County departments and local nonprofits invite the community to celebrate CalFresh Month throughout May at free giveaways of healthy produce, cloth market bags, recipe cards and cookbooks, plus farmers market tours and Market Match discounts, nutrition education events and CalFresh eligibility and enrollment information at locations in Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Healdsburg.
“The CalFresh program helps low-income residents meet their basic food and nutrition needs. It reduces hunger and supports our community’s good health,” says Economic Assistance Division Director Felisa Pinson. “After the 2017 fires, program also provided vital help by expanding benefits to many residents who lost homes and income in the disaster.”
Known as CalFresh in California, the program is part of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In Sonoma County, the program is administered by the Human Services Department Economic Assistance Division. Nearly 30,000 low-income residents use CalFresh benefit funds to purchase food at grocery stores and many local farmers markets.
Along with a month-long calendar of free events, participating CalFresh farmers’ markets will double the daily Market Match maximum to $20 in May and will offer on-site tours, CalFresh information and food giveaways. The Market Match program doubles the purchasing power of CalFresh benefit dollars up to a maximum amount, normally $10.
The participating farmers’ markets are: Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market, Courthouse Square, 4th St. & Mendocino Ave.; Sebastopol Farmers Market, Sebastopol Plaza, Weeks Way & Petaluma St.; Petaluma Eastside Farmers Market, 320 N. McDowell Blvd.; Healdsburg Farmers Market, West Plaza Parking Lot, North & Vine streets; and Santa Rosa Veterans Building Farmers Market, 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa.
Locations for other scheduled CalFresh Month activities are: Sonoma County Human Services Department South County Center, 5350 Old Redwood Highway, Suite 100, Petaluma; Sonoma WORKS, 2227 Capricorn Way, Suite 100, Santa Rosa; Sonoma County Human Services Department Economic Assistance Division, 520 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa; and Sonoma County Human Services Department Economic Assistance Division, 2550 Paulin Dr., Santa Rosa.
For CalFresh benefit information and to apply for benefits, visit GetCalFresh.org. For local details, visit SonomaCalFresh.org, the Sonoma County Human Services Economic Assistance Division website.
CalFresh Month events for May 2019:
• May 11: CalFresh tours of Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market, 8:30 a.m.-1p.m.
• May 12: CalFresh tours of Sebastopol Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
• May 14: CalFresh tours of Petaluma East Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
• May 15: Weekly produce & giveaways, 520 Mendocino Ave., Sonoma WORKS & South County Center
• May 17: Food & other giveaways, Rethink Your Drink education, 2550 Paulin Dr., 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
• May 18: CalFresh tours of Healdsburg Farmers Market, 8:30 a.m.-noon
• May 20: Food & other giveaways, Rethink Your Drink education, 2550 Paulin Dr., 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
• May 22: Weekly produce & giveaways, 520 Mendocino Ave., Sonoma WORKS & South County Center
• May 25: CalFresh tours of Santa Rosa Veterans Building Farmers Market, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
• May 29: Food & other giveaways, Rethink Your Drink education, 2550 Paulin Dr., 1-3 p.m.
• May 29: Weekly produce & giveaways, 520 Mendocino Ave., Sonoma WORKS & South County Center
Agencies sponsoring events throughout the month are: The Sonoma County Human Services Economic Assistance Division, the Redwood Empire Food Bank, Farmers Market L.I.F.E./Petaluma Bounty, Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa, Center for Well-Being, Sonoma County Health Services and the Redwood Community Health Coalition.