More than 1,000 residents received free food, diapers, household goods and information on food and other community resources at a Saturday event hosted by Orange County Supervisor Vicente Sarmiento, Second District, and the County of Orange Social Services Agency (SSA).
The March 25 Community Resources & Health Fair, held in response to the loss of CalFresh emergency benefits, brought together more than 15 community partners to address the basic needs of vulnerable Orange County residents.
SSA’s eligibility staff provided live benefits assistance for more than 200 attendees who visited the Agency’s Mobile Response Vehicle, which is used as an office on wheels. CalFresh applicants who were approved for benefits received their Electronic Benefit Transfer cards on site that day.
“Thank you to all the community partners for making this event a success for our residents. The sheer volume of attendees demonstrates we still have more work to do. I plan to host future resource events in my district to continue supporting our most vulnerable community members,” said Supervisor Sarmiento.
SSA, whose public assistance benefits programs and services assist one in three Orange County residents, supports events like this one by bringing its Mobile Response Vehicles and teams of eligibility professionals out into the community.
“Visiting our clients where they live, participating in local community events and speaking with them in the language they are most comfortable helps build connections with them. We are here to help, and we are able to serve families and individuals more holistically when we collaborate closely with our partners such as CalOptima Health, the OC Hunger Alliance, Second Harvest Food Bank, OC Food Bank, Santa Ana Unified School District and many others who serve our clients as well,” said SSA Director An Tran.
Other participating partners included Abound Food Care, the Behavioral Health Advisory Board, City of Santa Ana, Community Action Partnership of Orange County, the Delhi Center, Head Start, Latino Health Access, Ministerios Betesda, OC Health Care Agency, OC Office on Aging, Rancho Santiago Community College Board of Trustees, Santa Ana College, Public Law Center and United Across Borders Foundation.
Residents receiving CalFresh benefits are encouraged to update their records when they have changes in their income or expenses, such as loss of a job or pay cuts, or increased daycare costs, rent or utilities. Seniors can maximize their benefits by reporting medical expenses that exceed $35 a month, in addition to their shelter and utility expenses.
Residents can update their information or apply:
For additional information on SSA programs, visit: www.ssa.ocgov.com.
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