Response to Guest Opinion: “Seniors are Hungry. SB 285 Cuts the Red Tape to Put Food on Their Plate”

Published : Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | 8:16 PM

California Food Policy Advocates Executive Director George Manalo-LeClair’s guest opinion piece, “Seniors are Hungry. SB2 285 Cuts the Red Tape to Put Food on Their Plate,” published on May 7, 2019, in support of SB 285 includes misinformation that impacts seniors applying for CalFresh.

While I agree with the article that the most powerful anti-poverty tool we have is the federally funded Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, I would like to make sure that you inform all LA County residents that the enrollment process has significantly changed. For example, while the article suggests that seniors must come into the office to apply for benefits, that is not accurate.

LA County DPSS has established a Call Center dedicated to taking CalFresh applications via phone. All County residents can contact the Call Center at 866-613-3777, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and a Customer Service Agent will collect all the necessary information via phone and process the application. In 74% of the cases, the application is processed on the same day.

We also accept applications through, a simplified application accessible via computer or mobile device. This simplified application takes approximately 8 minutes to complete.

Because we understand that seniors and disabled residents face transportation and mobility challenges, we have developed these two options so that seniors and disabled residents can be served in the comfort of their own homes.

We need the assistance of the local media and community and faith-based organizations to help us inform the public of these vital resources. With your assistance, we can help LA County’s growing senior and disabled population to boost their food budgets by choosing CalFresh.






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