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Apr 02 2018 | 

Author: Kate | 

CalFresh outreach completed another successful Peer to Peer meeting this month. The annual meeting drew 85 CalFresh outreach practitioners from over 35 organizations, stretching from Humboldt County to Imperial Valley.

“Peer to Peer is an opportunity to bring all our partners together, one space, one room,” said Edith Martinez, Programs Manager for CAFB. “We really have so much knowledge in our network, but everyone is usually out in the field. This meeting is a good opportunity to get everyone in the same room to share that expertise; to talk about things like their struggles, strategies, and workarounds.”

10 CalFresh outreach members worked with CAFB to ensure that this year’s Peer to Peer was engaging and relevant to attendees’ work. They met regularly and helped run the meeting.

In one of the morning activities, facilitators presented information and participants discussed in small groups any questions or solutions they have in their communities. Topics discussed were Disaster Calfresh, ABAWD time limits, verifications, and eligibility for college students. These small group discussions lead to sharing knowledge through personal stories. 

After a morning of speakers and group discussion, the networking lunch was a chance for participants to relax and build connections. Packets for the meeting contained contact information of attendees. The hope is CalFresh outreach workers will use these contacts when out in the field and looking for solutions or support.

“People appreciate talking to those who speak their language,” said Martinez. “Especially for smaller teams where you are perhaps the only person in your agency that does this. It's always nice to be in a room with people who have a lot of knowledge to share and form friendships and have that sense of community. Knowing that there is someone out there that is struggling with the same thing that you have or faces the same challenges, someone that you can count on and call out to for help.”