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$8 MILLION IN GRANTS FROM THE CALIFORNIA ENDOWMENT HELPS STATE MAXIMIZE FEDERAL MATCHING FUNDS AND CONNECTS STRUGGLING FAMILIES TO SAFETY-NET SERVICES

HEALTH FOUNDATION’S GRANTS ALREADY HELP BRING $6.6 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING TO CALIFORNIA FOR FOOD STAMP OUTREACH AND ENROLLMENT SERVICES
 
LOS ANGELES (December 10, 2008) - Due to economists’ forecasts that the recession will continue into 2010, The California Endowment today announced its grant-making strategy to help maximize struggling families’ access to the safety-net services they need. Approximately $8 million in funding has been distributed to organizations across the state for the following:
 
• To help the state leverage additional federal matching funds for safety-net services;
• To increase outreach and enrollment services for public benefit programs, including SNAP (Food Stamp Program) and Medi-Cal;
• To support advocacy efforts that help protect and expand the safety net due to threats from state budget shortfall;
• To help struggling communities hardest hit by the economic downturn access federal stimulus dollars for job creation projects; and
• To help community-based organizations meet the increased demand for emergency food assistance (food banks), and mental health and domestic violence services.
 
“With double-digit unemployment rates and the state facing another budget shortfall, we acted intentionally so that some of our investments could help bring in additional federal matching funds to the state for safety-net programs” said Robert K. Ross, M.D., president and CEO of The California Endowment. “In these bleak economic times, every dollar counts to struggling families and we wanted to maximize the resources available to them.”
 
Approximately $890,000 of The Endowment’s funding has already helped the state to secure $6.6 million in federal matching dollars for much needed food stamp outreach and enrollment services. California has the second lowest state ranking in the nation for food stamp participation; only 48 percent of those eligible to participate in the program do. The national average for food stamp participation is 66 percent. The benefits of Increasing food stamp participation for California’s struggling families not only improves their access to nutritious food that helps keep them healthy, but also increases consumer spending which helps strengthen the economy.
 
“Thanks to grants by The California Endowment to organizations like ours that the state contracts with for food stamp outreach services, the state was able to increase the amount of federal matching funds it receives for these activities,” said Sue Sigler, executive director for the California Association of Food Banks. “The additional funding will help us and other organizations reach more people and communities for food stamp information and application assistance.”
 
Click here to read more about how some of these grants will benefit Californians.
 
Grants were made locally, regionally and statewide. A complete listing of grants organized by region and county are available by clicking here.
 
The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The Endowment makes grants to organizations and institutions that directly benefit the health and well-being of the people of California. To date, The Endowment has awarded over 11,000 grants across California totaling more than $2 billion. For more information, visit The Endowment’s Web site at www.calendow.org.