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Placer County, Code for America team to improve CalFresh online applications

August 04, 2015

Placer County has teamed up with Code for America to create a new mobile-friendly website that makes applying for California’s food stamps program, CalFresh, quick and easy.

CalFreshCode for America is a nonprofit organization that enlists technology and design professionals to create open-source applications for local governments, ultimately spreading awareness of how technology functions among the government workforce and leadership.

Placer County is one of 11 counties participating in the CalFresh pilot program to accept applications through the new mobile-friendly website GetCalFresh.org, developed by Code for America.

Applicants follow a brief guided inquiry on the website and then Placer County’s CalFresh office will call the applicant to verify income, expenses and citizenship and explain the documents required to enroll.

As the number of smartphones on the market continues to rise along with computer accessibility, Code for America and Placer County see potential for participation to increase above the 44.5 percent of eligible participants who currently use the program.

“We feel that this is yet another tool that our staff can promote and that our customers can use to gain access to the benefits they need for themselves and their family,” said Placer County program manager Logan Pratt. “Code for America took a very mundane and difficult process and simplified it to overcome the hurdles that were causing our customers to not complete the online application.”

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