Jennifer Savage’s colorful account of her experience applying for food stamps years ago (“Food Stamps and You,” Nov. 26) states correctly that fewer than 50 percent of eligible Humboldt County households receive food stamps under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Benefits are available, yet so many of our friends and neighbors still struggle to feed their families.
Jennifer is correct on another point -- that the food stamp program has come a long way since she applied, and so has the Department of Health and Human Services’ administration of this program. Processes have been streamlined and wait times shortened. The lobby has been completely remodeled.
And our process improvements continue. Residents will soon be able to apply for food stamps and other social services without coming into our offices. Beginning in June, DHHS will implement a program called C 4 Yourself which will allow residents to apply for food stamps, Medi-Cal, CalWORKs, County Medical Services Program and other benefits via the Internet.
Even before then, DHHS is outreaching to communities throughout the county to explain the program and its eligibility requirements, and to assist those who may be unable to travel to Eureka to apply.
We’d like to thank Jennifer for calling attention to this important program. For additional information about food stamps, please phone 707-269-3590 or 800-891-8551, or visit http://www.myfoodstamps.org
Kathy Young, Director, Social Services Branch of the Department of Health and Human Services