Farmers Market-Apple being handed to someone
Farmers Market-Apple being handed to someone

CalFresh: Providing help when and where it’s needed most

Author: Social Services
Date: 4/16/2018 10:24:43 AM

CalFresh is a program available to everyone during financially tough times, but too many don’t even know they qualify.

How many paychecks would you have to lose before you needed help?

Think about it. The reality is, most people at some point find themselves in situations they never would have chosen, and not by their own design. There are layoffs, crisis in the family, medical emergencies, addiction coming to light, the death of an income-earning spouse…the list goes on.

While few people enjoy asking for help, it is available and the County of San Luis Obispo Department of Social Services is there to connect people in crisis with the services that can help through to the other side. 

One of the most pressing needs when funds disappear or are cut dramatically is putting food on the table.  The CalFresh Program is designed to help families and individuals bridge the gap when tough times arrive. It allows you extra funds to visit the grocery store and continue to feed your family healthy, nutritious meals. Your CalFresh benefits also allow you to shop at local farmers markets, often doubling your spending power through a matching program with the markets.

There are many seniors in our community who would qualify for CalFresh benefits, but for one reason or another are not getting connected with the program.    

“We hear this from seniors all the time with comments like ‘I don’t need it. I don’t want to take it away from another family,’" says Kat Lauterback, CalFresh coordinator. “It’s so unfortunate, because the funds are there for them. They think if they are receiving social security or a pension, they don’t qualify, and that’s simply not the case. Seniors are so underserved.”

If you are in need or know someone who is, visit to find out what services are available to you, or if getting help with grocery bills is your main concern. You can also call (805) 781-1600.

“It gives people a chance to get back on their feet. Find their new normal. The world is a hard place and there is a need for a safety net. And the last thing we need to deny people is food,” says Lauterback.

When life falls apart, you need help. CalFresh is just one of the programs that your Department of Social Services can connect you with. 

Call (805) 781-1600 (main line) and tell them you are interested in Cal Fresh.