San Diego Hunger Coalition and the Hunger Advocacy Network Oppose the Cuts and Changes to SNAP Included in the House of Representative’s Draft of the Farm Bill

SAN DIEGO, April 12, 2018 –  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (known as CalFresh locally, and formerly known as food stamps) that serves more than 260,000 residents of San Diego County is being targeted for devastating structural changes that will increase hunger and poverty in our region. The federal Farm Bill, which houses the SNAP program, is scheduled to be reauthorized this year. The House of Representative’s Agriculture Committee released their first draft of the Farm Bill yesterday which disregards evidenced-based policymaking in favor of unfounded and aggressive work requirements as well as other restrictions that will harm low-income people and families teetering on the edge of stability.

Proposed changes to SNAP in the House of Representatives Agriculture Committee’s version of the bill include creating harsher rules for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs), who like many others turn to CalFresh/SNAP when jobs are lost, hours are cut, or wages don't cover basic living expenses. The proposal would place an additional burden on states to develop new bureaucracies to develop and implement employment and training programs on an extremely limited budget of $300 per participant. The proposal also expands work requirements to CalFresh/SNAP beneficiaries between ages 18 and 59 who aren’t disabled or raising a child under age six.

Additionally, the House's version of the Farm Bill also proposes to eliminate what is known as "categorical eligibility" for the majority of CalFresh/SNAP households with gross incomes modestly above 130 percent of the federal poverty line, regardless of how high the household’s child care or housing costs may be and whether such costs leave them with disposable income below the poverty line. Categorical eligibility is currently used by 40 states, including California, to adjust income cutoffs and asset limits so that low-wage working families don't abruptly lose their CalFresh/SNAP benefits when they earn slightly more.   Click here for an issue brief on CalFresh/SNAP's impact in San Diego County. 

“The San Diego Hunger Coalition and Hunger Advocacy Network are deeply disappointed with the proposed changes to the SNAP program included in the House of Representatives Agriculture Committee’s draft of the Farm Bill. The current average CalFresh benefit per person is $4.10 per day. This amount already isn’t enough. These changes will be devastating to our region’s most vulnerable populations, many of whom are working hard but falling short due to low wages and San Diego County’s high cost of living. CalFresh/SNAP helps people cover the basic need of putting food on the table so they can get back on their feet more quickly,” said San Diego Hunger Coalition Executive Director Anahid Brakke.

To help raise awareness and show our representatives in Congress how much CalFresh/SNAP means to San Diego County, the San Diego Hunger Coalition and Hunger Advocacy Network are encouraging people to walk in the shoes of someone on CalFresh/SNAP by taking their 2018 #CalFreshChallenge from May 7 - 11. Register for the #CalFreshChallenge at SDhunger.org/CFC.

Each year, the San Diego Hunger Coalition encourages people who don’t have to worry about having enough food to try living on the average CalFresh benefit per person of $4.10 for one day on May 7th or $20.50 for all five days from May 7-11.  The #CalFreshChallenge is a way to raise awareness about the benefit of the program, advocate for hunger relief policies with elected officials, and raise money for the San Diego Hunger Coalition’s CalFresh Task Force to help connect more eligible people in need to the program.

San Diego Hunger Coalition is Part of a Strong San Diego County Contingent at the 2018 CalFresh Forum

 The San Diego County contingent at the 2018 CalFresh Forum. 

The San Diego County contingent at the 2018 CalFresh Forum. 

Our CalFresh Team, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, and members of our CalFresh Task Force descended on our state’s capitol to advocate for policies that support CalFresh (known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP at the federal level and formerly known as food stamps) and engage with other CalFresh providers at this year’s California Food Policy Advocate’s (CFPA) CalFresh Forum and CalFresh Peer-to-Peer.

Each year, the CalFresh Forum brings together hundreds of key stakeholders from across the state to identify opportunities and discuss strategies to improve the reach and impact of this vital food assistance program and hear directly from state and federal leaders regarding the current state of CalFresh and how to ensure the program continues to be available for those who need it.

San Diego County was well represented at this year’s forum. Albert Garcia, CalFresh Program Manager for the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency presented on opportunities to connect Medi-Cal recipients to CalFresh benefits in our region. Ismael Lopez, CalFresh Community Liaison for the County of San Diego Health and Human Services won the forum’s “Freshy” award for CalFresh Outreach Leader of the Year Award!  Members of our CalFresh Task Force also in attendance were Feeding San Diego, Heaven’s Windows, Neighborhood Healthcare, 2-1-1 San Diego, San Ysidro Health Center, San Diego Food Bank, La Maestra Community Health Centers, Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego, and Alliance for African Assistance.

Additional highlights from this year’s CalFresh Forum include dynamic presentations on how to protect and strengthen CalFresh given by Kim McCoy Wade, Chief, CalFresh Branch for the California Department of Social Services, Secretary Karen Ross of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and Ed Bolen, Senior Policy Analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

CalFresh application assistance agencies also met the day prior to share best practices and strategies for outreach with fellow case managers across the state as a part of the CalFresh Peer-to-Peer Forum, hosted by the California Association of Food Banks.  At this statewide meeting, partners gained new perspectives on CalFresh college student outreach, Disaster CalFresh, and ways to talk to clients about potential changes to eligibility and time limits for childless adults (also known as Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents or ABAWDs). The San Diego Hunger Coalition, Feeding San Diego and San Diego Food Bank served on the planning committee for this event.

 California Assemblymember Todd Gloria with San Diego Hunger Coalition Senior Director of CalFresh and Advocacy Amanda Schultz Brochu. 

California Assemblymember Todd Gloria with San Diego Hunger Coalition Senior Director of CalFresh and Advocacy Amanda Schultz Brochu. 

While in Sacramento, our Senior Director of CalFresh and Advocacy Amanda Schultz Brochu took the opportunity to meet with Assemblymember Todd Gloria and staff members from six other California Assemblymember’s offices. She discussed food insecurity in San Diego County and AB 3033, a State Assembly bill authored by Assemblymember Brain Maienschein and co-sponsored by the San Diego Hunger Coalition and the Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations that would make it easier for people applying for Medi-Cal using Covered California to apply for CalFresh at the same time.

#MythbusterMonday - March 2018 Myths Busted!

