CalFresh Provides Financial Relief

Story provided by Evette Tovar-Lugo

Last month, one of our CalFresh Coordinators was referred by WIC to meet with a woman in Kings County. This particular woman had been previously enrolled in CalFresh, but had only received $16 in benefits, so she was hesitant to re-enroll. She had just had a little girl and was working at a local donut shop. Their first meeting was in between customers at the shop, as she was the only employee working that day. 

She explained how incredibly hard it has been to secure childcare and cover all expenses while only making $1,000 per month. Evette, our CalFresh Coordinator, walked her through the application process and explained what she should expect in the following days. Even though she was reluctant to apply again, she did so anyways for her daughter. She explained how she's solely focused on her daughter's wellbeing now and all she wants is for her to grow up happy and to be successful. She's even started a college fund for her four-month-old baby! Evette was so moved by her willingness to push on in life despite her situation. She provided her with additional resources that assist with childcare and housing. 

Evette's next interaction with her was by accident. As she wrapped up her donut order with another employee, the woman came out of the back of the shop and immediately embraced Evette. She shared that she had been awarded $350 in benefits (the maximum) and that it was a huge financial relief. She can now focus her resources on being the best mother possible and providing a bright future for her baby. She inspires us all with her selflessness and determination to succeed and not just survive. 

“Sometimes we have to make hard decisions. Do I buy my medicine or do I buy food?”

—Octavia, Sanger, CA

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