“It is ironic that those who till the soil, cultivate and harvest the fruits, vegetables, and other foods that fill your tables with abundance have nothing left for themselves.” – Cesar Chavez
The California Food Guide: Fulfilling the Dietary Guidelines for Americans of November 7, 2009 defines food insecurity as “limited access or uncertain availability of nutritionally — adequate food.”
“30 percent of San Joaquin residents are food insecure,” explained Simona Donosco-Rios Program Director for Catholic Charities’ Nutrition Assistance Services, “This should not be the case in our Valley. Even though it sounds strange, study show that food insecurity has been linked to many health issues.” The American Society for Nutritional Sciences in their *April 2003 issue published that food insecurity is associated with increased risk of obesity in California Women.
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reported earlier this year that in San Joaquin County unemployment rate reach 18.4 percent, “the poor economy makes it clear that there should be lots of people interested in getting help with buying food. Yet, in our county, only half of those who are eligible for CalFresh are receiving these benefits,” noted Donosco-Rios as she shared how that the reasons people do not apply are as varied as the people themselves.
The average benefit is about $99 per person, per month; a benefit that helps families and stimulates the economy. It is estimated that per every CalFresh dollar spent $1.84 is added to the local economy. “With the recent shift from food stamps to CalFresh, new rules allowed for homeowners, employed people, families, individuals, unemployed and homeless alike to receive benefits if they are eligible,” said Donosco-Rios, “So, help your family and your community.”
You may obtain more information about CalFresh by contacting Catholic Charities Nutrition Assistance Services or to obtain a quick and easy CalFresh telephone screening at (209) 444-5900.
* American Society for Nutritional Sciences (Nutr. 133:1070-1074, April 2003).