Meet Samantha Hua. Samantha received CalFresh/SNAP after coming to the United States with her family as refugees. CalFresh/SNAP supplemented her family's limited income and helped her access the nutrition she needed to grow, develop, and learn. CalFresh/SNAP set Samantha on the path to success. She went on to start her own business, Happy Food, where she works today as CEO and Holistic Health Coach.
At what point in your life did you receive CalFresh/SNAP (food stamps) and why?
I was on it as a child. I lived with my guardians and we were refugees with nothing so any support was welcomed.
How long were you on CalFresh?
Since my grandparents were retired and my parents weren’t around. I believe I was on it my entire childhood.
How did CalFresh/SNAP help you in your time of need?
I was a child so it was essential to get some good nutrients. My grandparents didn’t work, but my extended family worked extremely hard to survive and save in hopes of creating opportunities for the next generation after giving up everything to leave a war-torn country.
How did receiving food assistance make you feel?
I think everyone has pride and would rather not be on public support, but we were grateful that there was such a program to help us survive and get through tough times.
How did you make ends meet without CalFresh?
It definitely helped. My extended family was already working as much as they could to make ends meet. I come from a family of extremely hard workers (maybe too hard). The extra support made it more tolerable.
What are you most proud of in your life? Or what are your dreams for the future?
I’m proud of being the first in my family to go to college and serving a 2-year term in the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa. I went on to promote wildlife conservation nationally and internationally through my biology degree. Afterwards, I started my own business, Happy Food.
What do you want people to know about food assistance programs like CalFresh?
Kids cannot thrive without food. There’s no argument there. Sometimes, life throws curve balls and when we support our fellow brothers and sisters, we thrive as a society. I am very proud of my contributions to this country and planet. Giving back and contributing is the core of who I am.
Do you know someone who needs access to CalFresh?