The St. Joseph Center in Venice recently celebrated the launching of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services’ (DPSS) new Health and Nutrition Mobile Unit.

Officials said this vehicle is expected to make the Food Stamp Nutrition Program more accessible for low-income families across the county by visiting the communities where they live. The mobile unit was hailed during a ribbon-cutting ceremony late last month attended by county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Philip L. Browning, DPSS director, and other community leaders who were instrumental in bringing the outreach vehicle project to fruition.

During his address preceding the ceremonial ribbon-cutting, Yaroslavsky stressed that with less than 50 percent of eligible California households currently accessing the food stamp program, the mobile unit represents a tremendous opportunity to help hungry families. He also noted that enabling people to receive food stamps also leads to increased spending in grocery stores within the community.

During the celebration, social services department eligibility workers and St. Joseph Center staff helped 50 new households through the process of registering for food stamps. They were helped by volunteers from the L.A. Jewish Federation, which has long advocated for increased outreach efforts to food stamp-eligible families.

“We appreciate Supervisor Yaroslavsky’s support on this day when so many people are registering for the Food Stamp Program,” St. Joseph Center Executive Director Va Lecia Adams said. “The mobile unit will help make sure that many more families have access to this important tool that can help them achieve self-sufficiency.”