Sacramento is among thousands of cities celebrating the second annual Food Day on October 24 to highlight the movement for healthy, affordable and sustainable food. The Network for a Healthy California and CalFresh (formerly the food stamp program) is promoting enrollment in CalFresh as a way for low-income families to “eat real” and keep hunger at bay.
What’s it mean to “eat real?” Putting vegetables, fruits and healthy whole grains at the center of your diet, and cutting back on meat and junky snack foods. Find out how real your diet is by taking this quiz create by FoodDay.org.
“Food Day is an ideal moment to let Californians know that they may be missing out on receiving benefits that could give their family purchasing power to buy more healthy foods,” said Edith Martinez, who directs the CalFresh Outreach Program at River City Food Bank. The outreach program is the only one of its type in Sacramento County.
A recent UCLA study about hunger showed that CalFresh benefits stabilized individuals and families struggling against hunger by providing access to nutritious and affordable food.
Many who qualify for CalFresh are not enrolled. “We estimate there are 174,543 more income-eligible families who would benefit in Sacramento County,” said Martinez.
In addition to helping individuals and families, CalFresh helps the local economy by returning $1.79 for every $1 of additional CalFresh money delivered to California. If everyone who is eligible for CalFresh participated in the program, it is estimated that $2.8 billion would come back to California.
“By making better choices about what goes in their grocery carts and on their tables, Californians can reduce their risk of obesity and other serious health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer,” said Martinez. “CalFresh benefits help low-income Californians take home more healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables.”