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We begin each week using our online voice to debunk myths about hunger. Our #MythbusterMonday social media series dispels misinformation and stigma commonly associated with food assistance programs like CalFresh/SNAP and youth meals and the people who rely on them to help put food on the table.  

What hunger myths have you heard? Join us in sharing the truth about hunger each Monday using the hashtag #MythbusterMonday.

In March, we busted the following hunger myths:

March 5

The first Monday of the month we take a look back at the myths busted the previous month. Check out the myths we busted in February. Click here. 

March 12

#MythbusterMonday "You must have a place to cook and store food to get SNAP/CalFresh benefits." False! You can’t be turned down for SNAP/CalFresh benefits because you don’t have a kitchen or a place to cook. Click here to read more myths and facts about SNAP/CalFresh for homeless persons from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

March 19

#MythbusterMonday "SNAP recipients are lazy and don't work." False! According to The Hamilton Project "The vast majority of food-insecure households with children are working households: over 85 percent of households with children reporting food insecurity in 2014 also reported at least one adult who earned an income in 2014. Among every type of household reporting food insecurity—i.e., households headed by married couples, single mothers, or single fathers—at least 75 percent of households had an earner during the year they experienced food insecurity. Nonetheless, the income generated by work over the year was not sufficient to protect those working families from food insecurity. Click on the link to read more fact about food insecurity and SNAP. 

March 26

#MythbusterMonday "Our youth organization can't provide meals because we don’t have a kitchen or space to prepare food." False! Many nonprofits partner with a sponsor like a school or food bank to prepare the food or work with a vendor to serve room temperature, healthy options that don’t require a kitchen for preparation or significant refrigeration space. Interested in starting or expanding youth meals in your area? Visit our Hunger Free Kids webpage to learn more. 


Follow the San Diego Hunger Coalition on Facebook,  Twitter, and Instagram

Afterschool Meals Through CACFP Help Ensure Low-Income Children Don't go to bed Hungry

Many children’s days don’t end when the last school bell rings. In fact, a report conducted by the Afterschool Alliance found that participation in afterschool programs has consistently increased over the past 10 years, rising by nearly 2 million children in the last five year years alone. The At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program through the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is one of the most effective defenses in the fight against child hunger, as it provides the funding to serve suppers at eligible afterschool programs. Any program that provides child care and enrichment activities (e.g. tutoring, music lessons, arts and crafts, etc.) after school, on weekends, holidays, or breaks during the school year and operates in an area where 50% of children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals is eligible for CACFP.

Our goal is to raise awareness about this program and support our partners on the ground at schools and nonprofits across San Diego County with information, application assistance, grant writing, and administrative review to expand CACFP meal sites in our region.

Through our Hunger Free Kids Task Force, we have been able to connect Feeding San Diego with Vista Community Clinic to expand afterschool meals at the Clinic’s youth-serving Project REACH program at two different locations in Oceanside. At the Libby Lake Community Center, the Clinic’s physicians actively inform parents about the afterschool meals available just upstairs at the Project REACH offices, helping to promote both free meals and enrichment activities available to their children.

Additionally, Feeding San Diego serves as a sponsor to provide CACFP youth meals at North County Lifeline’s Las Casitas and La Escuelita’s Youth Development Clubs. These two sites serve afterschool suppers every weekday, totaling at least 150 meals each week, with the help of meal vendor Top Notch Catering. And because the funding grows as a program grows, their goal to consistently increase the number of meals served is made easily attainable because each meal is reimbursed through the United States Department of Agriculture at its fixed rate, with no devaluation or loss on behalf of the program.

 Libby Lake Park, Oceanside, CA

Libby Lake Park, Oceanside, CA

While we are making promising strides with CACFP locally, No Kid Hungry and the School Nutrition Foundation have found a large gap in afterschool meals nationally. There are less than four afterschool suppers served for every hundred school lunches going to kids in need across the country.

Their “Three Meals a Day: A Win-Win-Win” report outlines the great need for afterschool meals:

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CACFP has the means to address these needs through the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program, and yet eligible programs are still not taking advantage of this viable solution. Many afterschool meal sites serve no meals or only a small snack. If they do provide food, it is often paid for out of the program’s general fund or the staff’s own dime, causing the program to miss out on valuable federal meal reimbursements.

Become a champion for youth meals in your area! Visit the Hunger Free Kids Task Force webpage or attend an upcoming meeting for more information. If you know of an afterschool program that may be eligible for CACFP, please contact our Hunger Free Kids Program Director Robin McNulty at Robin@sdhunger.org.

Expanding Breakfast After the Bell in San Diego County

You’ve probably heard the saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Whether you agree with this or disregard it as a mere cliché, studies show that this is a phrase we shouldn’t be ignoring. However, the harsh reality is that in San Diego County, 1 in 5 children don’t always have enough to eat. While the traditional School Breakfast Program is offered on many campuses and aims to address hunger and support student achievement, it has limited reach. Serving breakfast before the start of the school day leads to missed opportunities for students who cannot arrive early. Breakfast After the Bell is an innovative program designed to more effectively reach children by incorporating the benefits of a nutritious breakfast into their daily school routine.

San Diego Hunger Coalition has played a vital role in helping to implement and expand the following proven-effective Breakfast After the Bell models. We do so by working with school districts and nonprofits to provide technical assistance, share best practices, review eligible schools, conduct financial analyses, and support grant writing for equipment and other meal resources.

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Within the last year, there has been a notable expansion of Breakfast After the Bell, particularly in the San Diego Unified School District. K-12 eligible schools (those participating in the National School Lunch Program) now serve Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab n’ Go and Nutrition Break, an allotted time after first period where breakfast is served from carts in the hallway or other high foot traffic areas of the campus. Following San Diego Unified’s lead, BIC is now also served at eligible elementary schools in Cajon Valley, as well as Felicita Elementary in the Escondido Union School District

  Statistics gathered from Millenial, Montgomery, Roosevelt, Wilson, Bell & CPMA Middle Schools.

Statistics gathered from Millenial, Montgomery, Roosevelt, Wilson, Bell & CPMA Middle Schools.

Evidence shows that eating breakfast is healthy, especially for growing bodies. Research has proven that access to nutrition, particular breakfast, can enhance a student’s psychosocial well-being, reduce aggression and school suspensions, and decrease discipline problems (Brown et al., 2008). Marcie Beth Schneider, a member of the AAP’s Committee on Nutrition and an adolescent medicine physician, explained how eating breakfast directly affects school performance: “Study after study shows that kids who eat breakfast function better. They do better in school and have better concentration and more energy.”

