Below is a list of useful resources for outreach coordinators. If you have a useful tool or know of a helpful website, please click here to let us know and we will share it with others.
Resources for CalFresh COLA and Benefit Cuts
Beginning October 1, 2013, new CalFresh income guidelines will be in effect. If an applicant applied in the past but was denied for being slightly over income, they should consider reapplying in October.
The SNAP/CalFresh COLA will be implemented October 1, 2013. CalFresh recipients may see a slight increase in their benefit amounts.
CalFresh benefits will decrease on November 1, 2013.
Covered California/Affordable Care Act and CalFresh October 28, 2013 Moderator:
• Liliana Sandoval, San Francisco Food Bank Speakers:
• Angela Shing, San Francisco Human Services Agency
• Kim McCoy Wade, Alliance to Transform CalFresh
Download slides here.
Download Kim McCoy Wade's talking points here.
Policy, Advocacy, and CalFresh Outreach August 26, 2013 Moderator:
• Francesca Costa, San Francisco Food Bank Speakers:
• Eric Manke, California Association of Food Banks
• Joel Campos, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County
CalFresh and Noncitizens June 17th, 2013 Moderator:
• Liliana Sandoval, San Francisco Food Bank
• Amanda Schultz San Diego Hunger Coalition Speakers:
• Ronald Coleman, California Immigrant Policy Center
When are Seniors Eligible for CalFresh? April 12, 2013 Moderator:
• Liliana Sandoval, San Francisco Food Bank Speakers:
• David Badal, California Department of Social Services
• Ryan Fruchenticht, California Department of Social Services
• Amanda Schultz, San Diego Hunger Coalition
Whether you are applying for food stamps or helping someone else apply, California's Food Stamp Guide is a useful tool with search features that help you find relevent federal and state legislation.
There are so many screening tools out there, it is hard to tell which one to use. CAFB has prepared two screening tools for outreach providers and we have made them available for free. To access these tools and learn more about other tools, click here now.
Advocate's Guide to the Disaster Food Stamp Program
For the clients that we serve, a blackout day can leave them without food for a prolonged period of time. The Advocate's Guide to Disaster Food Stamp Program published by the Food Research and Action Center gives details about the Disaster Food Stamp Program, which can provide replacement food stamps. After familiarizing yourself with the Program, please ask your county about their emergency plans for food stamps. For a copy of this guide, click here.
Outreach Toolkit for Elected Representatives and Community Organizers
The Business Case for Increasing Food Stamp Participation
Why should your local businesses care about Food Stamps? The Business Case for Increasing Food Stamp Participation, published by the USDA, explains that one reason is that it helps the local economy as well as the clients. In your effort to involve a wide variety of people in your outreach efforts, be sure to use economic arguments to convince business leaders. Above is a link to USDA's resources on this issue.
NGA Access Report: Improving Access to Benefits for Low-Income Families
Published by the NGA Center for Best Practices, this Improving Access to Benefits for Low-Income Families outlines many areas where states can improve access to government services. These are areas that outreach specialists can think about, especially when an outreach program wishes to do advocacy work in legislatures. The issue brief identifies several approaches states can take to improve access:
using the internet and online applications
creating a single application for multiple programs
establishing call centers
aligning program policies regarding eligibility, verification, and renewal
Successful Food Stamp Innovations
Successful Food Stamp Innovations, compiled by the American Public Human Services Association, offers case studies of innovations in the Food Stamp Program that are simultaneously increasing participation and program integrity. These case studies show what states across the nation are doing to improve efficiency in the Food Stamp Program. Food Stamp Outreach Coordinators can use this in their advocacy for administrative changes on the local level.
Food Stamp Office Resource Kit
Newly developed Food Stamp Office Resource Kit has been shipped to most of California’s 58 counties, the kit including the “Good Food TV” video in VHS and DVD formats and a kiosk housing a poster, bilingual recipe cards and brochures in English and Spanish.
The Kit brings nutrition education into food stamp offices to provide clients with demonstrations, tips and recipes that will help them purchase and prepare low-cost nutritious meals and snacks for themselves and their families. This information, combined with the increased food purchasing power of food stamps and the myriad of other services and community activities, will promote better health among low-income Californians. You can view the English and Spanish versions of the 20 minute video and the other components of the resource kit by visiting http://www.goodfoodtv.org/.
Useful Websites :
USDA, Food and Nutrition Service's Food Stamp Program
www.fns.usda.gov/fsp This website includes information on outreach strategies, outreach flyers and brochures you can order for free, and an outreach toolkit.
Center for Budget and Policy Priorities
www.cbpp.org This site contains research on budget and tax policies (see myfoodstamps.org research section for a more detailed description of CBPP). Under the Areas of Research section of the website, there is information on all types of federal assistance programs. To learn more about Food Stamps outreach, proceed to the Food Assistance category. To learn about how to coordinate with outreach efforts on the Earned Income Tax Credit, proceed to the Earned Income Credit category. To order a free toolkit on EITC for your organization, contact the Center.
www.bread.org Bread for the World website’s Take Action section recommends strategies for mobilizing your community for advocacy purposes, including sample letters to government leaders.
World Hunger Year
www.worldhungeryear.org National Hunger Clearinghouse, a USDA-sponsored program of WHY (World Hunger Year). Through a national database of more than 5,000 organizations, the Clearinghouse promotes community-based solutions to hunger and poverty and work to create connections between the public, private and non-profit sectors. Organizations that join the Clearinghouse, free of charge, benefit from the following services (complete form): National Hunger Clearinghouse Database, centralized database of organizations working on food, nutrition, agriculture, hunger, and poverty issues; the National Hunger Hotline (1-866- 3 HUNGRY) which fields calls from organizations, donors, and volunteers looking for information on emergency food distribution, gleaning, government programs, nutrition, funding sources, and other related topics; and the Clearinghouse Connection, a newsletter. The website also offers advice for anti-hunger nonprofits.
www.benchmarkinstitute.org One of our collaborators in training Food Stamp Outreach Coordinators, Benchmark Institute provides extensive information on legal matters pertaining to public benefits.
California Association of Food Banks
www.cafoodbanks.org The California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) offers information about hunger and poverty in addition to program and policy efforts to reduce hunger. See the outreach page for more information specific to outreach workers.
California Food Policy Advocates
www.cfpa.net The California Food Policy Advocates plays a coordinating role for many legislative efforts to improve the Food Stamp Program in California. For information about upcoming legislation or Food Stamp Program analysis, this website is essential.
California Hunger Action Coalition
www.hungeraction.net The California Hunger Action Coalition (CHAC) is a broad based anti-hunger grassroots organization. Every year, CHAC organizes a day of action at the capital every year and is free for all participants. For a website that offers clear and simple ways to respond to hunger, visit www.hungeraction.net.
Resources about Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)
Food stamp benefits are now distributed through an electronic debit card called Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. In California, the card is called the "Golden State Advantage Card." For more information about EBT, visit http://www.ebtproject.ca.gov. For information about becoming an EBT vendor, visit http://www.ecologycenter.org/ebt/. Also available is "An Advocates Guide To EBT", co-authored by the Alameda County Community Food Bank and Consumer's Union.