Starting with the State: the work of the Alliance to Transform CalFresh
We are proud to be a founder of the Alliance to Transform CalFresh, a collaboration of leading anti-hunger organizations in California focused exclusively on increasing participation in CalFresh. At the time of our founding, we set a goal of 75% participation — then the national average — by 2016.
How can California increase participation? By making CalFresh “quick, consistent and connected” for everyone. We believe that by providing excellent and modern service, integrated with other benefits and programs so that applicants only have to tell their story once, and supported by data-driven accountability to ensure equal treatment from San Diego to Siskiyou, CalFresh can live up to its promise.
Unlike most other states, California has a county operated CalFresh program, which means that instead of having one state agency that manages the program, we have 58 small agencies that all operate their programs in slightly different ways. In practice, this means that changes and improvements to the business process or technology used by one county must be replicated 57 times across the state.
Having inconsistent policies and procedures in each county creates confusion for CalFresh recipients and inefficiencies for the program as a whole.