This increase in School Breakfast Program participation is an encouraging start, but there is still much to be done in the fight against child hunger. You can find out how San Diego County school districts are doing to implement Breakfast After the Bell in our Hunger Free Kids Report School District Profiles.

Join our efforts to ensure that all children have year-round access to healthy food. To get involved and find out how to become a champion for youth meals, visit the Hunger Free Kids Task Force webpage or contact our Hunger Free Kids Program Director Robin McNulty at Robin@sdhunger.org for more information.

#MythbusterMonday - February 2018 Myths Busted!

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We begin each week using our online voice to debunk myths about hunger. Our #MythbusterMonday social media series dispels misinformation and stigma commonly associated with food assistance programs like CalFresh/SNAP and youth meals and the people who rely on them to help put food on the table.  

What hunger myths have you heard? Join us in sharing the truth about hunger each Monday using the hashtag #MythbusterMonday.

In February, we busted the following hunger myths:

February 5

The first Monday of the month we take a look back at the myths busted the previous month. Check out the myths we busted in January. Click here.

February 12

#MythbusterMonday "Too many people are taking advantage of CalFresh/SNAP." False! After unemployment insurance, CalFresh/SNAP, is the most responsive federal program available to provide additional assistance during economic downturns. Enrollment expands when the economy weakens and contracts when the economy recovers.The program also provides important nutritional support for low-wage working families, low-income seniors and people with disabilities with fixed incomes. Read more from Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC.

February 19

#MythbusterMonday "The pre-determined food boxes for SNAP recipients in President Trump's latest budget proposal will support American farmers and be similar to fresh meal delivery services like Blue Apron." False! The pre-determined food boxes Trump is proposing will contain canned and non-perishable food items, there would be no fresh fruit, vegetables or meat. This proposal is about enabling the government to save money by buying in bulk in order to make up for the $1 trillion deficit that will be left by the new tax plan passed at the end of 2017.

February 26

#MythbusterMonday "Government programs enable people to be lazy and live on society's dime." False! Receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) hardly enables anyone to live well. The average benefit equates to roughly $1.40 per person per meal. And in most cases, the money runs out before the month ends. Learn more from MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger


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A Year in Review 2017

As we look back on the past year, we’re motivated by everything we and our more than 100 partners accomplished together to help our fellow San Diego residents access the food assistance resources.

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Now, we’re sharing our favorite 2017 wins with you. Thanks to your support, we:

1. Saved Breakfast in the Classroom for at least one more year for more than 1,000 students in the Lemon Grove School District by providing advocacy training and support to our partners as well as parents and students.

2. Supported the City of Oceanside and Oceanside Unified School District to expand afterschool suppers and Summer Meals in the city thanks to a grant from the National League of Cities, Combating Hunger through Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs (CHAMPS) initiative.

3. Helped more than 215 households access food assistance by resolving over 230 technical issues with their CalFresh/SNAP applications.

4. Trained 369 staff, volunteers, and interns from hunger relief and human service agencies to provide CalFresh/SNAP application assistance.

5. Directed more than $326,000 to local nonprofits helping low-income individuals and families apply for CalFresh/SNAP, as a contractor for the state CalFresh Outreach Program.

6. Supported the passage of 4 State hunger relief policies that will help more eligible children and adults enroll in CalFresh and free and reduced-price school meals and broadens the tax credit for donated fresh fruits and vegetables.

The fight to end hunger continues in 2018. Our partners on the ground know how great the need for food assistance is, but the current administration has set its sights on dismantling and weakening CalFresh/SNAP by targeting the program for deep cuts disguised as “entitlement reform.” It will take all of us, raising our voices and telling our stories, to protect and strengthen these programs so that they remain available for the nearly 500,000 food insecure people in San Diego County.

You can get involved in the fight against hunger by signing up to be a Hunger Free Activist, sharing your experience with CalFresh, or making a donation to support our work.

Why Trump’s Idea to Use SNAP Recipient’s Benefits to Pay for Pre-Determined Food Boxes Won’t Work to Fight Hunger

Last week, President Trump released his 2019 budget proposal, a first draft of the direction he would like to see Congress take for the year. The latest budget proposal out of the White House continues the current administration’s rhetoric of targeting anti-poverty programs by proposing $213 billion in cuts over the next 10 years to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as CalFresh in California. A main structural change to the program included in Trump’s budget proposal that is getting a lot of attention is the idea to use a portion of SNAP recipient’s benefits to fund pre-determined, pre-packaged food boxes that would be sent to program recipients who receive more than $90 in benefits a month.

 Getty Images

Getty Images

These cuts to SNAP, are being disguised as “Harvest Boxes” that will support American farmers, but in reality, they would be filled with non-perishable and canned foods and be forced on to low-income families without any regard for their unique dietary needs and preferences. Read on for 13 reasons why these proposed food boxes take away support from private retailers and limit SNAP recipient’s access to fresh, nutritious food, in addition to being an inefficient way to meet food insecure people’s needs.

1) Trump’s plan distracts us from what really matters: the current administration is suggesting that we require everyone to work to receive public benefits while simultaneously cutting our nation’s education and workforce development budgets, making it harder for people to gain the skills required to find meaningful employment.

2) SNAP works; we don't need to "fix it." While the benefit amount could be increased, as a program, SNAP already works great.  It generates the greatest economic activity than any other public program and has one of the lowest fraud rate of any government program, typically less than 2%.

3) Delivering food boxes to people's doorsteps is complicated, especially because low-income populations move a lot in search of affordable housing. Up to 20% of SNAP recipients must reapply because they don't receive their recertification paperwork in the mail.  Are we willing to waste 20% of food boxes because people no longer live where they did when they signed up for the program?

4) Efficient delivery of food boxes to rural areas is unrealistic: there are places that even Amazon won't go. Why waste SNAP dollars to pay for the massive transportation infrastructure needed to distribute these food boxes when food distribution channels are already in place for grocery stores, where SNAP recipients can currently buy food. 

5) Having people pick up food boxes is burdensome: Low income populations have more limited access to transportation. People receiving SNAP already need to grocery shop, the beauty of the current program is that they have additional dollars to spend where they already shop.

