LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) are partnering with the Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA) to promote the use of CalFresh benefits (formerly food stamps) at farmers' markets. Families can use their CalFresh benefits at over 50 participating farmers' markets throughout LA County to buy vegetables, fruits, and other fresh foods. CalFresh is the state-administered federal food assistance program designed to reduce hunger and promote good nutrition for families.
"In Los Angeles County, fresh vegetables and fruits are as plentiful as the sunshine," said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer. "Eating vegetables and fruits can help LA County residents to maintain a healthy weight and prevent many chronic diseases. Ensuring that all LA County residents have access to affordable fresh vegetables and fruits is a priority. By allowing families to use their CalFresh benefits at farmers' markets, we are making it easier for all community residents to access healthier foods, regardless of their income level."
During the month of May, designated as CalFresh Awareness Month, several community events and activities are planned to raise awareness of CalFresh, the federally funded program formerly referred to as food stamps. CalFresh increases household food budgets, allowing families to put healthy and nutritious food on the table. And now, those benefits can be used at local farmers' markets where families have access to a wide assortment of healthier foods. On Tuesday, April 30, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors announced a month-long series of public awareness events coordinated by DPSS and more than 30 community and faith-based organizations.
"CalFresh Awareness Month represents an intense effort to address hunger and the public health issues it presents. Our collaboration with the Department of Public Health allows us to show families how to eat healthier using CalFresh benefits. Farmers' markets help families to expand their access to healthy food selections," said Department of Public Social Services Director Sheryl L. Spiller.
Additionally, Public Health's "Ask the Dietitian" booth will be at selected farmers' markets to provide nutrition tips and recipes using local produce found at the market. "Ask the Dietitian," which runs from March to November every year, gives the public an opportunity to sample healthy meals and take home the recipe.
For a listing of farmers' markets in LA County that accept CalFresh, go to: http://dpss.lacounty.gov/dpss/calfresh/pdf/FarmersMarketsLi sting.pdf.
To download "Ask the Dietitian" healthy recipes and nutritional facts, go to: http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/nut/atd/NutritionEduca tionMaterials/Recipes/Recipe-Index.htm.
CalFresh Awareness Month events at selected farmers' markets:
Thursday, May 16:
Central Avenue Farmers' Market
Location: 4301 Central Avenue, Los Angeles, 90011
Market Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
- 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.: DPSS booth will have staff available to help interested individuals and families assess their CalFresh eligibility.
- 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.: Network for a Healthy California Latino Campaign: FREE English/Spanish recipe book, goodie bags and food demonstrations.
- 10:00 a.m. - 12 noon: "Ask the Dietitian" booth staff will give out nutrition tips and ideas on cooking with locally grown, fresh produce.
Saturday, May 18:
Watts Healthy Farmers' Market
Location: Ted Watkins Park 1335 E. 103rd Street, Los Angeles, 90002
Market Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
- The market will be hosting a Community Walk and Resource Fair with Best Start LA/First 5 LA.
- 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.: The DPSS Health and Nutrition Mobile Unit staff will assist interested individuals and families to determine their CalFresh eligibility, answer questions about CalFresh, and process CalFresh and/or Medi- Cal applications onsite.
- 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.: "Ask the Dietitian" booth staff will give out nutrition tips and ideas on cooking with locally grown, fresh produce.
Sunday, May 19:
Hollywood Farmers' Market
Location: 1600 Ivar Avenue, Los Angeles, 90028
Market Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
- 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The DPSS Health and Nutrition Mobile Unit staff will assist interested individuals and families to determine their CalFresh eligibility, answer questions about CalFresh, and process CalFresh and/or Medi- Cal applications onsite.
- 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Network for a Healthy California Latino Campaign: FREE English/Spanish recipe book, goodie bags and food demonstrations.
- 10:00 a.m. - 12 noon "Ask the Dietitian" booth staff will give out nutrition tips and ideas on cooking with locally grown, fresh produce.
For more information on nutrition and healthy eating, connect with Public Health's Choose Health LA online, which represents obesity prevention public health efforts in LA County. Visit Choose Health LA on Twitter @ChooseHealthLA, on Facebook and at ChooseHealthLA.com.
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health and the work we do please visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/lapublichealth, find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lapublichealth, or follow us on Twitter: @LAPublicHealth.