Feb 4, 2019 Community

Transforming CalFresh enrollment with mRelief

By Sueli Shaw, Social Impact Manager

We are pleased to introduce a pilot initiative with technology nonprofit mRelief to enhance the CalFresh enrollment process for San Franciscans facing food insecurity.

mRelief has built an easy-to-use tool on web, text messaging, and voice for Americans to sign up for food stamps (also known as SNAP or CalFresh in California).

One challenge that eligible food-assistance clients face is being food insecure while navigating the steps of enrollment: application, interview, documents coordination and even approval, which doesn’t necessarily coincide with receiving benefits that can be spent immediately. Through DoorDash’s initiative with mRelief, qualified applicants can receive up to $35 in DoorDash credit to support the cost of their next meal while they wait.

The DoorDash offer with mRelief will open in February and continue through September of this year. To qualify for the support, people must have used mRelief’s platform to file for CalFresh benefits with the county of San Francisco.

Historically, DoorDash has provided similar support to families displaced by major natural disasters. Still, we recognize that for many, the stress of not knowing where the next meal comes from is an everyday circumstance. Through this pilot, DoorDash and mRelief will track how the addition of the near-term meal credit impacts the experience of applying for – and rate of approval for – CalFresh benefits.

“This partnership is a testament to the strong community of support that can be mobilized to come to the aid of Americans in need,” says mRelief’s Executive Director Rose Afriyie. “Yes, the safety net is anchored by the government, but it is also nonprofits and corporations like DoorDash that partner to make food security a reality.”

San Francisco is one of the first municipalities to adopt innovative technologies to reach vulnerable populations. It’s also a city where more than 67,000 people are eligible for CalFresh based on their income, but they are not receiving it, according to analysis by California Food Policy Advocates.

Since it was founded in 2014, mRelief has unlocked more than $65M in SNAP. We are thrilled to support mRelief’s efforts to restore dignity by transforming access to social services through our shared vision of cultivating a more inclusive food system.

Questions? Contact [email protected].