6) Charity programs have already spoken out and said that they do not have the capacity to administer a program like this on such a broad scale.

7) Pre-determined food boxes would reverse SNAP’s successful public-private partnership with some 260,000 retail who accept SNAP via EBT cards in favor of a government-driven approach. Currently, it is estimated that every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates as much as $9 in economic activity.

8) Making states develop programs to distribute the proposed food boxes is very difficult and will doom the project from the start. Many states barely have the infrastructure in place to help their residents access health care let alone design and deliver food boxes.

9) Predetermined food boxes result in massive food waste. Why give people items like dried milk when they can currently purchase the type of milk they actually want to drink at the grocery store?

10) Predetermined food boxes can't completely take into account food allergies, religious and cultural practices, or general dietary preferences.  SNAP allows recipients to use resources in a way that works best for their family.   

11) The distribution of predetermined food boxes is based on the idea that SNAP recipients don't know how to budget their money wisely and that the government can do a better job. However, research shows people use SNAP to make the same types of purchases as people who do not have SNAP. Under the current program, as people have a larger food purchasing budget, their overall purchases of nutritional foods like fresh fruits and vegetables increases.  

12) Why force people to eat canned/boxed food when they can currently use SNAP to purchase and prepare more nutritious fresh food? While it’s easy to compare pre-determined food boxes to farm-to-table food delivery services like Blue Apron, the pre-determined food boxes included in Trump’s latest budget proposal would not include fresh fruit, vegetables, or meat. Additionally, comparing Trump’s food boxes to food delivery programs fails to account differences in price per meals between Trump’s proposal and programs like Blue Apron. While Blue Apron’s price per serving is $10, the price per meal for a SNAP Meal is just $1.40.

13) If Trump’s real intention is to help American farmers, there are other more effective ways to do so, including increasing funding to FINI grants, which encourage SNAP recipients to use their benefits to purchase locally grown, American produce.

It’s important to remember that the President’s budget proposal is only a blue print, not a final budget. However, if any of the structural changes or funding cuts to SNAP move forward it will significantly harm the millions of very-low income families, seniors, people with disabilities, and American workers who rely on the program.  Click on the link to find and contact your representative and tell them to oppose cuts to SNAP in the budget and any other legislation. Cuts to programs that help struggling individuals and families meet basic needs is not a responsible approach to addressing our nation’s fiscal challenges.

#MythbusterMonday - January 2018 Myths Busted!

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We begin each week using our online voice to debunk myths about hunger. Our #MythbusterMonday social media series dispels misinformation and stigma commonly associated with food assistance programs like CalFresh/SNAP and youth meals and the people who rely on them to help put food on the table.  

What hunger myths have you heard? Join us in sharing the truth about hunger each Monday using the hashtag #MythbusterMonday.

In January, we busted the following hunger myths:

January 1

The first Monday of the month we take a look back at the myths busted the previous month. Check out the myths we busted in December 2017.  Click here. 

January 8

#MythbusterMonday “Senior hunger is only a problem for poor people.” False! Senior hunger is not just an income issue. It is also a problem of access and care. Many seniors who can afford it, lack the mobility to get and prepare their own meals and don’t have other support systems to help them. Those same seniors and others live in areas that are more difficult to access. Click here to read more myths about senior hunger from HuffPost. 

January 16

#MythbusterMonday "Hunger in the U.S. is only found in poor urban neighborhoods." False! Hunger is also found in rural America. According to Feeding America, "People who live in rural areas often face hunger at higher rates, in part because of the unique challenges living remotely presents. These challenges include an increased likelihood of food deserts with the nearest food pantry or food bank potentially hours away, job opportunities that are more concentrated in low-wage industries and higher rates of unemployment and underemployment." Click here to learn more. 

January 22

#MythbusterMonday - "With programs like Breakfast in the Classroom, kids will eat twice or too much." False! A 2015 study by health professionals published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics concluded that breakfast in the classroom was not associated with an increase in calorie intake at breakfast time or throughout the day. If anything it led to more kids getting breakfast. Click here to read more from No Kid Hungry.

January 29

#MythbusterMonday "The U.S. is the richest country, so we have less hunger." False! According to a 2014 guest column by Tracie McMillan in The Chautauquan Daily there are about 49 million Americans who say they run out of food at least once a year (1 in 6) — putting the U.S. at the bottom of the pack when it comes to our country's economic peers. In many European countries, the ratio of hungry to fed is one in 20.


Follow the San Diego Hunger Coalition on Facebook,  Twitter, and Instagram

#MythbusterMonday - December 2017 Myths Busted!

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We begin each week using our online voice to debunk myths about hunger. Our #MythbusterMonday social media series dispels misinformation and stigma commonly associated with food assistance programs like CalFresh/SNAP and school meals and the people who rely on them to help put food on the table.  

What hunger myths have you heard? Join us in sharing the truth about hunger each Monday using the hashtag #MythbusterMonday.

In December, we busted the following hunger myths:

December 4

The first Monday of the month we take a look back at the myths busted the previous month. Check out the myths we busted in November 2017. Click here

December 11

#MythBusterMonday "Too many people take advantage of CalFresh/SNAP benefits." False! After unemployment insurance, CalFresh/SNAP is the most responsive federal program available to provide additional assistance during economic downturns. Enrollment expands when the economy weakens and contracts when the economy recovers.

December 18

#MythbusterMonday "Breakfast in the Classroom makes a mess." False! Many teachers and principals say that any mess or trash issues can be overcome with a smart system. Creating roles and opportunities for students to clean up after themselves can make breakfast a simple experience. Click here to read more from No Kid Hungry.
 

December 25

#MythbusterMonday “Government assistance is a waste of money and doesn't accomplish its goals.” False! Poverty rates would likely double without safety net programs like CalFresh/SNAP and add to human suffering. Last year, the safety net lifted 38 million people, including 8 million children, out of poverty. Click here to read more myths about poverty.


Follow the San Diego Hunger Coalition on Facebook,  Twitter, and Instagram

REPLACEMENT CALFRESH AVAILABLE FOR RESIDENTS AFFECTED BY SAN DIEGO COUNTY WILDFIRES & POWER OUTAGES

Last updated: December 14, 2017

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Replacement CalFresh

Due to the number of residents affected by power outages and wildfires in San Diego County, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency received a waiver that extends the deadline to request Replacement CalFresh. Residents who lost benefits and live in the impacted zip codes below have until January 4, 2018 to request Replacement CalFresh.

