Nutrition Policy Advocate
Director of Legislation
CalFresh Rebranding Workshop
Presentation by Laurel Sutton PDF
Presentation by Maria Leech PDF
Presentation by David Ginsburg PDF
2011 CalFresh Legislation Workshop
Information on AB 6 (Fuentes) link
The CalFresh Act of 2011
Information on SB 43 (Liu) link
Helping the Unemployed Keep CalFresh Benefits
Information on AB 69 (Beal) link
Increasing Senior Participation
Information on AB 828 (Swanson) link
Nutritional Assistance for Families Act
CalFresh & Healthcare Workshop
Presentation by Kristen
Explaining Health Reform
Farm Bill 20-when? Workshop
Presentation by Matt Sharp PDF
For the last 11 years, the California Food Stamp Forum has brought together administrators, advocates and policymakers to design ways to improve the Food Stamp Program in California. With the recent launch of the new CalFresh brand, we were pleased to host the 2011 CalFresh Forum. This year's forum continued the tradition of bringing together key stakeholders to discuss ways to improve the reach and impact of these vital health and nutrition benefits for low-income Californians.
The 2011 CalFresh Forum was a great success! The event was held on February 9th, 2011 at the Historic Crest Theater in Sacramento, CA. With more than 350 individuals from across the state and country gathered for the day-long event focused entirely on CalFresh the 2011 CalFresh Forum was the largest yet!
The morning program commenced with a warm welcome by Ken Hecht, Executive Director at California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA). Ken spoke about the ongoing struggles faced by many California families as they continue to experience the negative impacts of the economic downturn. He emphasized the critical role CalFresh benefits have and will continue to play in supporting families by providing critical nutrition assistance. Yet, without downplaying the extensive reach of these benefits particularly in recent years, Ken underlined the work that we must continue to do to improve access and participation.
George Manalo-LeClair, Director of Legislation at CFPA provided a brief overview of several new CalFresh initiatives to be launched-along with a number of CalFresh t-shirts-during the Forum and beyond. While the crowd protected themselves from incoming CalFresh t-shirts, George discussed opportunities for increasing senior participation, embracing the new CalFresh brand, implementing semi-annual reporting and much more!
Our morning session continued with Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. Under Secretary Concannon spoke about key federal policies and strategies geared toward improving the federal food assistance safety-net programs for low-income Americans. The Under Secretary emphasized the immense level of need which has emerged since the downturn in the economy-including increased poverty and high unemployment. As the foundation of the federal food assistance programs, SNAP or CalFresh in California, plays an integral role in meeting this need. Under Secretary Concannon commended California for recent improvements to CalFresh and for managing the increasing caseload. Yet, the Under Secretary clearly indicated that there is still much work to be done. With such a large number of eligible Californians not participating in the program continued efforts to increase access and participation are essential.
John Wagner, Director of the California Department of Social Services, graciously acknowledged the support and collaborative efforts of USDA which are essential to the success of CalFresh. Director Wagner also spent time reflecting on the most recent improvements to the program, such as rebranding and the extension of modified categorical eligibility to all households, as well as the essential role which these improvements will play in continuing to provide benefits to the rising CalFresh caseload. He also commended the efforts of local eligibility workers-who are directly at the ground level working with clients.
Our morning session continued with a presentation by Julie Zaebest and Elisa Zygmunt discussing efforts to increase senior SNAP enrollment in Philadelphia. The presenters covered a discussion of the successful BenePhilly model; a one-stop-shop for older Philadelphians to receive application assistance. Julie and Elisa emphasized the need for collaboration and tailoring program practices to the unique need of the population served, both by simplifying the application and modifying outreach practices. In addition, Julie and Elisa discussed many of the policy modifications and updates that had to be in place before the model could run successfully.
Our morning session also included presentation of the 2011 Freshy Awards! We received an incredible number of nominations from across the state and the following winners were announced at the 2011 CalFresh Forum:
Following the award ceremony, Stacy Dean, Director of Food Assistance Programs at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, discussed SNAP's role within the greater national picture, particularly in relation to healthcare, increasing SNAP participation amongst the senior population, and the key role that SNAP can play as a component of a greater "package of benefits". She encouraged the audience to have a more active role in health care reform given the similar clientele within MediCal and CalFresh, and the transformations that those programs face.
Wrapping up our morning session, Terre Penn, field administrator with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, discussed business process reengineering during times of economic turmoil and increased workloads. Terre's presentation focused on several aspects of this process including a need to focus on the client experience, managing process versus cases, ensuring consistency across office locations, and engaging in active management. With the success of Washington State before us, Terre encouraged forum participants to accept the differences between States, but to not allow these differences to keep California from embracing the potentially positive impacts for both clients and administrators.
The afternoon workshop session was filled with presentations and discussions covering a wide range of CalFresh related topics. Panel presentations and accompanying resources can be found on the left hand panel. CFPA would like to thank each of the panelists for participating in the afternoon workshop series. Workshops included:
CalFresh: New Brand, New Opportunity
This workshop covered the new CalFresh brand guidelines, the overall goals and opportunities of branding practice, key messaging around the new CalFresh brand and opportunities to integrate the new brand into CalFresh outreach. Panelists included Laurel Sutton with Catchword Branding, Maria Leech with the Network for Healthy California and David Ginsburg with UC Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program.
"Fresh" Ideas for 2011: A Review of the Legislative Proposals
This workshop took an in-depth look at 2011's CalFresh legislation, including AB 6 (Fuentes) The CalFresh Act of 2011, SB 43 (Liu) Helping the Unemployed Keep Benefits and Increasing Employability, AB 69 (Beal) Increasing Senior Participation, and The Nutritional Assistance for Families Act (Swanson). Panelists discussed each legislative proposal from a policy perspective, as well as from a client perspective, focusing on the positive impact these policy changes would have on the CalFresh eligible and participating population. Workshop panelists included Jessica Bartholow with Western Center on Law and Poverty, Frances Chacon, Principal Consultant for the Assembly Human Services Committee, Gwendy Donaker Brown with Opportunity Fund, Opio Dupree, Senior Consultant for Assemblymember SandrÃ© Swanson, Alexis Fernandez with California Food Policy Advocates, Julie Salley-Grey, Principal Consultant for the Assembly Appropriations Committee, Wendy Peterson with the Senior Services Coalition of Alameda County, and Frank Tamborello with Hunger Action Los Angeles.
Looking Toward the Future: Farm Bill 20-When
This workshop presented considerations for the next federal Farm Bill with an emphasis on how SNAP will be integrated into the new farm bill at a national level, how this will impact CalFresh at the state level, and what actions and priorities attendees may consider for their future work. Panelists included Stacy Dean with Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Matthew Marsom with Public Health Institute, and Matt Sharp with California Food Policy Advocates.
The Affordable Care Act: Linking CalFresh and Nutrition
This workshop discussed federal health care reform and how the upcoming changes related to health care coverage for low-income Americans may be linked to the delivery of CalFresh benefits. With an emphasis on discussing the details of the Affordable Care Act participants were able to explore possibilities for further working connecting nutrition and health benefits. The workshop was presented by Kristen Golden-Testa with Children's Partnership.
CFPA would like to thank the folks at the Crest Theater for their tremendous work in seamlessly producing this event and to Fox and Goose Catering for providing fantastic service and food throughout the day.
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