FOOD Share Helps Introduce CalFresh Families to SoCalGas CARE Program
FOOD Share, Ventura County’s regional food bank, has established a collaboration with Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) to help raise awareness among eligible low-income SoCalGas customers about the benefits of the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) and the Energy Savings Assistance Program.
FOOD Share will work with its in-house CalFresh representatives to do outreach in the Ventura County area and spread awareness of the CARE program to CalFresh recipients. CalFresh – formerly known as food stamps – is a nutrition program available to all people who need and qualify for it. Like the CARE program, eligibility for CalFresh is based on income, resources and residency of household members.
Through the CARE program, SoCalGas provides relief through discounted gas utility bills for low-income households, saving eligible customers 20 percent on their monthly natural gas bills. Those who qualify and are approved within 90 days of starting new gas service will also receive a $15 discount on the Service Establishment Charge. SoCalGas customers may be automatically eligible if they or a household member currently receive benefits from any low-income assistance programs, including CalFresh.
“SoCalGas’ commitment to find ways to assist households in need is inspiring and FOOD Share is very fortunate and excited for the opportunity to be a community partner,” explains Bonnie Weigel, president and CEO of Ventura County’s FOOD Share. “We want to help SoCalGas ensure that every household we serve will receive information about CARE and understand how to access the support.”
The Energy Savings Assistance Program provides no-cost energy efficient home improvements to income-qualified renters and homeowners.
FOOD Share’s in-house CalFresh representatives plan to do direct grassroots outreach at the regional food bank’s 162 non-profit food distribution centers, as well as free clinics, service organizations, churches and community events where underserved individuals feel safe and frequently visit.