The impacted zip codes include: 91901, 91905, 91906, 91916, 91917, 91931, 91934, 91935, 91948, 91962, 91963, 91980, 92003, 92026, 92027, 92028, 92036, 92054, 92056, 92057, 92058, 92059, 92060, 92061, 92065, 92066, 92069, 92070, 92082, 92083, 92084, and 92086.

Residents requesting replacement CalFresh must complete a CF 303 Form (English  | Spanish) and an Affidavit of Loss form (English | Spanish). These forms must be submitted in person at a County of San Diego HHSA Family Resource Center (find a location here) or the Local Assistance Center at the Vista Branch Library (700 Eucalyptus Avenue). 

Benefits will be restored to the CalFresh EBT card for that individual or household. The maximum replacement benefit individuals can recoup is one full month’s worth of benefits. Replacement Requests will be processed and benefits will be reissued within 10 days of submitting.

Local Assistance Center (LAC) open from December 11 - 16, 2017

The County of San Diego has opened a Local Assistance Center in Vista to help individuals and families affected by the Lilac Fire. County and community-based organizations will be available this week to provide case management, crisis counseling and referral services, tax relief information and records replacement, short-term housing referrals, CalFresh/SNAP resources and information, information on residential rebuilding and permitting and consumer fraud and a mobile medical clinic. For more information, residents can call or visit:

  • Local Assistance Center is located at the Vista branch library at 700 Eucalyptus Avenue and will be open from 9am- 6pm. the site will remain open until Saturday, December 16th. 
  • Residents who live in the unincorporated part of San Diego County may call the Recovery Assistance Hotline at 858.495.5200 or email CountyFireRecovery@sdcounty.ca.gov.

Congratulations to our 2017 CalFresh Award Winners

The collaborative power of the CalFresh Task Force is fueled by the passion and innovation of its members.  The annual CalFresh Task Force Awards honor individuals and organizations making major strides toward ending hunger in San Diego County. Awardees are nominated and voted for by Task Force members.

CalFresh Outreach Partner of the Year – Legal Aid Society of San Diego

  San Diego Hunger Coalition Senior Director of CalFresh and Advocacy, Amanda Schultz Brochu presents Laura Zuniga-Huizar of Legal Aid Society of San Diego with the CalFresh Outreach Partner of the Year award. Laura accepted   the award on behalf of her colleague Tila Nunn-Miller.

San Diego Hunger Coalition Senior Director of CalFresh and Advocacy, Amanda Schultz Brochu presents Laura Zuniga-Huizar of Legal Aid Society of San Diego with the CalFresh Outreach Partner of the Year award. Laura accepted the award on behalf of her colleague Tila Nunn-Miller.

Tila Nunn-Miller of Legal Aid Society of San Diego is a phenomenal advocate for individuals who encounter difficulties navigating the CalFresh process. Through her work, Tila ensures all parties understand the process, rules, and regulations that govern CalFresh benefits. Tila is a social justice champion who prides herself on assisting others and gives her all to assist anyone with CalFresh, CalWORKS, General Relief, and CAPI questions. While Tila was unable to attend the end of the year CalFresh Task Force meeting where the awards were presented, her colleague Laura Zuniga-Huizar (pictured above) accepted the award on her behalf.

CalFresh County Liaison of the Year – Michael and Patrick Schmidt, Program Specialists

  San Diego Hunger Coalition Senior Director of CalFresh and Advocacy, Amanda Schultz Brochu presents Patrick Schmidt with the CalFresh County Liaison of the Year award. Patrick also accepted the award on behalf of Michael Schmidt who was unable to attend the CalFresh end of year meeting.

San Diego Hunger Coalition Senior Director of CalFresh and Advocacy, Amanda Schultz Brochu presents Patrick Schmidt with the CalFresh County Liaison of the Year award. Patrick also accepted the award on behalf of Michael Schmidt who was unable to attend the CalFresh end of year meeting.

Michael and Patrick Schmidt support community-based organizations’ work to ensure eligible residents are awarded CalFresh benefits through their work managing the County of San Diego HHSA’s new case issue escalation email. Created in conjunction with the San Diego Hunger Coalition, the HHSA escalation email allows community organizations to elevate challenging cases to a team of experts for additional investigation and support. Michael and Patrick’s team provides quick and thorough customer service which allows for a prompt resolution to any case issues partners may experience. Community partners reported, “clients have provided great feedback from their interactions working with both Michael and Patrick and expressed feeling like their concerns are properly addressed.” Michael was unable to attend the end of year CalFresh Task Force meeting, Patrick (pictured above) accepted the award on both of their behalves.

CalFresh Outreach Partner & County Collaboration – La Maestra Community Health Centers, Health Coverage Access, and EOPS Department at Southwestern College

  San Diego Hunger Coalition Senior Director of CalFresh and Advocacy, Amanda Schultz Brochu   presents Daniela Cervantes of La Maestra Community Health Centers and Monica Moreno of Health Coverage Access with the CalFresh Outreach Partner and County Collaboration award.  

San Diego Hunger Coalition Senior Director of CalFresh and Advocacy, Amanda Schultz Brochu presents Daniela Cervantes of La Maestra Community Health Centers and Monica Moreno of Health Coverage Access with the CalFresh Outreach Partner and County Collaboration award. 

Starting in the fall of 2016, La Maestra Community Health Centers began working with the Southwestern College’s Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) Department and Health Coverage Access (HCA) to provide same-day-service CalFresh application assistance on campus. La Maestra reported, “this new partnership has made it easier to connect likely eligible students participating in EOPS with CalFresh benefits by providing onsite support and simplifying the application process.” The Hunger Coalition is happy to have facilitated this partnership, resulting in ongoing efforts to connect eligible students to benefits, including seven same-day-service events on campus last academic year.

CalFresh Outreach Partner & Community Collaboration – Feeding San Diego and the EOPS Department at San Diego City College

  San Diego Hunger Coalition Senior Director of CalFresh and Advocacy, Amanda Schultz Brochu presents Rachel Oporto of Feeding San Diego and Salem Berhanu and Mercedes Tiggs of San Diego City College with the CalFresh award for Outreach Partner and Community Collaboration.

