Dispelling Myths About CalFresh

Let's start with the basics. What is CalFresh?

CalFresh is what was previously known as the Food Stamps program. It is California's version of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and it assists low-income indiviudals individuals and households to purchase nutritional food. Eligibility is based on your household's size and income level. 

Now, let's talk about some common myths.

I don't support CalFresh because the only people that use it are on welfare. 

False. You do not have to be on welfare to be able to utilize the CalFresh program. Living in California is expensive! People who are employed but don't make enough to cover all living expenses can qualify for CalFresh (eligibility depends on number in household and monthly income). 

Increasing CalFresh participation will cost California taxpayers more money.

This is a common thought misconception regarding CalFresh. In fact, it is a program that is funded by the United States Department of Agricluture Agriculture (USDA) under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Every $1 in Calfresh benefits, generates $1.79 in local economic activity.

You have to give stamps to the cashier at the grocery store in order to use CalFresh benefits.

Nope! The program does not use stamps or coupons any longer. The benefits are now depositied deposited  to your Electronic Benefit Transfer card that looks and functions like a debit card. You can use it at most grocery stores and even some farmers' markets now!

The CalFresh Program is an essential way to get low-income families access to fresh produce. Even though we live in a valley rich with agriculture, produce is expensive and becomes a last priority when it's up against heat, medical bills, diapers, or gas. 

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

—Octavia, Sanger, CA

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