We are a statewide policy and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of low income Californians by increasing their access to nutritious, affordable food.

CalFresh Forum Event Recap Now Posted!


2.15.2012 The 13th annual CalFresh Forum was held on Wednesday, February 8, 2011 in Sacramento, CA. The event successfully continued the tradition of bringing together key stakeholders from across the state to discuss ways to improve the reach and impact of CalFresh, both for low-income Californians and the California economy.

The morning's program commenced with a welcome from George Manalo-LeClair, CFPA's new Executive Director. George's welcome was followed by opening remarks from Alexis Fernández, Nutrition Policy Advocate at CFPA, who discussed the great progress California has made in the last year in improving access to CalFresh and streamlining program administration, while also highlighting the work that remains for the upcoming year.

Our morning session continued with Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services and Will Lightbourne, Director of the California Department of Social Services. Under Secretary Concannon congratulated California on recent progress in moving to semi-annual reporting and eliminating the fingerprint-image requirement from the CalFresh application process. He also reiterated the opportunities, particularly in the area of improved technology and access, made possible for CalFresh/SNAP by the Affordable Care Act. Director Lightbourne, highlighted the Department's "CalFresh Refresh" modernization efforts and a commitment to focus on CalFresh as an essential component of the California safety-net for low-income families. Each provided a vision for CalFresh, emphasizing the need for a continued focus on increasing access and participation across California.


2012 Freshy Award Winners

Our morning session also included the presentation of the 2012 Freshy Awards. It was a record year, with more than 1,000 individuals voting for the Freshy Award winners!

 Learn more about the nominees. link

  • Best Performance by a State Legislator: Assembly Member Felipe Fuentes (D- Los Angeles)
  •  Best Performance by a State Legislative Staff: Julie Salley-Gray, Assembly Appropriations Committee, Consultant
  •  Best Performance by a State Employee: Christina Acosta, California Department of Public Health, Contract and Program Manager CalFresh Outreach
  •  Best Performance by a Frontline County Employee: Clara Rayos, Ventura County Human Services Agency, CalFresh Program Analyst
  •  Best Performance by a County Director: Dr. Michael Riley, Orange County Social Services Agency, Director
  •  Best Performance by a Local Advocate: Jennifer Tracy, San Diego Hunger Coalition, Food Security Outreach Program Director and Pedro Toledo, Healthy Kids Sonoma County, Director
  •  Best Performance by a Central Valley Local Advocate: Nora Baca, Family Health Care Network, Community Outreach Representative
  •  Best Performance by a Central Valley County Employee: Dr. Ed Moreno, Fresno County Department of Public Health, Director
  •  Best Program Access Index 

Fresno – Best PAI in Class Large County

Tulare – Best PAI in Class Medium County

Del Norte – Best Overall

Lanier Cansler, former Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Human Services, presented Focusing on Outcomes: Changing the DHHS Culture in North Carolina. The presentation focused on eliminating service silos and coordinating an integrated approach to service provision. Using this model, North Carolina managed to eliminate divisional barriers and bring together 100 counties, 265 activities and service, and 230 IT operating systems to focus on outcome based performance and efficient, effective client service. Mr. Cansler emphasized the need for change in organizational culture and development of shared values.

After lunch, Jim Jones, Senior Consultant with Sellers Dorsey, discussed the opportunities for horizontal integration with the health insurance/benefits exchange portal being built in California as a requirement of the Affordable Care Act. His presentation defined horizontal integration and outlined several approaches to successfully integrate human services with health coverage in 2014. In addition, he presented arguments in favor of and against integrating CalFresh/SNAP into the portal.

The day's events also included a series of workshops filled with presentations and discussions covering a wide range of CalFresh related topics. CFPA would like to thank each of the panelists for volunteering their time and participating in the afternoon workshop series.

Take a look at the workshop descriptions and panelist information. link

2012 CalFresh Forum Workshops

  • Nourishment for Older Adults: CalFresh Strategies to Reach Seniors
  • Federal Outlook and Opportunities for SNAP
  • Thinking Big: Can Innovative County Practices Grow Statewide?
  • Transforming CalFresh: State Health Reform, Modernization, and Realignment Come Together
  • "Fresh" Ideas for 2012: A review of CalFresh Legislation
  • CalFresh and Immigrant Populations: Challenges and Strategies for Targeted Outreach
  • CalFresh Data in Context

 Workshop materials, including presentations and handouts, can be found on CFPA's 2012 CalFresh Forum page. link

CFPA would like to thank the staff at the Crest Theater for their great work in seamlessly producing this event and Fox and Goose catering for providing fantastic service and food throughout the day