Our vision is a healthier Silicon Valley for everyone. To that end, it is imperative that we find ways to help the most vulnerable among us achieve optimal health. To ensure this, in March 2016, we released Food for Everyone, an assessment of healthy food access among low-income seniors and individuals that are homeless in San Jose.

The findings from this report have led to the development of new efforts to make food accessible for the aforementioned populations.

Below you can learn more about the report itself, or the work being done to provide Food for Everyone.

Food for Everyone Report & Map
Food for Everyone is an assessment of healthy food access among low-income seniors and homeless individuals in San Jose. It is the product of extensive data collection from a variety of sources, including interviews and surveys from 14 safety-net providers, a focus group with individuals that are homeless, and aggregation of numerous existing data sets, as well as primary data collection. The maps in each section of this report are central to the analysis. They illustrate the current state of food assistance in San Jose and the gaps in healthy food access that many low-income seniors and individuals that are homeless face.

 

Food for Everyone Map
We have created an interactive map that contains all of the data found in the Food for Everyone report. Click here to access the map. Note: You will be required to create a public account to access the map. Once you’ve accessed the map, click on Content to select your data points. 

Food & Affordable Housing
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 22% of renters in Santa Clara County– over 60,000 people– are paying more than half of their income on rent. Such figures paint a stark picture. Communities here in Silicon Valley, from families with children to older adults, face an impossible trade-off between paying rent and spending money on other necessities like food, healthcare, and transportation.

The Health Trust Food for Everyone strategy is guided by growing evidence that promoting housing and food security together helps to break the cycle of poverty and poor health outcomes. We also know that if you’re struggling to pay for housing, you’re more likely to be food- insecure. That is why we’re creating food access points at affordable housing sites, where we can reach more people at high risk of food insecurity, all in one place.

We’re leading the effort by partnering with our region’s most innovative food access providers– Second Harvest Food Bank, Valley Verde, and Loaves & Fishes– and working with individual housing sites to design food programs that work for their residents. Whether grocery deliveries, congregate meals, Meals On Wheels, or community gardens, our work ensures residents have a food access point right where they live.

We’re also working with the San Jose Housing Department to make food access a matter of policy. We want to ensure that as many new housing developments as possible in San Jose include design elements and a service plan that support on-site food assistance.

Our goal is for everyone who lives in affordable housing in Santa Clara County to be food-secure.

Food & Permanent Supportive Housing
With the passage of Measure A, a recent affordable housing bond, Santa Clara County plans to increase the number of affordable units by approximately 6,000 over the next 10 years, with over half dedicated to permanent supportive housing. Individuals in permanent supportive housing receive a range of supportive services to promote housing stability and self-sufficiency.

The Health Trust is working with supportive service providers in Santa Clara County to ensure that food assistance is integrated into the services they provide their clients. We are also working to build the evidence base for food in permanent supportive housing settings, such as a pilot project out of The Health Trust Jerry Larson FOODBasket that builds nutritional support into intensive case management services for Health Trust permanent supportive housing clients.

CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program
The Health Trust is leading efforts to engage local restaurants in providing affordable, nutritious meal options to low-income seniors and individuals who are homeless in their communities. In partnership with the County of Santa Clara, we’re leading an effort to bring retail food access points to neighborhoods that need it most. The CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) is a federal program administered in Santa Clara County that allows individuals who are elderly, disabled, and/ or homeless to use their CalFresh benefits on lower-priced prepared meals at restaurants.

Working with the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency, Public Health Department, and Department of Environmental Health, we have laid the foundation for an RMP outreach strategy for both restaurants and CalFresh recipients. Our goal is to significantly grow the RMP, which has the potential to fill a gap in access to prepared meals, while also increasing revenue to local restaurants.

If you are the owner of a restaurant that is considering joining the RMP, below you will find contact information to learn more about the program, and some helpful links to help you get started:

Contact:
Count of Santa Clara
Department of Employment and Benefits Services
SSA Restaurant Meals Coordinator
408-755-7728
333 W. Julian Street, 4th Floor
San Jose, Ca. 95110

Links:
How to apply to be an RMP restaurant
RMP Restaurant Application form
List of currently participating RMP restaurants