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LA CARE Health Plan Supports Free CalFresh Enrollments TO Help ME Help You Fight Hunger

Updated: Jun 13

 


Long Beach, California—LA Care recently awarded Help Me Help You with a 2024 CalFresh Outreach Grant to support free enrollment assistance for Long Beach residents in need. By supporting access to CalFresh benefits, this grant will help residents receive monthly benefits to purchase groceries of their choice and, in some cases, hot meals from the many participating grocery stores, farmer's markets, and restaurants.

 

Over the last few years, the ongoing rise in food costs and inflation has led to a spike in food insecurity for residents. According to the 2023 CA Food Banks census data analyzed, the greater LA area, including Long Beach, recorded the highest levels of hunger, with 31% of residents suffering from food insecurity. California recorded an inflation increase of 3.2% in October 2023, with overall food prices rising by 3.8% and a 5% increase in meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (U.S Bureau of Statistics).

 

CalFresh is California's supplemental food program to help qualifying low-income individuals and families get the food they need to stay healthy. It provides monthly dollars via an EBT debit card to purchase fresh and packaged groceries from participating grocery stores (including Albertsons, Vons, Walmart, Aldi, Amazon, and farmer's markets) and seeds/plants to grow food at home. Seniors, people experiencing homelessness, and people with disabilities also have the option to use their CalFresh benefits to purchase hot or prepared food from participating restaurants. On average, CalFresh can provide a family of four a monthly benefit of up to $973 and other benefits. Sadly, according to the California Department of Social Services, approximately 322,000 L.A. County residents are eligible for CalFresh benefits but do not receive them because they have not applied.

 

To help combat hunger, Help Me Help You provides free weekly groceries to residents in need via their 11 food pantry locations, Long Beach Food Pantry Delivery (for seniors and persons with disabilities), and free enrollment assistance for CalFresh and other essential services. Their Calfresh community outreach project is funded in part by L.A. Care Health Plan and will benefit low-income and uninsured residents of Los Angeles County during 2024. LA Care Health Plan, the nation's largest publicly operated health plan serving over 2.9 million members, is committed to advancing health equity.


"This tough economic climate has adversely affected struggling local individuals and families and the charities dedicated to supporting them. It is through the generosity and teamwork of LA Care Health Plan that we can continue to help more residents in need access these vital community services," said Zina Washington, HMHY Executive Director.

 

To see if you qualify for CalFresh benefits or to receive free enrollment assistance, call Help Me Help You at 562 612 -5001 or visit www.helpmehelpu.org/calfresh

 

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