San Diego Hunger Coalition Senior Director of CalFresh and Advocacy, Amanda Schultz Brochu presents Rachel Oporto of Feeding San Diego and Salem Berhanu and Mercedes Tiggs of San Diego City College with the CalFresh award for Outreach Partner and Community Collaboration.

After meeting at a CalFresh Task Force meeting, San Diego City College’s Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) Department and Feeding San Diego partnered to provide CalFresh application assistance on campus, and are going strong! The EOPS team has worked diligently to make it easier for students to successfully access benefits, collaborating with their financial aid department to help students successfully obtain necessary forms, and always keeping an open door for students to come ask questions about their case. Currently, Feeding San Diego is onsite on a monthly basis and is working with the EOPS team to partner with the Disability Support Programs and Services department and Mental Health department to further expand CalFresh outreach.

Hunger Free Kids Convening Brings Together Experts in Child Nutrition, Hunger Relief, and Policy Solutions

  Attendees, presenters, and panelists gather at the Hunger Free Kids convening on November 1, 2017 at Leichtag Commons.

Attendees, presenters, and panelists gather at the Hunger Free Kids convening on November 1, 2017 at Leichtag Commons.

Many afterschool programs serve a snack to keep children focused and engaged in active learning and play. Yet for many children, a snack is simply not enough. Afterschool “supper” is a meal like lunch that can help ensure all children don’t go to bed hungry. However, San Diego Hunger Coalition’s analysis found that only 9% of students enrolled in the Free and Reduced Price Meal program at school are participating in afterschool programs that serve supper. This is one opportunity to feed more children and youth without raising money to spend on food.

Opportunities for schools and youth-serving community-based organizations to expand their meal programs like afterschool suppers and tap into federal funds to support more robust programs are at the heart of the San Diego Hunger Coalition’s soon-to-be released report - Hunger Free Kids: Opportunities by District to End Child Hunger. The Hunger Coalition partnered with Alliance Healthcare Foundation as part of its iEngageU series to bring together experts in child nutrition, hunger relief, and policy solutions along with parents and other advocates for a convening on November 1st at Leichtag Commons, to preview of the report’s findings.

Presenters at the convening included keynote speaker Kathy Saile, California Director of No Kid Hungry, as well as:

The week following the Hunger Free Kids convening, our Executive Director Anahid Brakke, Research Director Heidi Gjertsen, Ph.D., and Hunger Free Kids Program Director Robin McNulty represented San Diego at the Alliance to End Hunger's 2017 national Sunshine Summit to End Hunger where they presented on the report's findings and how to start a hunger free initiative in other communities.

The full report will be released at the end of January. Sign-up to receive a link to where you can download a copy of the report when it is available. The report methodology and data on the school districts presented at the November 1st convening is available on our Hunger Free Kids Report webpage

The Hunger Advocacy Network's 2017 State Policy Priorities Pass!

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Each year, the Hunger Advocacy Network (HAN), facilitated by the San Diego Hunger Coalition, selects State hunger relief policies to prioritize for its lobbying efforts. This year, HAN was aided by a new wave of support from its grassroots Hunger Free Activist network. These everyday activists and partners receive periodic opportunities to use their voice, when it matters most, to support key pieces of legislation that will protect and expand programs like CalFresh/SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) and School Meals. The Hunger Free Activists’ tweets, posts, calls, emails and letters over the past year worked! All of HAN’s state priority policies either passed or were included in the 2017-2018 state budget.

2017 State Priority Policy Initiatives

SB 138 (McGuire) - Feed the Kids: This law increases access to free and reduced-price school meals by implementing Medi-Cal Direct Certification statewide and calls upon very high poverty schools to offer free school meals to all students.
Signed by Governor Jerry Brown - October 12, 2017

AB 1219 (Eggman) – Good Samaritan Food Donation Act: This law clarifies and expands existing liability protections for food donors to reduce waste and increases resources for San Diegans struggling with food insecurity. 
Signed by Governor Jerry Brown - October 9, 2017

AB 607 (Gloria) - Community Resiliency & Disaster Preparedness Act of 2017: This law protects against increased hunger and hardship of low-income families during a disaster by requiring the CalFresh program to maximize replacement benefit options during a disaster or power-outage and provide additional budget resources to be triggered in the case of a disaster declared by the Governor to improve the success of a federal request for disaster anti-hunger assistance and administration of the aid.
Signed by Governor Jerry Brown - October 5, 2017

AB 214 (Weber) – College Hunger: This law addresses college student hunger by defining terms used in the CalFresh program to determine eligibility and clarifies the law concerning CalFresh Restaurant Meal Program on college campuses.
Signed by Governor Jerry Brown - July 24, 2017

AB 164 (Arambula) – California Leads to Meet Food Needs: This funding will establish a new state-funded anti-hunger CalFresh benefit to be issued under prescribed circumstances, such as drought, disaster, or in the case of federal SNAP ineligibility, and to be issued using the EBT system.
The 2017-2018 Budget includes one-time funding of $5 million for a CalFresh Unsafe Drinking Water Benefit Pilot program. This program will provide benefits to residents served by public water systems that fail to meet safe drinking water standards. 

What’s Next?

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have passed versions of a FY 2018 Budget Resolution that expedites tax cuts for the wealthy, at the expense of programs that support low and middle-income people. This includes threats to cut SNAP (known as CalFresh in California). In the coming months, Congress will be writing the budget legislation that they will vote on. As details become available, we will be back in touch to ask you to contact members of Congress and ask them to protect important federal programs that provide food assistance to members of our community. 

San Diego Hunger Coalition Facilitates Panel on Hunger and Healthcare for Be There San Diego

  Experts in healthcare and hunger participate in Be There San Diego’s University of Best Practices series. 

Experts in healthcare and hunger participate in Be There San Diego’s University of Best Practices series. 

Our Senior Director of CalFresh and Advocacy, Amanda Schultz-Brochu, recently organized and moderated an eye-opening panel on screening for food insecurity at healthcare settings hosted by Be There San Diego as part of their University of Best Practices series. Amanda engaged experts in healthcare about their work related to food insecurity, the innovative programs they have launched to address this issue, and the impact their work has had on their patient’s health. The Hunger Coalition’s Rx for CalFresh report has served as a catalyst for screening for food insecurity at healthcare settings.

