About CalFresh

CalFresh, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a state-supervised, county-operated food program that provides low-income individuals or households with monthly electronic benefits (EBT) cards that allow them to purchase nutritious food. These EBT cards can be used to buy food at most authorized markets and grocery stores.
While a large CalFresh enrollment gap persists among all eligible California residents, the disparity is particularly prevalent among eligible Asian and Pacific Islander (API) households in the state. In 2015, only about 70% of eligible California residents received CalFresh benefits. Of the total number of households that receive CalFresh, only 5% identify as API. Thus, eligible API families are missing out on key resources to supplement their nutrition and diet.

What is APIFM doing about it?

1.CalFresh Healthy Living Produce Distribution

APIFM is partnering with the LA County Department of Public Health (LAC-DPH) on the CalFresh Health Living (CFHL) program in order to distribute produce to local community health clinics and community based organizations. APIFM regularly hosts free community produce distribution events in Chinatown, Highland Park, and Thai Town. Please see our calendar of events to find out when our next distribution event will take place.

2. CalFresh Outreach & Education

APIFM is a member of Enroll LA and BAILA (Benefits Access for Immigrants Los Angeles), partnering with diverse coalitions in Los Angeles to inform, engage and enroll residents into vital programs such as CalFresh. APIFM Community Engagement Coordinators are working in Chinatown, the South Bay and West SGV to offer group presentations, 1×1 education, and community based outreach on the CalFresh program. To schedule a workshop please email info@apifm.org or call Isabelle at 323-238-5609 or Leah at (562) 294-3130.

3. CalFresh Advocacy & Resources

APIFM works to ensure that policy makers, API serving organizations, and API community members who are eligible for, but aren’t using CalFresh, have the resources, tools, and support to access these critical services.


This Google Map visualizes grocery stores in Los Angeles County that specialize in serving the Asian American and Pacific Islander populations. Green pins indicate grocery stores that accept CalFresh; yellow pins indicate grocery stores that do not accept CalFresh. Each location point also indicates information regarding WIC.

APIFM partnered with researchers in 2016-2017 to gather insight on barriers to CalFresh utilization and suggestions for outreach in four API communities (Tongan, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Filipinx).

Learn more about how you can help API community members access and receive CalFresh support.

  • We need your help evaluating the DPSS hotline to ensure that accurate and respectful services are being provided in language
    1. Call: (866) 613-3777, DPSS hotline number
    2. Select language choice on menu
    3. Navigate to CalFresh support
    4. Connect with CalFresh support representative
    5. Record experience with in-language support and capacity
  • What we’re looking for:
    1. How long does it take to connect with a representative?
    2. Are you on hold for a few minutes or hours before transferring to someone?
    3. Is the live representative fluent in the language you selected?
    4. Is the live representative helpful? Easy to understand?

If you are bilingual and able to help complete an in-language evaluation call to the DPSS hotline, please email info@apifm.org.