(Editor's Note: Alyssa Heater is a San Jose State Journalism student who wrote this piece for Patch as part of a class assignment.)
According to their website, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties is committed to ending hunger in local communities. It provides outreach, education and enrollment assistance to community members that may be eligible for the food assistance program.
Second Harvest, in conjunction with the Campbell Library is offering assistance with CalFresh applications the second Tuesday of every month, between 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., by appointment. The next event is this afternoon. CalFresh is an EBT card, similar to an ATM card which allows individuals to buy food at most grocery stores.
“Campbell is perceived as a relatively wealthy community, but statistics show that 44.5% of students qualify for free/reduced priced lunch,” says Anna Dyer, CalFresh associate director of services. “CalFresh is beneficial to anyone looking to put food on the table, and you do not have to have children to qualify.”
A family of two can receive monthly benefits up to $367.00 for food, and a family of six up to $952.00. The Campbell Library was an ideal location for the signups.
“There are large pockets of low income population all over Santa Clara County, and the library is a good meeting place," says Martin Huici, CalFresh outreach coordinator. "Many people go to the library for community resources.”
There are fliers located in the Campbell Library in various languages that also provide information about CalFresh.
“Our goal is to reach out to people and let them know about resources that may be underutilized,” says Caitlin Kerk, Second Harvest Food Bank spokeswoman.
Both low income individuals and families can receive CalFresh, or someone with a social security number who is not receiving SSI.
Huici emphasized that people who are struggling can call 1-800-984-3663 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to find out how to get food and assistance with the CalFresh application.