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County Efforts to Serve the Needy Impress USDA Official

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San Bernardino County’s innovative efforts to assist families in accessing the help they need impressed USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon during a visit to a county office on Friday.

Concannon met with staff from the San Bernardino County Transitional Assistance Department (TAD) in their Ontario office on Friday to view a demonstration of the County’s CIV and C4Yourself public assistance automated systems and the positive impact they are having on the county’s outreach efforts.

Appointed last year by President Obama, Concannon plays a crucial role in administering 15 nutritional assistance programs and has direct responsibility for overseeing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps).

In 2004, San Bernardino County joined Merced, Riverside, and Stanislaus counties in using the Automated Case Management System known as C-IV for its public assistance programs.

C4Yourself was launched in 2007 using FNS Participation Grant funds to increase public awareness and program access to benefits. The C4Yourself system allows citizens the flexibility to apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, CalWORKS, and Medi-Cal public assistance programs at any time online through a web-based system (www.c4yourself.com).

As of March 2010, the county had 102,204 SNAP cases and since the inception of C4Yourself has received more than 23,000 SNAP applications from C4Yourself.com. The baverage annual application growth rate now stands at 39 percent. The county issues approximately $38.2 million per month to SNAP recipients.

“Mr. Concannon was highly impressed with C4Yourself as a means of better-serving the public. C4Yourself is a userfriendly system where the public can go online to apply for and access benefits without the inconvenience of driving to a local Transitional Assistance Office,” said Linda Haugan, Assistant County Administrator for Human Services.

The Transitional Assistance Department of San Bernardino County administers the county’s financial support programs to persons in need of financial, and/or nutritional, and/or medical assistance. The goals of Transitional Assistance are to meet the basic needs of families and individuals, while working with them to attain self-sufficiency, and to promote work and personal responsibility.

For information on any San Bernardino County Transitional Assistance Department programs and services, please call (909) 388- 0245.

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