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Food Stamps Program Aims To Change Image

— California wants to change the perception of its food stamp program. The state has unveiled a new name. From now on, food stamps will be called CalFresh.

The California food stamp program hasn’t even used stamps since 2004. George Manalo-LeClair is with California Food Policy Advocates, which spearheaded efforts to modernize the benefits’ program’s outdated name. Manalo-LeClair says it took several years of focus groups and legislation to change food stamps to CalFresh.

“That component of the word “fresh” came right from the discussions,” said Manalo-LeClair.

CalFresh will be administered by the Department of Social Services. Its director, John Wagner, liked using marketing tactics to find words that avoid the suggestion of welfare.

What didn’t resonate was the term assistance stamps. Things like that. The new name is a better reflection of the goals of the program, proper eating, proper nutrition, obesity prevention.

More than 3 million Californians receive benefits each month. The California Endowment provided $150,000 to change food stamps to CalFresh.

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