Why Employers Should Care About Government Supplemental Nutrition Programs
by Michael Kraft
Let’s face it, our region has a high percentage of low-wage jobs. There are multiple reasons for this, including our local economy’s heavy reliance on small service companies, nonprofit organizations and retail employers, people new to the workforce, new and undercapitalized start-ups and our region’s lingering general economic conditions.
In my experience, most employers would like to pay these folks more but for one reason or another can’t. At the same time, employers face high turnover in these positions, which is expensive. While higher pay is one thing that clearly would help, there are other resources that employers can point to in order to stabilize their lower-wage workforce.
One of those resources is CalFresh, California’s version of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), designed to add to a family’s food budget. By referring employees who qualify to this resource, you help to add funds to their family budgets, making wages go further, and bringing new dollars to our local markets.
Some attributes of CalFresh are that it …
- Comes as an EBT card
- Works at our local farmers market
- Brings money into Humboldt County
- Is easier to apply for than people think
Since the recession hit in 2008, working-age people have become the largest group using SNAP. This in spite of the fact that those working people who qualify access the program at lower rates. It’s also the case that Californians take advantage of the program at lower rates than the country as a whole.
And who are these people?
- Young people working part time, whether they want to or not
- Single parents
- Two people working two lower-wage jobs who are supporting a large family
These are exactly the people I want to give a hand up.
At Sequoia Personnel Services, we are part of an effort to help extend CalFresh benefits to hard-working but lower-wage working people who qualify but for whatever reason haven’t sought assistance. Simply contact me to find out more. People can also apply for CalFresh benefits at organizations such as the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, Food for People, or via www.c4yourself.com.
Michael Kraft is Senior Project Manager and Consultant at Sequoia Personnel Services, Inc. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-445-9641.
The information provided in this blog is intended for general information purposes only. Readers should seek the help of an HR professional for guidance on specific issues.