Taxes may seem all we talk about but we would like to make families stronger not only financially but as a whole – we want your clients to access other resources, benefits, and services that they are eligible for such as SNAP and WIC.
We know that many of your organizations already have systems which distribute this information but here is a summarized version of these programs:
Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program
“The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a nutrition assistance program that helps low-income families and individuals purchase nutritious, healthy food. It is the cornerstone of the Nation’s nutrition assistance safety net.”
In California, SNAP is known as CalFresh.
Women, Infants, and Children Program
“WIC is a federally-funded health and nutrition program for women, infants, and children. WIC helps families by providing checks for buying healthy supplemental foods from WIC-authorized vendors, nutrition education, and help finding healthcare and other community services.”
Here are four different levels of SNAP (CalFresh) and WIC information distribution for you to engage in at your tax site.
Do what will work best for you!
1. Have printed information readily available
If there are further inquiries, you can refer your clients to call 2-1-1.
211 is United Way’s toll-free resource number that connects callers to local community services. They can answer questions about benefits regarding food, shelter, counseling, employment assistance, quality child care and more. 211 can even do benefits screening over the phone.
2. Train all volunteers to mention SNAP (CalFresh) and WIC services while helping the clients with their tax preparation
When volunteers notice a client looking through a SNAP or WIC brochure, they can highlight facts about the program and refer them to the online application at Benefits CalWin or to a time when a food bank will come and sign people up for the programs on site.
You can help volunteers know more about the program with:
3. Have a specifically trained “Other Services Volunteer” or “Community Resource Coach”
This volunteer role can be dedicated to screening clients for their eligibility and to refer them to further services
4. Have a food bank send a representative to speak or host a table about SNAP (CalFresh), WIC, and other benefits programs at your site
· A computer kiosk logged on to Benefits CalWin where clients can find out their eligibility and apply at their own leisure
· A sign-up sheet for the client to schedule a time to come back and learn about benefits
· Use your tax site’s wait time to screen clients for SNAP (CalFresh) and/or WIC
· Use or generate a separate agency tax site intake sheet that a volunteer can use to screen clients for benefits
· Have printed SNAP application forms at your site