald’s y Subway pero con CalFresh es más fácil comer bien.

It really does help. It’s not a lot but it helps. Recently I had a medical issue and I’ve had to change my diet. CalFresh helps because eating healthy and buying vegetables is expensive. The CalFresh program is excellent. Before, my diet consisted of McDonalds and Subway but with CalFresh it’s easier to eat healthy.

How does receiving food assistance make you feel? / ¿Cómo se siente recibiendo beneficios?

Muy agradecido. Bueno, con la reducción, no tan agradecido. Con $194 si me alcanza pero con $112 voy a tener que ver qué soluciones hacemos. Ojala podemos ver cómo arreglar eso.

I’m very grateful, but really need to re-adjust my benefit amount now that I am not working. With $194, I could afford food but with only $112 I’m going to have to figure something out. Hopefully we can fix the reduction. (Note: San Diego Hunger Coalition has helped Emilio to receive his original benefit amount.)

How would you make ends meet without CalFresh? / ¿Si usted no tuviera acceso a CalFresh, que tuviera que hacer?

Pues tuviera que depender de amigos. Nosotros abecés ayudamos y si no tuviera CalFresh, pues pidiera un préstamo o vendiera el carro. Cuando llegue aquí caminábamos a todos lados. Pero vamos a luchar. No somos conformistas.

I would have to depend on my friends. We sometimes help out our friends. If I didn’t have CalFresh, I would have to ask my friends for a loan or I would have to sell my car. When we moved here we used to walk everywhere. We keep fighting, we don’t conform.

What are you most proud of in your life? Or what are your dreams for the future?
¿De qué estás más orgulloso en tu vida? ¿Cuáles son sus sueños para el futuro?

Ahorita volver empezar. Quisiera que mis nietos vallan a la universidad. Me daría mucho orgullo dejar eso. Yo nunca viajo, no voy a bailes o conciertos. Yo trabajo y ahorro. Se acaba de fallecer mi mama y por eso tuve que salir del país. Mis hijos estudiaron en México pero quiero que los que nacieron aquí también estudien.

Right now, I have to start over. I would like for my grandchildren to go to college. I would be very proud to see that happen. I don’t travel, I don’t go out or go to concerts. I work and save. My mom just passed away and I had to leave the country. My children studied in Mexico and I would like my grandchildren who were born here to study as well.

What do you want people to know about food assistance programs like CalFresh? / ¿Que quisiera que la gente supiera acerca de los programas de asistencia como las estampillas de comida?

Me encargaron que les digiera a mis amigos del programa. Mucha gente si está interesada pero no sé si han aplicado. Yo conozco mucha gente que no ganan bien. Ellos trabajan pero ganan lo mínimo y aquí con la renta, está muy difícil.

Home Start told me to tell my friends about the program. A lot of people were interested. I know a lot of people who don’t make a lot. They work, but they get paid the minimum and here with the cost of rent, it’s very difficult.


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