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June 29, 2020 0

This is the second in a two-part series about CalFresh, California’s version of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, once known as food stamps. CalFresh allows low-income individuals and families to afford more food so they don’t have to choose between basic needs and putting food on the table.

When it comes to state-sponsored assistance, people sometimes worry that they won’t qualify or that applying for assistance will somehow put them at risk. Here are the facts.

Lots of People Qualify for Benefits

You can still get benefits if you own a car or a home, have a job, receive unemployment benefits, have no permanent address, have some savings, have a family, don’t have a family, are a college student, are a legal permanent resident, or receive Social Security benefits. In fact, people with a criminal background, even some felons, may be eligible for CalFresh benefits. (Be aware that if you are applying for benefits and there is a warrant out for your arrest, your name will be turned in to the appropriate authorities.)

Immigration Status and CalFresh

Although undocumented immigrants do not qualify for benefits, undocumented parents can apply for benefits for their children if the children are legal residents. And, if you are a legal resident interested in becoming a citizen, applying for CalFresh will not hurt your chances of becoming a US citizen. CalFresh is not considered a welfare program and it is not cash aid. Besides, CalFresh does not share client records with immigration authorities.

Keeping Your Kids

Applying for CalFresh will not result in having your children taken away from you. By applying for CalFresh, you are helping to ensure your children have enough to eat—that speaks well of your parenting. Plus, if you are eligible for CalFresh, your children are automatically eligible for free or reduced-price meals at public schools.

What You Can’t Buy

Because CalFresh is intended to improve health and wellness by providing nutritious food, the CalFresh EBT cards cannot be used to buy alcohol, tobacco products, pet food, or non-food household items such as soap, paper products, household supplies, vitamins, or medicines. CalFresh EBT cards also cannot be used to purchase food in restaurants or food that is intended to be eaten in a store such as prepared hot foods. However, there are a few exceptions for those over 60 years old, or who are disabled or homeless.

How Much Can You Get?

The benefits a household receives depend on household size, household income, and monthly expenses, including costs like housing and utilities. A family of four with a gross monthly income of $4,292 (or about $51,500 per year) is eligible and the definition of household does not require people to be related, simply to buy and prepare food together. The average CalFresh household receives more than $300 per month, with a household of four being eligible for as much as $642 per month. You can learn more about eligibility online at mycalfresh.org/the-basics.

To apply for CalFresh, make an appointment with our Mendocino Coast Clinics Outreach Department or visit Mendocino County Social Services at 764 S. Franklin Street in Fort Bragg. You can also go online to www.c4yourself.com.

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June 25, 2020 0

When you ask medical professionals how to prevent illness and live a healthy life, the first recommendation is often to eat healthy, nutritious food. But what happens when you cannot afford enough food, or when you have to choose between food and medicine or food and rent? When people do not have enough money to cover basic living expenses, they are forced to make hard choices. This is the situation CalFresh is designed to address.

CalFresh is California’s version of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly called food stamps), and it provides monthly food benefits to low-income individuals and families to increase their food budget so they can put more healthy food on the table. CalFresh is the largest food program in California; it’s state-supervised and county-operated.

The benefits a household receives depend on household size, household income, and monthly expenses, including costs like housing and utilities. A family of four with a gross monthly income of $4,292 (or about $51,500 per year) is eligible and the definition of household does not require people to be related, simply to buy and prepare food together. The average CalFresh household receives more than $300 per month, with a household of four being eligible for as much as $642 per month. You can learn more about eligibility online at mycalfresh.org/the-basics.

The program issues monthly benefits on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, and food may be purchased at any grocery store or farmers’ market that accepts EBT cards, including the Fort Bragg Farmers’ Market. In Fort Bragg, vendors not only accept CalFresh EBT cards to pay for food, the market offers matching funds. CalFresh recipients can trade their CalFresh dollars for Market Bucks and the market matches up to its weekly limit, typically $15, which helps CalFresh dollars go further.

Eating well-balanced meals and maintaining a healthy weight can be difficult under the best of circumstances. It can be particularly difficult when dealing with the chronic stress that comes with poverty. That’s why CalFresh is so important. Good nutrition is essential for good health, both mental and physical.

According to ChooseMyPlate.gov, healthy eating includes skipping sugary drinks and eating nutrient-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables; whole grains like oatmeal, whole-grain bread, and brown rice; seafood, lean meats, poultry, and eggs; fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; beans, peas, unsalted nuts, and seeds. In a grocery store, these are often found around the edges of the store rather than in the central aisles.

Sometimes when money is tight, people opt for low-cost fast food or pre-packaged food, which is the opposite of nutrient-rich food. These foods offer nothing but empty calories; that is, they contain little or no essential vitamins or minerals. In other words, these foods provide nothing of value to your body beyond calories that create excess pounds, and excess pounds can to obesity. Obesity is a risk-factor for more than a dozen chronic illnesses, including diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.

So, CalFresh is a way to prevent problems before they start. It expands food budgets so low-income individuals and families can make healthier food choices. It prevents both malnourishment when people cannot afford enough food, as well as obesity caused by cheap, low-quality food full of empty calories.

To apply for CalFresh, make an appointment with our Mendocino Coast Clinics Outreach Department or visit Mendocino County Social Services at 764 S. Franklin Street in Fort Bragg. You can also go online to www.c4yourself.com.

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June 22, 2020 0

There are some important updates to the California Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program.

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗱𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗝𝘂𝗹𝘆 𝟭𝟱𝘁𝗵! Families can apply online through this super simple application: https://ca.p-ebt.org

Families who have already applied and have a pending eligibility decision do not need to apply again.

