The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors is calling for the formation of a special unit to increase enrollment into CalFresh, which is known as food stamps nationally. This news comes even though the Trump Administration is looking to cut $193 billion in food stamp programs nationwide. The reason county officials are looking to boost enrollment into the CalFresh program is to maintain existing and proposed funding. According to county Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Janice Hahn, increased participation in the CalFresh program will result in a $2.1 billion growth in economic activity within the county. A motion by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Janice Hahn states,

Studies show that adults who received CalFresh as children, have greater high school completion rates and lower rates of stunted growth, obesity and heart disease than non-CalFresh counterparts.

When compared to the state average and nearby counties, Los Angeles County actually ranks among the lowest in the state in the number of participants enrolled in CalFresh. The state average participation rate in CalFresh is nearly 70 percent, compared to Los Angeles County’s participation rate of 66 percent. An estimated $1.8 billion in additional federal funding is at risk in the Los Angeles County if participation does not reach 100 percent. According to social service officials, one of the reasons why enrollment is low in Los Angeles County is because immigrants who are eligible for food assistance programs stay away due to the fear that enrollment will hurt their chances of becoming a permanent U.S. citizen or even lead to deportation. We will have to wait and see if the county is successful in reaching 100 percent enrollment in the CalFresh program and if the Trump Administration does cut federal funding.

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