In June 2019, iFoster was thrilled to strike up a partnership with CalFresh, the largest food program in California.
CalFresh provides monthly food benefits to eligible, low-income individuals and families so they can buy nutritious meals for a better diet. Through this program, CalFresh has publicly recognized that many current and former foster youth are food insecure, very low-income, and have children of their own — but aren’t accessing CalFresh’s resources.
Here’s the catch — in order for people to be eligible for CalFresh’s monthly food benefits, they must either be working or involved in an employment training program. That’s where iFoster comes into play.
CalFresh is subsidizing iFoster’s Jobs Program and TAY AmeriCorps program, so foster youth enrolled in either of these programs are eligible for CalFresh’s benefits.
Our Jobs Program is nine months long — three months of training and six months of post-training employment services. After training, foster youth must fulfill the work requirement of at least 20 hours per week to remain eligible for CalFresh.
This statewide opportunity is a county by county rollout, and thus far includes Placer, Santa Clara, and Contra Costa counties. We are in the process of signing up additional counties, and will soon expand to Sacramento, Riverside and Los Angeles.
Since less than 50% of current and former foster youth are currently enrolled in CalFresh, this is an excellent opportunity to increase the number of transition age youth who benefit from these services.
iFoster is very pleased that the government is so understanding of the specific needs of our TAY population and are willing to provide funds to help our youth overcome these barriers.
We are excited to see that programs outside of child welfare are starting to identify iFoster as a partner and are working with us to help serve one of the nation’s biggest at-risk populations.
iFoster and CalFresh’s values closely align, which is why we can’t wait to witness the impact of this partnership and look forward to bettering the lives of foster youth together.
Learn more about iFoster’s programs here.