Stories From the Community

The Rodriguez Family’s Success Story 

National Health Foundation’s CalFresh Connection tackles food insecurity by connecting households to CalFresh benefits to strengthen their access to affordable, healthy food. Meet Alma (left), a CalFresh Promotora who has supported over 580 households in accessing CalFresh and healthy food. Alma connected with the Rodriguez family (below) after being referred from our partner organization, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). Many clients are referred to our CalFresh Connection team by social workers from CHLA.

Facing financial difficulties due to their son’s challenging diagnosis and ongoing treatment at CHLA, the family of four was struggling to afford healthy food. The father works full-time while taking care of one child, and the mother is dedicated to caring for their son day and night at the hospital. Due to their medical and financial situation, they have not had enough money to buy healthy food, while often not having enough money to eat at all. Although the family has received food boxes from local food banks, they faced challenges in aligning with their medical dietary needs.

Alma stepped in to assist the family with their CalFresh application and worked with the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) to get their application approved quickly. They received their benefits almost immediately and within the first week they were able to begin shopping for food. Alma referred the family to local a farmers’ market so that they could purchase fresh produce and take advantage of the Market Match program. The referral allowed them to double their purchasing power for fruits and vegetables!

For the first time in a long time, the Rodriguez family was able to prepare and enjoy healthy meals together. Thanks to Alma and their new CalFresh Benefits, the Rodriguez family no longer has to worry about affording healthy food while their son is in the hospital. This support has provided them with one
less concern during a challenging time.


NHF’s CalFresh Connection program has the goal of tackling food insecurity among under-resourced communities in Los Angeles by connecting households to CalFresh benefits and strengthening their access to affordable, healthy food. With the goal of increasing enrollment and retention in CalFresh, NHF’s CalFresh Connection seeks to decrease the rate of food insecure households, ultimately improving health outcomes for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in Los Angeles. For more information about CalFresh Connection, please contact Melissa Arvizu at