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Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa Food Distribution Client Reluctant to Ask for Assistance

Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa (CCSR) offers ongoing food distributions at various sites throughout Sonoma and Lake Counties. One of the most popular ones being The Palms Inn, with weekly distributions offered for The Palms residents and the public. A staff member from CCSR's outreach team is usually present to provide wraparound services such as Medi-Cal and CalFresh screening, applications and follow-up assistance as needed.

One of CCSR's Bilingual Service Navigators has been attending this weekly distribution and came across a client who attended regularly and asked questions about CalFresh, but never wanted to pursue CalFresh benefits even though she qualified. She stated that she had a job and medical coverage and did not want to take away from others who needed food benefits more than she did. Weeks passed by and she continued to attend the free food distributions until one day she shared with the CCSR Service Navigator that she had gotten into a car accident and was on medical leave, the bills were piling up and she was unable to work anymore, with tears in her eyes and shame, she asked our Service Navigator to screen her for CalFresh, as she was struggling to purchase food and the free food items that she was getting from the food distribution were not sufficient. This is when CCSR Service Navigator offered to get her screened for CalFresh and she was able to obtain extra funds to purchase food during this difficult time in her life.

This client came in to The Sonoma County Health and Human Services Office with her son a few weeks later, where our CCSR Service Navigator assists clients every day, just to thank her and to let her know that her application had been approved. She felt relief to know that starting that month food was not one more thing she had to worry about.

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