The nominees are in…let the voting begin! California Food Policy Advocates have received nominations from across the state to honor the efforts of individuals working to improve the Food Stamp Program in California. Please help our very own Kathi Kelly from Contra Costa County win! By voting, you are rewarding efforts to improve the program, as well as identifying actions and attitudes you want replicated. The winners will be announced at the 11th Annual Food Stamp Forum on Thursday, February 18, 2010 in Sacramento. To cast your ballot, go to http://www.cfpa.net/2010FSForum/forms/2010stampyballot.html, check the box by Kathi Kelly and click “SUBMIT” at the bottom of the page. Polls will close at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 31, 2010.
Here is why we think Kathi should win:
Kathi has been an outstanding advocate for improved access to Food Stamps. In the past four years, she has trained hundreds of employees from the county and community based organizations by partnering with the Food Bank to presently “Myths and Facts of Food Stamp Eligibility” on a quarterly basis. She regularly prepares and shares additional materials to explain food stamp eligibility at quarterly luncheons where people working on food stamp outreach gather to share experiences. Kathi continually strives to interpret the FS regulations in a way that improves access. She developed a countywide mail-in application process that allows people to complete the DFA 285 A1 and mail it to her. She then sends it out to the appropriate district office. While the number of applications coming in through this effort are small (an average of 35/month) this has been a valuable tool for food stamp outreach workers to use. Kathi’s sensitivity to the needs of Food Stamp clients is shared by the EBT team in Contra Costa County who managed the September transition to a new vendor with an absolute minimum of disruption to the clients. During a time of county cuts in staffing, Kathi’s continual “can do” approach and her openness to questions and concerns of advocates has truly made a difference in Contra Costa County where Food Stamp enrollment is up over 25% from last year.