Help Reduce Threat of Food Insecurity in L.A.
DPSS Calls on County of L.A. Employees and Community-Based Organizations For Help in Reducing Threat of Food Insecurity
There’s no argument that when government organizations work closely with their community partners, advocates and stakeholders to address the problem of food insecurity in the County of Los Angeles, those in need of services, such as CalFresh food assistance, benefit the most.
Faced with numerous challenges to enroll local families and individuals who are eligible and in need of the benefit, the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) has launched a major county-wide effort to reach those who are eligible, but are not applying.
The effort includes strategies to remove the obstacles to applying, including disseminating essential information about the availability of supplemental food assistance program and educating the public on the many options to apply. The focused will also be on eliminating the stigma and fears associated with applying for public assistance.
THE CHALLENGE IS GREAT
Studies conclude that household hunger negatively impacts the intellectual, physical, and emotional development of children, placing them at greater risk for obesity, diabetes and other diseases. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health describes food insecurity as a major public health issue that has reached crisis proportions.
Based on the latest numbers provided in February by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), Los Angeles County currently has a 66.3 percent usage, or 1.1 million residents who are currently receiving CalFresh benefits. But the state agency adds that there are approximately 599,000 residents who are in need of food assistance, but are not receiving the benefits.
ENHANCING EXISTING OUTREACH
For the past seven years, the department’s Health & Nutrition Mobile Office and trained outreach Eligibility Workers are deployed daily throughout the county at large community events, markets, health clinics, libraries, and other public settings that are easily accessible and provide a comfortable atmosphere for providing services.
In order to find new ways to reach those who may benefit from CalFresh or any of the other programs and services administered by the DPSS, the department is seeking the support and guidance of the community and urging the 100,000-plus employees of the County of L.A. to seek opportunities to share information about CalFresh. The goal to increase participation by 20 percent over the next two years.
Community organizations that are interested in hosting events to provide resources and services to local residents may request the department’s participation in advance by completing the on-line DPSS Outreach Participation Request Form at: http://dpss.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/dpss/main/programs-and-services/outreach/request-outreach-services
The Outreach Participation Request Form may also be emailed to the following address: OutreachRequest@dpss.lacounty.gov.