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L.A. County Creates Unit To Protect Food Stamp Funding From Trump Budget Cuts
The proposed 2018 budget released by President Trump on Tuesday seeks to cut $191 billion from food assistance programs nationwide over 10 years, but the L.A. County Board of Supervisors is working on a plan to protect federal funding for the state's CalFresh food stamp program. Supervisors Hilda Solis, Janice Hahn and Sheila Kuehl voted on Tuesday to create a new unit within the county's Department of Public Social Services to boost enrollment in CalFresh, theLos Angeles Daily News reports.
L.A. County's participation rate in CalFresh, the California branch of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP), is currently 66% among eligible persons. This figure is among the lowest in the state, and the program could lose $1.8 billion in federal funding if there isn't 100% enrollment among L.A. County residents. Getting more eligible residents enrolled in CalFresh would also ease the burden placed on local food-assistance initiatives like the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, who estimate that approximately 1.4 million L.A. County residents live with "food insecurity", or do not know where their next meal will come from.
Supervisor Hilda Solis, who oversees L.A.'s First District, expressed hopes that the new Department of Social Services unit will encourage Los Angeles County immigrants eligible for CalFresh to take advantage of the program—she took to Twitter to reassure immigrants that enrolling in CalFresh would not lead to deportation or affect their chances at gaining U.S. citizenship.
Don't be afraid: your immigration status is safe when you apply for #foodstamps. Apply to @DPSS_CalFresh today: https://t.co/tr4ez47yR6— Hilda Solis (@HildaSolis) May 23, 2017
Raising CalFresh enrollment in L.A. County would generate $2.1 billion in local economic activity through increased grocery sales and higher employment, according to a statement from Kuehl. Kuehl, along with Hahn, co-authored the motion to create the unit. "“There are families going hungry in LA County despite the fact that they qualify for help. CalFresh can make a world of difference for a family in need and we have to do a better job in LA County making sure our most vulnerable residents know that help is available,” Hahn said in a statement. Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Kathryn Barger were absent from the Board vote.
LAist reached out to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and the Department of Public Social services for comment on what types of initiatives the new unit would launch to increase CalFresh enrollment, but did not immediately hear back.
Southern California's Snow-Capped Mountains Are Beautiful. Here's Where To Maximize The View (And Snap A Great Picture)It's been many, many years since we saw this much snow in our mountains. Going up there right now isn't safe, but here are some places where you can enjoy the view and snap a pic.
April Valentine died at Centinela Hospital. Her daughter was born by emergency C-section. She'd gone into the pregnancy with a plan, knowing Black mothers like herself were at higher risk.
A look at years past when snows creeped into our citified neighborhoods, away from the mountains and foothills.
In the face of a drier future, that iconic piece of Americana is on its way out in Southern California.
Another Missing Hiker Has Been Found Dead In San Gabriels As Search For Actor Julian Sands ContinuesBob Gregory, 62, went missing the same day as Sands. His body was recovered near Mount Islip.