Presentation Title

Perception and Barriers to CalFresh Utilization Among Asian Pacific Islander Ethnic Groups in Greater Los Angeles

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Keywords

food stamps, food stamp program, CalFresh, Asian, Pacific Islander, food insecurity

Department

Nutritional Science

Major

Nutritional Science

Abstract

Objective: To understand the perceptions of and barriers to CalFresh participation among Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities, with the goal of developing interventions to increase food access and reduce food insecurity.

Methods: Five focus groups conducted with Tongan, Korean, and Vietnamese community members and community-based organization service providers living in Greater Los Angeles. Additional insight was gathered via surveys administered to service providers who work directly with API communities.

Results: Four main themes were found among twelve sub-themes: the application process, pride, shame, and citizenship status. Among the results, variations between each group were found. The Tongan population experiences a lack of knowledge about the program, the eligibility criteria, and how to apply for the program. The Vietnamese population experiences fear that CalFresh participation will jeopardize their chances of citizenship. Nevertheless, this population had a significantly higher rate of applying for CalFresh than the Tongan population. Lastly, the Korean population lacks information on how to apply for CalFresh, as it is a lengthy and complex process. This population also does not want to be labeled or identified as being needy, preferring food pantries rather than CalFresh.

Conclusions and Implications: These findings suggest the need to program culturally specific interventions to mitigate these barriers in order to improve SNAP participation rates among low-income immigrant API groups. Consequently, this work has the potential to improve CalFresh utilization in low-income immigrant API communities, thus helping to reduce health disparities.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Loan Kim

Funding Source or Research Program

Academic Year Undergraduate Research Initiative, Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Presentation Session

Session C

Location

Plaza Classroom 188

Start Date

24-3-2017 3:30 PM

End Date

24-3-2017 3:45 PM

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Mar 24th, 3:30 PM Mar 24th, 3:45 PM

Perception and Barriers to CalFresh Utilization Among Asian Pacific Islander Ethnic Groups in Greater Los Angeles

Plaza Classroom 188

Objective: To understand the perceptions of and barriers to CalFresh participation among Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities, with the goal of developing interventions to increase food access and reduce food insecurity.

Methods: Five focus groups conducted with Tongan, Korean, and Vietnamese community members and community-based organization service providers living in Greater Los Angeles. Additional insight was gathered via surveys administered to service providers who work directly with API communities.

Results: Four main themes were found among twelve sub-themes: the application process, pride, shame, and citizenship status. Among the results, variations between each group were found. The Tongan population experiences a lack of knowledge about the program, the eligibility criteria, and how to apply for the program. The Vietnamese population experiences fear that CalFresh participation will jeopardize their chances of citizenship. Nevertheless, this population had a significantly higher rate of applying for CalFresh than the Tongan population. Lastly, the Korean population lacks information on how to apply for CalFresh, as it is a lengthy and complex process. This population also does not want to be labeled or identified as being needy, preferring food pantries rather than CalFresh.

Conclusions and Implications: These findings suggest the need to program culturally specific interventions to mitigate these barriers in order to improve SNAP participation rates among low-income immigrant API groups. Consequently, this work has the potential to improve CalFresh utilization in low-income immigrant API communities, thus helping to reduce health disparities.