April 25, 2013
LAWT News Service
LOS ANGELES – The Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) and a broad-based community collaborative are gearing up to launch “CalFresh Awareness Month,” the partnership’s annual campaign to increase access to food assistance and promote healthier food choices in the nation’s largest and most diverse county.
In its third year of observance, CalFresh Awareness Month has become one of the most comprehensive and coordinated efforts in the state of California to bring awareness to the need for the federally-funded supplemental nutrition food benefit that helps low-income families and individuals in the county.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the number of nationwide homes lacking adequate food more than tripled in the last four years. Studies suggest that household hunger negatively impacts the intellectual, physical, and emotional development of children and puts them at greater risks for obesity, diabetes and other diseases.
Despite a record high number of 1.1 million individuals who receive CalFresh benefits, there are still many residents in immediate need of assistance who are unaware that they are eligible for the benefit.
“Hunger is an issue that affects us all and this collaboration represents an intense effort to serve those most vulnerable in Los Angeles County,” stated Sheryl L. Spiller, DPSS Director.
This year, the campaign will again place a heavy focus on the nutritional benefits of CalFresh, enlisting the help of the Department of Public Health administered Network for a Healthy California, local farmers’ markets, food banks and school districts, to emphasize the benefits of healthier food choices and exercise.
The annual campaign’s community kick-off event will take place on Monday, April 29, at Superior Market in Lynwood. The 39-store grocery chain is serving this year as a major CalFresh outreach partner, utilizing its locations to share information with the community.
At their Tuesday, April 30 meeting, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will show their support for the effort, proclaiming May as “CalFresh Awareness Month” in the County.
For more information, visit dpss.lacounty.gov/dpss/calfresh or call the DPSS Customer Service Center at 866-613-3777.