Students who were enrolled at a school that provided free meals to all students (Ukiah, Fort Bragg and Round Valley) 𝗺𝗮𝘆 𝗯𝗲 𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗣-𝗘𝗕𝗧, 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲. If they qualify, they will receive a card loaded with $365 (per student) to spend on groceries.

Learn more here: https://www.cdss.ca.gov/home/pandemic-ebt#main-content

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February 12, 2020 0

Don’t forget: your friends and neighbors are selling their fresh local produce at the Fort Bragg Certified Farmers Market every Wednesday from 3:00 to 5:00!

It doesn’t matter if it’s cold, or raining, or windy – the Market is indoors from November through April, so you can stay warm and cozy as you shop for locally grown fruit, vegetables, herbs, and more!

If you are a CalFresh recipient, you will be glad to know that the Market participates in Market Match, which doubles your CalFresh spending power at the Farmers’ Market.

So come on down to the Old Recreation Center at City Hall, at the corner of Laurel and Franklin Streets and enjoy the fun at the Farmers’ Market! #stayhealthywithus

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February 5, 2020 0

It’s a good thing you’re already sweet enough, since this month’s wellness challenge is to cut back on added sugar.

Men should consume no more than 150 discretionary calories of sugar per day. This is equivalent to 38 g or 9 teaspoons of sugar. Women and children should use no more than 100 discretionary calories on sugar per day. This is around 25 g or 6 teaspoons of sugar.

Our Registered Dietitian tells us that added sugars are sugars or caloric sweeteners that manufacturers put in foods or drinks. Added sugars can be natural or chemically manufactured.

Examples of natural sugars that manufacturers add to provide sweetness include honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar.

Even fructose and lactose qualify as added sugars in many processed foods.

Examples of added sugars to look for on food labels include:

• refined white sugar
• brown sugar
• raw sugar
• invert sugar
• malt sugar
• coconut sugar
• molasses
• syrup
• maple syrup
• corn syrup
• high-fructose corn syrup
• corn sweetener
• honey
• fruit juice concentrates
• sugar molecules ending in “ose,” such as fructose, glucose, dextrose, lactose, maltose, and sucrose

So skip the candy aisle and head to the produce aisle this month. You can do it! #behealthywithus

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September 27, 2019 0

According to The New York Times, new guidelines suggest that young children should mostly drink just dairy milk and water. Plant based milks are not recommended due to added sweeteners. The idea is to stop children from developing a taste for sweet drinks when they are young that could lead to health problems later in life.

Here are the new recommendations by age group:

Birth to six months: Infants should drink only breast milk or infant formula. They should not drink juice, milk, flavored milk, so-called transition or weaning formulas (also called toddler milks, growing-up milks or follow-up formula), low-calorie sweetened beverages (diet or “light” drinks, or those sweetened with Stevia or Sucralose). These children also should not receive plant-based and nondairy “milks,” caffeinated beverages (soda, coffee, tea, energy drinks) or sugar-sweetened beverages (soda, fruit drinks and fruit-flavored drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened water, and sweetened coffee or tea).

6 to 12 months: Babies should still rely on breast milk or infant formula. Once they have begun eating solid food, they can start sipping water. Parents should avoid juice, milk, flavored milk, transition formulas, low-calorie sweetened beverages, plant-based and nondairy milks, caffeinated beverages, and sugar-sweetened beverages.

12 to 24 months: Children should drink one to four cups of water daily, and they can start drinking plain pasteurized whole milk. They should have no more than four ounces of 100 percent fruit juice per day; the juice may be watered down. Parents should avoid other drinks (flavored milk, transition formulas, caffeinated drinks, plant-based and nondairy milks, sugar-sweetened beverages and low-calorie sweetened beverages).

2 to 3 years old: Toddlers should drink one to four cups of water daily and transition to fat-free or low-fat (1 percent fat) milk. They should drink no more than four ounces of 100 percent juice and should not be given other drinks.

4 to 5 years old: These toddlers should drink 1.5 to five cups of water a day, skim or low-fat milk, and no more than four to six ounces of 100 percent fruit juice. They should not be given other drinks.

You can read the whole article here.

 

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June 26, 2019 0

Happy Farmers’ Market Day! Today’s special, made by our very own Registered Dietitian Susie, is tomato bisque soup. Enjoy the summery flavors of tomato and basil, and take the recipe with you to try at home. This vegetarian delight can easily become vegan by omitting the yogurt and using vegetable broth.

Come by and try a sample of delicious soup, ask Susie your health and wellness questions, and ask our Advocate Albert about Medi-Cal, Medicare Part D, Covered California, and Cal Fresh. They have the answers to all those important questions!

They will also be giving away Market Bucks to children up to the age of 18 and adults 60 and up. These can be redeemed for fruit and vegetables at the Fort Bragg Certified Farmers Market. And don’t forget: If you receive CalFresh, you can double your buying power at the Farmers’ Market. See you there! #behealthywithus


June 11, 2018

Any child can come to Redwood Elementary School at 324 S. Lincoln Street in Fort Bragg to receive a FREE BREAKFAST and/or a FREE LUNCH from June 13 through July 10. Breakfast is served 8:00-8:30 a.m. and Lunch is served 11:00-11:45 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. Kids can just drop in during service time.

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March 29, 2018

Going beyond peanut butter, nut butters have become more widely available and made with more varieties of nuts than before. While the definition of a “natural” nut butter is not regulated, it generally refers to nut butters that contain only nuts (and perhaps salt and oil) with no stabilizers, which creates a spread that separates (oil rises to the top) and must be stirred before use.

Copyright by Mendocino Coast Clinics. All rights reserved. This Health Center receives HHS funding and has Federal PHS deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals. This Health Center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 245b, and deemed a Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233 (g)-(n). Any claim filed against MCC must be done in federal court.

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