Click here to read more about this important discussion from Be There San Diego. 

Donor/Volunteer Spotlight – Melody Padilla

Meet Melody Padilla. Melody cares about ending hunger and decided to do her part by becoming a donor and volunteer of San Diego Hunger Coalition. We're grateful for her support!

  San Diego Hunger Coalition donor and volunteer Melody Padilla. Photo courtesy of Jax Connolly Photography.

San Diego Hunger Coalition donor and volunteer Melody Padilla. Photo courtesy of Jax Connolly Photography.

How long have you lived in San Diego? 

I have lived in San Diego almost all of my life! I was born at University Hospital in Hillcrest and grew up in Oak Park, just a few miles east of Downtown San Diego. I went to Horton Elementary, Memorial Academy, and Morse High School. I went away to college and for several years afterward in my early-to-mid-twenties, but I've been back since late 2003 and have since lived in City Heights, Oceanside, and Encinitas.

What is your profession or occupation?

I have a financial education and services office in Carlsbad with two business partners. We offer free classes on all sorts of topics, from getting out of debt to saving for college and planning for retirement. Our passion is to share the strategies that the "one percent" have with everyone else. 

 How did you first hear about the San Diego Hunger Coalition?

I first heard about the San Diego Hunger Coalition when Anahid Brakke became the Executive Director there. She had hired me in her previous position as Director of Self Sufficiency at the Leichtag Foundation.

 Why do you donate to and volunteer with the San Diego Hunger Coalition?

I am inspired to donate to and volunteer with the San Diego Hunger Coalition because I believe so strongly in Anahid Brakke's leadership and the amazing team she has brought together, so I am confident that my efforts and contributions will actually make a difference in my neighbors' lives. I know that the Hunger Coalition is truly moving the needle on hunger in San Diego County, and I am excited to be part of this great work!

Why do you care about ending hunger in San Diego County?

I care about ending hunger in San Diego County in part because I have lived on humble wages as a single mom with three children, and I know how hard it can be to eat enough nutritious food and meet all of my other responsibilities at the same time. I know what it's like to need some help, and I'm so grateful that there were people and organizations in my life there to help me when I needed it.

 

Hunger Awareness Month 2017 was better than ever thanks to great partnerships and community support.

  San Diego Hunger Coalition Executive Director Anahid Brakke addresses guests at the 2017 Hunger Free Fest

San Diego Hunger Coalition Executive Director Anahid Brakke addresses guests at the 2017 Hunger Free Fest

Each September, the San Diego Hunger Coalition takes part in Hunger Awareness Month to spread the word and raise money to fight hunger in our community. This year, our Hunger Awareness month efforts were bigger and better than ever thanks to great partnerships and community support. Throughout the month we partnered with different businesses to raise money to support our work. We also partnered with the member organizations of our Hunger Advocacy Network to make a greater impact spreading the word and advocating for hunger relief policies. Additionally, we held several opportunities for supporters to come together and have fun for a good cause.

On Saturday, September 16 we partnered with Ashley Lane Fitness to work out to fight hunger. Attendees got a heart-pumping 60-minute workout and were treated to refreshments and a raffle afterward.

  Participants in the San Diego Hunger Coalition’s Work out to Fight Hunger at Ashley Lane Fitness pose to show their support after their workout.

Participants in the San Diego Hunger Coalition’s Work out to Fight Hunger at Ashley Lane Fitness pose to show their support after their workout.

On Thursday, September 21st we partnered with Panera Bread in Liberty Station and on September 28th we partnered with Chipotle in Mission Valley to eat out to fight hunger. Customers who dined out at these locations between 5 – 7 pm and showed the Hunger Coalition’s fundraising flier had a portion of their proceeds donated to our organization.

Our work culminated with our Hunger Free Fest on September 23rd at SMARTS Farm in the East Village. This family-friendly event brought together partners, donors, and other supporters for an afternoon of fun, gourmet food, and drinks in a beautiful setting. Guests enjoyed delicious hor d'oeuvres prepared by Chef Christopher Gardner of Volunteers for America Southwest and Chef Alex Caballo of Alpha Pizzeria and sipped on craft beer donate by 10 Barrel Brewing Company while playing yard games and bidding for the chance to win great raffle and silent auction prizes. Hunger Free Fest was a success thanks to a generous anonymous donation and sponsorships from Sharp Healthcare, Scripps Health, and the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation. From these contributions and proceeds from the event ticket sales, silent auction, and raffle we raised nearly $14,000 to advocate for state and federal hunger relief polices that help connect San Diegans in need to food assistance programs including CalFresh (also known as SNAP or food stamps) and school meals. Photos from the event can be viewed in an album on our Facebook Page.

Thank you to everyone who supported Hunger Awareness Month 2017!

#MythbusterMonday - November 2017 Myths Busted

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We begin each week using our online voice to debunk myths about hunger. Our #MythbusterMonday social media series dispels misinformation and stigma commonly associated with food assistance programs like CalFresh/SNAP and school meals and the people who rely on them to help put food on the table.  

What hunger myths have you heard? Join us in sharing the truth about hunger each Monday using the hashtag #MythbusterMonday.

In November, we busted the following hunger myths:

November 6

The first Monday of the month we take a look back at the myths busted the previous month. Check out the myths we busted in October 2017. Click here. 

November 13

#MythbusterMonday "I don't know anyone suffering from food insecurity." False! In San Diego County 1 in 6 people don't have enough to eat for an active, healthy life. A staggering 1 in 5 are children. It is likely that we all know someone who may not know where their next meal is coming from. Visit our Hunger in San Diego webpage to learn more. 

November 20

#MythbusterMonday "It’s better for local charities to feed people, not the government." False! Food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens were not designed to do this. Instead, they were created to solve temporary or emergency situations, not systemic problems. Click here and see Myth 2 from MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger

November 27

#MythbusterMonday "Breakfast in the Classroom places an unnecessary burden on teachers." False! Two out of three educators whose students eat breakfast in the classroom are fans of the program. Teachers find that with clear procedures, breakfast can take less than 15 minutes, has a calming effect and sets a positive learning atmosphere. Click here to read more 'Breakfast in the Classroom' myths from No Kid Hungry

Why 1 in 6 People in San Diego County Don't Have Enough to Eat

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A family walks up to the cashier at the grocery store, takes out their wallet to purchase food, and doesn’t have enough to pay for the items on the checkout belt. How did they get here?

