The state of California is on a mission to increase utilization of food stamps. Even though the unemployment rate is over 12%, only one state has a lower participation rate in the federal program than the Golden State.
Less than half of the eligible residents are participating in the current nutrition program for several reasons. One factor is the stigma of being on “food stamps”. The name is outdated because there aren’t any stamps. Benefits are delivered to an electronic benefits card similar to a debit card.
These factors led the social services department to conduct a lot of testing and research to come up with the new name….Calfresh. We renamed Medicaid to Med-Cal so I guess it makes sense.
The state received $150,000 from the California Endowment Fund to develop the name and branding and another $5,000 in federal funds to pay for new brochures. However, increased use of the benefits will mean more money for the state of California.
How? Well, apparently every dollar of benefits results in $1.84 of economic activity. People can now spend that money on taxable goods instead of non-taxed food items. I know from experience the state is trying to increase tax revenues any way it can with our budget woes.
I am glad that low-income people have access to the same healthy food I eat. I’m not so sure about having to campaign for them to take advantage of it.
What do you think about the state encouraging eligible people to apply for the federal nutrition program?
Content © Bucksomeboomer 2009-2010. All Rights Reserved.