2022 Grants Challenge
🎉 Winner

Increasing Food Access and Security for Black Women

Black Women for Wellness and Golden State Opportunity will launch a collaborative pilot project designed to increase access to healthy and nutritious food for at least 35,000 low-income Black women in Los Angeles County over the next three to five years. We will share information about the thousands of dollars available to eligible families through the CalFresh program, while increasing public awareness of this important resource. We will also help women enroll in CalFresh and claim the funds needed to provide food for them and their children.


Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

Golden State Opportunity

What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Income Inequality

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA

West LA

South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

We seek to address food insecurity and food access for low-income Black women in LA County, particularly in South and West LA. From a recent poll taken by community members who participate in our bi-weekly Food Distribution program, we know that 45% live in households earning $40K or less. With inflation and a recession looming, it is nearly impossible for most of our community members to purchase produce and nutrient rich food that will aid in the health and wellness of themselves and their families. Food has become increasingly expensive while wages have stagnated and income inequality increased, which too often forces our community members to make food choices based on cost rather than nutritional value. As a result, our members are at greater risk for health related issues, chronic illness, and obesity. CalFresh dollars can help improve healthy food access and reduce the impacts of racial income inequities, but too many eligible families don’t claim the funds available.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Black Women for Wellness (BWW) will partner with Golden State Opportunity (GSO) on an innovative pilot program designed to increase the number of low-income Black women in LA County who know about and claim CalFresh benefits. Every month, eligible families receive hundreds of CalFresh dollars to increase their access to healthy and nutritious food—but only if they enroll. BWW and GSO will work together to reach Black women who qualify and to provide the information and support they need to apply for CalFresh benefits. Outreach efforts will include: -Creating collateral materials and distributing them at events, during canvassing, through newsletters, and via social media platforms. Materials will have information about CalFresh and links to an online application portal ( -Sharing information about CalFresh at bi-weekly food distribution events which allow community members to receive fresh organic produce, recipe cards, and nutrition information that support their wellness journey. -Conducting door-to-door canvassing in priority neighborhoods to distribute information, answer questions, and encourage participation. -Implementing a direct texting campaign to share information about CalFresh with 35,000+ low-income Black women in LA County. -Providing in-person enrollment support at community events, helping people navigate the complicated application process. -Conducting paid media campaigns to promote CalFresh, generating 1M+ impressions.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

We believe that economic status and income level should not determine access to healthy and nutritious food. The lifelong health problems associated with poor nutrition (particularly in childhood) are another way in which existing economic racial inequities are perpetuated and increased, but it doesn’t have to be this way. One part of the solution is ensuring that every eligible family in LA County enrolls in CalFresh and access the thousands of dollars available. We will pilot and test a new model for increasing awareness and utilization of CalFresh benefits, with a focus on low-income Black women and their families. Over the grant period, we anticipate reaching 35,000+ women with information about CalFresh and helping 240 or more women apply for the benefit program. Longer-term, we hope to prove our approach works and scale our efforts, thereby vastly increasing awareness of CalFresh generally and raising CalFresh eligible participation rates to as close as 100% as possible.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

BWW and GSO will track our impact in a number of ways to monitor our efforts, assess what strategies are working, and where improvements can be made. A major focus will be tracking engagement metrics to understand how many people we are reaching with information about CalFresh. These include: -The number of doors our canvassing team knock on and conversations had -How many flyers and collateral materials are distributed at events and during canvassing -The number of texts sent with CalFresh information -How many people we reach through online efforts, such as via our newsletters, social media profiles, etc. -Number of impressions generated through paid media campaigns, such as radio ads, print media ads, etc. In addition to our reach and engagement metrics, we will track the number of people we help apply for CalFresh benefits. This will include those we help at in-person events and those who use our unique url to submit their application through the online portal.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 240

Indirect Impact: 35,000

Describe the specific role of the partner organization(s) in the project, program, or initiative.

Black Women for Wellness (BWW) and Golden State Opportunity (GSO) will collaborate on the overall program design, with implementation roles largely as follows: -BWW will focus on in-person engagement efforts, primarily through canvassing and at events. BWW will be the point partner for in-person enrollment efforts, with some support provided by GSO and potentially other partners. BWW will conduct some online engagement efforts via our newsletter and social media channels. -GSO will focus on virtual engagement efforts, primarily through a direct texting campaign and conducting paid media campaigns. GSO will be the point partner for creating the collateral materials. GSO and/or other partners will provide training on CalFresh outreach and the enrollment process for BWW staff.