By Beatriz Garay
CalFresh hosts monthly virtual workshops for East Los Angeles College students to understand, apply and receive information on qualifying for the program.
With the hardships happening in California, food costs are rising. CalFresh is available to help qualifying students buy their groceries.
Students sometimes are on their own and can’t make ends meet. This is where CalFresh can help assist them and not have them stress about how they are going to buy their next meal.
CalFresh is available at all times and to all qualifying students.
They are a nutrition assistance program that is part of the Food Bank. Their goal is to provide groceries to the people who need it the most.
They issue an EBT card, which is like a debit card, that is accepted in most grocery stores.
They can even be used at the big chain warehouses like Costco and Sam’s Club.
They try to be as accessible as they can, and work with the students regardless of their situation.
So far, there have been 20 students who have applied to CalFresh for the food assistance program in the spring semester of 2022.
CalFresh helps provide students with the security of receiving good and healthy groceries.
There is a list of requirements that need to be met in order to qualify for the program.
Students need to be enrolled in at least 6 units and be employed at least 20 hours a week. Students can be taking care of a child that is 12 or younger, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
There also is an age limit to qualify.
For those 22 and younger and who are living with a family that provides groceries and meals, the program can qualify the family as one household.
A student under 22 who is living with family or a roommate but doesn’t share anything can still qualify for this program.
Due to COVID-19 CalFresh isn’t requiring very much when it comes to qualifying.
They have narrowed down to having an I.D./ driver’s license, proof of income, and/or proof of units, and living expenses.
They understand COVID-19 has made it difficult to have the bare minimum.
After reading through the list of requirements, its easy to start the application process.
CalFresh does process applications through the county. Doing so might cause applications additional time to get a response back.
Students can apply online at www.getcalfresh.org or reach out to CalFresh hosts Karen Perez or Maira Sandoval via email, phone, or text. They are available to help throughout the whole process and with any information or documents that are needed to apply.
Students may find it easier to get help from Perez and Sandoval than trying to apply online and it may be faster.
Students also have the option of contacting Jessica Olivas, who is the Health Center coordinator at ELAC.
She can be found on campus at the Student Health Center, F5-302. She can also be contacted through email, or phone.
Olivas can help complete the pre-screen application, which is linked to the QR code found on flyers available on campus in front of the F-5 building. Students can also use the QR code provided below.
She can also provide support if needed and any information necessary.
CalFresh is a resource offered to ELAC students and is encouraged to be applied for.
Having help with groceries is one less thing to worry about while handling schoolwork.
The panelist said this is prominent, especially when there isn’t much income coming in or just simply having a hard time making ends meet.