For the first time since 1974, SSI recipients in California are eligible to receive CalFresh benefits. That’s 40,000 people in San Francisco and 3,000 neighbors in Marin – seniors and people with disabilities – who will be newly eligible for food stamp benefits.
With CalFresh benefits for a one-person household averaging $130 a month, this change can make a huge difference for someone in need. And, participating in CalFresh will not reduce SSI benefit amounts in any way.
Boosting food access and the local economy
Even conservative estimates suggest that connecting SSI recipients with CalFresh will result in many millions of dollars a year for low-income seniors and people with disabilities to spend on groceries. This won’t just improve the lives of SSI recipients, but the local economy gets a boost too. Every $1 spent in CalFresh benefits generates $1.79 in economic activity!
It took years of dedicated advocacy efforts by our Food Bank and our partners to achieve this historic change, which will improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable neighbors. It wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of our donors and coalition partners. Thank you!
In the coming weeks and months, the Food Bank’s Policy & Advocacy team and CalFresh Outreach team will work closely with the state, our counties, and other local partners to share this exciting news and assist hundreds of neighbors with CalFresh enrollment.
- This fact sheet from Californians for SSI provides a simple summary of the changes to CalFresh eligibility for SSI recipients
Are you an SSI recipient interested in applying for CalFresh benefits?
- CLICK: Apply online: GetCalFresh.org
- CALL: Call our hotline to get application assistance in English, Spanish, or Chinese: 415-549-7021
- COME IN: Walk into a county office to apply in person: Locations are listed on the Human Services Agency website
Are you a community-based organization interested in helping your clients enroll?
- The Food Bank provides CalFresh Outreach and Application Assistance training for agencies who work closely with SSI recipients. For San Francisco-based agencies, contact Ada Lai at 415-282-1907 x258 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For Marin organizations, contact Alexandra Danino at 415-282-1907 x014 or email@example.com
- Check out the San Francisco Human Services Agency Partner Toolkit, which includes helpful resources and outreach materials
- Another helpful resource is the California Department of Social Services Outreach Tool Kit for Partners
- Download informational flyers to hand out and post at your organization:
Want to get engaged with Food Bank’s Advocacy efforts like this?
This historic victory was made possible through the advocacy of the Californians for SSI Coalition (CA4SSI). As a partner and ally in improving the lives of SSI recipients, we want to invite you to join us on one of our CA4SSI membership conference calls every other Tuesday at 11:30am to share updates and discuss strategy. Why stop at CalFresh? Please join us as we advocate to increase the grants to people on SSI!
Check out this video of our listening session with SSI recipients on how hard it is to make ends meet on SSI: www.youtube.com/SSI
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