Lynwood, CA – Four Daughters of Charity Health System (DCHS) hospitals will join together with community partners to observe CalFresh Awareness Month in May. St. Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles; St. Francis Medical, Lynwood; O’Connor Hospital, San Jose; and Saint Louise Regional Hospital, Gilroy, will join forces to introduce Californians to CalFresh, the new name for the Food Stamp Program. The effort, which centers on Los Angeles County, will be coordinated through each hospital’s Health Benefits Resource Center (HBRC).
“This combined effort is expected to increase access and participation in food assistance and reduce hunger,” explains Lydia Ramirez, director, Health Benefits Resource Center, “Los Angeles County is the second largest and most populated county in the nation, so we will reach a large number of community members in need of these services.”
The Health Benefits Resource Center, located in each of the four Daughters of Charity-sponsored hospitals, is a one-stop information and referral service. “We assist children, teens, seniors and families in need with vital information concerning affordable care and appropriate health benefits,” offers Tiffany Huerta, manager, Community and Business Services, Daughters of Charity Ministry Services Corporation. “We provide enrollment assistance for insurance programs such as Healthy Families, MediCal, Medicare and California Kids.”
Additionally, HBRC associates work in tandem with medical professionals, social service agencies, churches, schools and parishes to perform ongoing outreach to educate their communities. Classes, events and activities promoting wellness and healthy families are provided by HBRC to community members, free of charge.
The month-long public awareness campaign, spearheaded by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS), is a collaboration by DPSS, the US Department of Agriculture, California Department of Social Services, and more than 25 community partners, including Daughters of Charity Ministry Services Corporation.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will participate in proclaiming May as CalFresh Awareness Month on April 24. Kick-off for the campaign will occur on April 25. To learn about more month-long events, including activities onsite at the four Daughters of Charity hospitals, go to www.dpssbenefits.lacounty.gov.