It is easy to conclude that this family made poor individual choices and decisions. Perhaps they didn’t budget their money wisely that month. Perhaps they haven’t put in the effort to find a higher-paying job. Perhaps they rely on CalFresh/SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) and already used up all their monthly benefits.

The reality of food insecurity in San Diego – and across the nation – is far more complex than individual choice and isolated moments at the checkout line.

Living Wage Jobs

Unless a person sustains themselves entirely on food they grow themselves – something that has become increasingly rare in the United States – they need a source of income. Finding and securing a living wage job is not a simple feat. One needs training, education, work experience, and connections to gain employment.  

In San Diego County, a staggeringly high cost of living and high competition for a limited number of living wage jobs intensifies the challenge. If a San Diegan does not have a basic adult education and lacks work experience, it may take anywhere from three to five to as many as ten years to overcome this barrier. While a person pursues career training or education, they must survive with a limited income. When faced with costs related to career and education, food often becomes a “flexible expense.” One group this often applies to is college students. In 2016, nearly 20% of University of California students reported experiencing very low food security. Facing the rising costs of books, supplies, and tuition, students may skip meals to pay for their education.              

Cost of Food, Time, and Transportation

Food prices (and the relative prices of other necessary goods) impacts whether people experience food insecurity. In San Diego County, the average cost of a meal is $3.23, higher than the national average of $2.94. Further, to shop for and cook food at home requires time, food literacy, and cooking skills. This means that more afforable (and less healthy) prepared food is often the only viable option.  

 Lastly, a person may struggle to make it to the checkout line at all. For residents who live in a “food desert,” the nearest grocery store may be far enough away to necessitate a car ride. The cost of owning, maintaining, and fueling a car can add up. In car-dependent San Diego County, the weight of these costs is particularly heavy.

Policies

Federal food assistance programs act as vital safety nets for those experiencing financial hardship. However, these programs are not always available to those who need them. The Federal Poverty Level – the metric that determines eligibility for these programs – is an outdated measure that only captures extreme deprivation.

For example, to be eligible to receive CalFresh benefits, a person must have a household gross monthly income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. The 2017 Federal Poverty Level threshold for a family of four is $24,600, so 200% of that level is $49,200. In San Diego County, however, a family of four may need as much as 300‐365% of the Federal Poverty Level (or $73,800 - $89,790) to meet their most basic needs, especially if their children are not yet in school and require childcare.

Further, the structure of federal food assistance is such that as a person gradually rises in income level, attaining more skills and training, they experience sharp cuts in benefits. This “benefits cliff” traps people between ineligible for benefits but not making enough to make ends meet. Lastly, many of those who are eligible for federal food assistance do not receive benefits because of complex eligibility guidelines, excessive paperwork, or lack of awareness.

Household and Individual Characteristics

Many factors outside of individual choice affect whether a person has enough food for an active, healthy life. A person's mental and physical health status may serve as a barrier to food access. This often includes veterans, the elderly, and those living with disabilities, among others. For example, in San Diego County, 49.1% of food insecure adults are disabled. Whether a person has a partner or spouse to supplement income can influence their ability to access food. For example, in San Diego County, 64.6% of low-income single parent households are food insecure.

Persistent Historical Inequality

Perhaps the most enduring root cause of food insecurity in the United States is racial, ethnic, and class-based inequities that span generations. Inequity has been deeply entrenched in policies and practices throughout our history. This inequity has created a divide in the accumulation of wealth (savings, home, or business equity) that historically advantages some populations, while disadvantaging others. Low-income people, people of color, women, single mothers, people with disabilities, etc. are more likely to experience food insecurity because of intergenerational inequality.

For example, over the past 30 years, the average wealth of white families has grown by 84% —1.2 times the rate of growth for the Latino/a population and 3 times the rate of growth for the African American population. This mirrors the reality of food insecurity in San Diego County, where food insecure adults are disproportionately Latino/a. 52.7% of food insecure adults are Latino/a, versus 26.3% that are White.

The Reality of Food Insecurity

In sum, food insecurity is the result of a complex relationship between the ability to acquire and maintain a living wage job, the cost of food, time, and transportation, food assistance policies, and enduring historical inequalities. When we see food insecurity with this lens – not a result of poor individual choices, but a result of a complex array of environmental, social, and historical factors – we are better able to make strides in ensuring that all San Diegans have enough food.

- Authored by Rosa Rada, 2017 Emerson Hunger Fellow

 

#MythbusterMonday - October 2017 Myths Busted

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We begin each week using our online voice to debunk myths about hunger. Our #MythbusterMonday social media series dispels misinformation and stigma commonly associated with food assistance programs like CalFresh/SNAP and school meals and the people who rely on them to help put food on the table.  

What hunger myths have you heard? Join us in sharing the truth about hunger each Monday using the hashtag #MythbusterMonday.

In October we busted the following hunger myths:

October 2
The first Monday of the month we take a look back at the myths busted the previous month. Check out the myths we busted in September 2017 here.

October 9
#MythbusterMonday “People on food stamps are just lazy.” False! The majority of SNAP (formerly know as food stamps) recipients (75% nationally) who can work, do so. Those who are employed, often at multiple jobs, can’t always earn enough to cover their costs and afford the nutrition necessary for themselves and their family. Click to learn more from MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

 October 16
#MythbusterMonday “SNAP fraud is common.” False! "SNAP fraud rates are extremely low. Every year, states thoroughly evaluate a sample of their SNAP accounts to determine rates of fraud and errors; they also investigate trafficking (selling benefit cards for cash). And it turns out, less than 1% of SNAP benefits go to people who should have been considered ineligible." Click here to learn more.

October 23
#MythbusterMonday “All poor people get food stamps.” False! The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 1/4 of eligible people don’t sign up. Many people don’t know they are eligible for federal nutrition assistance. Others don’t sign up because they have trouble navigating the system or fear being stigmatized.

October 30
#MythbusterMonday “You have to be a U.S. citizen to get CalFresh.” False! Some eligible legal immigrants may qualify for CalFresh. Ask your local CalFresh Office. Click here to find a location.


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