For 74 year-old Theresa of Antioch, her retirement years are anything but golden. Theresa shares, “I thought my older years would be easy. Instead of easy, I’m not making it.” Theresa is not unique. For a growing number of seniors, that is the reality. In fact, 1 in 11 seniors in California may have to choose between paying rent, filling prescriptions or purchasing food. CalFresh, a state-run nutrition assistance program, could be the answer for many limited-income seniors. CalFresh benefits are automatically loaded onto a debit-like card that can be discreetly used at most grocery stores, neighborhood stores and farmers’ markets.
Despite being one of the most effective solutions to hunger, the majority of seniors who are eligible do not use CalFresh. Why? Because of some persistent myths seniors believe about the program.
MYTH: “Other people need CalFresh more than I do.”
FACT: There are enough CalFresh benefits available to everyone meeting the eligibility requirements. There is no need for qualifying seniors go without.
MYTH: “It’s too hard to apply for CalFresh.”
FACT: Friendly Food Bank staff help seniors find out if they may be eligible. They can provide further assistance by mailing out applications or helping apply over the phone or online.
MYTH: “I own my house, so I won’t qualify.”
FACT: Seniors can have savings, a house and cars and still receive CalFresh.
The Food Bank is letting seniors know about the help CalFresh can bring, because no one should have to choose between buying food or filling a prescription.
To learn more about this important program, visit foodbankccs.org/seniorcalfresh.