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CalFresh Healthy Living (CFHL)


CalFresh Healthy Living (CFHL)

The CalFresh Healthy Living (CFHL) program is funded primarily by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-ED)  funds. CFHL staff collaborates with County Health divisions, community agencies, and residents to create changes using Policy, Systems, and Environment (PSE) strategies.

Using these strategies, CFHL staff strives to increase access to and consumption of fruits and vegetables and promoting physical activity. With a focus on low-income residents that are eligible for CalFresh benefits, our collaborative efforts are focused on where community residents Live, Eat, Learn, Play, Work, and Shop in San Mateo County.

If you want to learn more about the CFHL program in San Mateo County, contact Justin Watkins at (628) 222-3024 or

For information on the statewide Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch visit the California Department of Public Health site


School Partnerships for Student Wellness

Healthier Options in Schools

In partnership with schools and local farms, CalFresh Healthy Living (CFHL) helps increase access to local and healthier food options in the cafeteria. By working together with the school district nutrition director and staff, we implement strategies that make choosing a healthy choice and easy choice. One major strategy we use is cafeteria promotion events to support farm-to-school efforts. During a cafeteria promotion event, a local and seasonal produce item is presented to the students with information about its origin. Students try fruits and vegetables that may be familiar to them and may also be introduced to new produce. By voting if they liked it”, “loved it”, or “not today”, students engage in food cafeteria decisions. The CFHL program in coordination with the San Mateo Office of Education also supports the California School Meals implementation in which all public school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools are required to provide 2 meals a day, breakfast and lunch to all students that request a meal at no charge regardless of their eligibility for free or reduced-priced meals.  We work with our local schools to educate the families about nutrition services available to them and assist in the enrollment process that ensures access to healthy well-balanced meals.

For more information on school wellness, please contact Angie Cavazos at

To learn more about school wellness services please visit: 


Safe Routes to School

CFHL supports efforts of the Safe Routes to School program, led by the San Mateo County Office of Education by working closely with their team, schools/districts, and cities serving the high-need target population. The program encourages families to walk and bike to school by supporting policy, system, and programmatic initiatives to advance safety for active school travel. The goal is to not only reduce traffic congestion and collisions but also to increase physical activity among children, and promote health and well-being for the whole family.

If your school is interested in the Safe Routes to School program, please contact Sonali Suratkar at

For more information on the Safe Routes to School Program, visit the website:

Check out Safe Active and Healthy Transportation resources and publications:


CATCH Physical Activity Program

The Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) physical activity curriculum promotes children’s enjoyment of and participation in moderate to vigorous physical activity during PE class, at recess, and in afterschool programs. CFHL trains staff to implement CATCH activities and support the adoption of regular structured physical activity in school and after-school programming.

For information about how to train staff at a qualifying school, please contact Gloria Cahuich-Gonzalez at


Champion Provider Fellowship

California is experiencing an epidemic of obesity leading to costly chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease, with low-income, underserved communities disproportionately affected.

The California Department of Public Health and the University of California, San Francisco launched the Champion Provider Fellowship program in 2014 to empower, train and support healthcare providers to use their expertise and respected voices to improve the health of the communities beyond the clinic setting using Policy, Systems, and Environment (PSE) changes. Through this fellowship, CFHL partners with three local champion providers: Rachel Borovina, San Mateo Medical Center, Sharon DiPierro, Ravenswood Family Health Center, and Kristin Sweeney, and Rakhi Singh, Fair Oaks Health Center

As champion providers, these physicians support the health of our communities by supporting preventative health strategies, such as:

  • Providing pertinent health information to city commissions
  • Counseling school districts on implementing wellness policies
  • Implementing Park Rx and promoting other physical activity initiatives
  • Promoting the importance of Safe Routes to Schools
  • Organizing city-wide diabetes awareness events
  • Establishing policies to screen for food insecurity during pediatric patient visits
  • Supporting healthy retail store conversions
  • Serving as a reliable resource on health for the media

Visit the Champion Providers website for more information on how you can bring a champion to your community.


San Mateo County Park Rx

The San Mateo County Park Prescription (Rx) Program promotes the use and enjoyment of parks and public lands to benefit your physical and mental health.

San Mateo County Park Prescription (Rx) program is part of a national initiative to promote spending time in nature to improve health and well-being.

Time spent in nature benefits your overall health:

  • Reduces blood pressure and headaches
  • Promotes overall health and well-being
  • Promotes faster healing time
  • Lowers Stress
  • And improves your emotional health:
  • Increases academic performance and productivity
  • Improves mood and behavior
  • Reduces mental fatigue, anger, and frustration

For more information or to be notified of upcoming outdoor/nature events, visit: or contact Gloria Cahuich-Gonzalez


Our Community, Our Champions

Healthy Food Access

The place where people shop for food has a significant impact on the health of the community members. Through the Healthy Retail Program, CFHL has supported small markets and engaged store owners in under-resourced neighborhoods to stock, highlight, and promote healthy food and beverage choices to their community. For more information please contact Sonali Suratkar at 

Check out healthy food resources and publications: