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Those Who Need Help Affording Food Should Use These Programs

Boxes of food are distributed by the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank on August 6, 2020 in Paramount, California.
Despite the relief they can provide, there are still cultural stigmas around using resources like Calfresh and WIC.
(Mario Tama
Getty Images)
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Not everyone who needs help buying food is aware of the programs that can assist them. That's why politicians and nonprofit leaders gathered in Westlake Monday to draw attention to those resources.

They talked about initiatives such as CalFreshand the Women, Infants, and Children program, which can provide financial help to low-income individuals and families.

LA. Food Policy Council director Christine Tran said she and her family received WIC and CalFresh benefits when she was young. Her mother was a garment worker and her father worked construction, and they couldn't afford food on their pay alone.

"Ultimately, the programs that my family had access to was a way for me to not just to survive but thrive," Tran said.

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She said often people don't know about these programs — or are ashamed to ask for help.

"How do we get on the same page so that if anyone at any time who needs food benefits [knows] this is there for them?," Tran said. "And there should be no stigma associated with these programs. I think that's the hard conversation to have."

You can learn more at or find a food program near you through Food Oasis LA.

The U.S.Department of Agriculture also hasa hunger hotline that can connect you with resources around the country. It's available in both English (1-866-3-HUNGRY) and Spanish (1-877-8-HAMBRE).

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