Grants will help increase CalFresh enrollment and gain families an Earned Income Tax Credit
LOS ANGELES – Californians are not taking full advantage of two important programs that can help fight poverty and hunger. California has one of the lowest rankings in the nation for participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as CalFresh in this state. Only 72 percent of eligible Californians were enrolled in CalFresh in 2016, the last year for which data are available. In 2017, more than 50,000 Californians failed to claim an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) when they filed their tax returns.
To ensure all eligible Angelenos are taking full advantage of these two benefits, L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly-operated health plan in the country, has announced that it is giving seven community organizations a total of $690,000 in grant funding as part of it Community Wellness Initiative IV. The funding will help more than 850 families enroll in CalFresh, 662 will be recertified in CalFresh, and more than 2,200 will receive assistance in preparing tax returns to receive an EITC. The EITC is a tax credit for low- to moderate-income working individuals and couples, particularly those with children. The credit can be more than $3,100 for filers with dependent children, and up to $510 for individuals.
“This initiative is building on previously completed rounds of grants that have enrolled nearly 6,000 families in CalFresh and helped more than 2,300 low-income residents prepare their tax returns, securing more than $1.2 million for these families,” said John Baackes, L.A. Care CEO. “Food and income security are just two social factors of health that L.A. Care is committed to addressing.”
This year, outreach efforts will be especially important because there will be even more people who are eligible for CalFresh. That’s because as of June 1, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients are newly eligible for CalFresh. L.A. Care has been working with the L.A. County Department of Public Social Services to help get the word out.
The seven organizations that received grants under this Community Wellness Initiative IV are:
APLA Health – Los Angeles
Chinatown Service Center – Los Angeles
Koreatown Youth and Community Center, Inc. – Los Angeles
Maternal and Child Health Access – Los Angeles
Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment – Los Angeles
Providence Little Company of Mary – Torrance
Youth Policy Institute – Los Angeles