Fresh Success

What We Do  /  Equity  /  Fresh Success

Helping low-income Californians succeed in the workforce.

New CalFresh Employment and Training Model

Fresh Success helps community colleges and community-based organizations effectively start and manage CalFresh Employment and Training (E&T) programs in partnership with their counties. Through Fresh Success, CalFresh participants gain education and training that will lead to better employment and a path to economic self-sufficiency. This new approach to CalFresh Employment & Training, which connects counties with local colleges and CBOs that have available match funds, allows for increased federal funding and innovative, job-driven approaches. 

The program is being piloted at
• Cosumnes River College in Sacramento County;
• Gavilan College in Santa Clara County;
• Opportunity Junction in Contra Costa County; and
• Rubicon Programs in Contra Costa County.

The Foundation provides tools, templates, training, and technical assistance to ease the start-up process, support effective program practices, and help manage federal funding. The Foundation will build upon the successes of these Fresh Success pilot projects to expand to additional sites in 2017.

“The labor market is rapidly evolving. By 2020, two-thirds of jobs will require some education beyond high school. To compete for these jobs, SNAP participants need skills training and education, not just help with a résumé.”

Tom Vilsack,United States Secretary of Agriculture, October 29, 2015

Program Services

Fresh Success participants strengthen their employability through classes and training programs offered at community colleges and community-based organizations. These include educational programs that improve basic skills or otherwise improve employability (e.g., basic skills, English Language Learning, high school equivalency) and programs that provide skills training (e.g., career technical/vocational education).

Through Fresh Success, these participants receive supportive services such as career counseling; interview training; job search, placement, and retention services; educational plans; academic monitoring; tutoring; and case management. Participants also receive help to reduce their financial barriers to participation, such as reimbursement for transportation, textbooks, and supplies.

Program Benefits

Improves skills for unemployed and low-wage workers. 
Fresh Success is a critical tool that can provide employer-valued skills training to low-income Californians.

Increases participation in CalFresh. 
CalFresh is one of the largest anti-poverty programs in California. E&T programs like Fresh Success incentivize people to enroll in CalFresh by offering supplemental services and resources in addition to additional benefits on top of access to nutritious food.

Extends benefits to students. 
Community college students are usually excluded from CalFresh benefits if they are not working at least half-time; however, participation in an E&T program such as Fresh Success provides an exemption so they can receive food benefits while in school.

Provides a path from poverty. 
Research shows completing a certificate or degree at a community college is associated with increased wages and employment opportunities.

About CalFresh

CalFresh helps improve the health and well-being of qualified households and individuals by providing them a means to meet their nutritional needs. CalFresh is California’s version of the federal food assistance program called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), formerly known as food stamps.

Learn more about CalFresh>

CalFresh Employment and Training programs

People who receive CalFresh benefits may be eligible for specific Employment and Training programs through their counties. CalFresh E&T is administered by the California Department of Social Services with funding from the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service. Counties may choose whether they will administer an E&T program, and not all California counties currently offer an E&T program. Download an overview of E&T from CLASP >

Fresh Success is a new model for E&T in California, based in part on a successful model in the State of Washington. For more information about Washington's program, download the Annie E. Casey Foundation report >

Contact Us

Foundation Contacts

Tanya Garbolino
Senior Program Specialist, Fresh Success
T: 916.491.4477
E: tgarbolino@foundationccc.org


Heather McClenahen
Manager of Equity Programs
T: 916.498.6707
E: hmcclenahen@foundationccc.org

Fact Sheet

Download the fact sheet >

Partners and Supporters

  • AC Strategic Solutions
  • California Department of Social Services
  • California Welfare Directors Association
  • California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
  • The California Wellness Foundation
  • Thomas J. Long Foundation
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)
  • Western Center on Law and Poverty
  • Walter S. Johnson Foundation
  • Y&H Soda Foundation

Fresh Success Pilot Providers

  • Gavilan College, Santa Clara County 
  • Cosumnes River College, Sacramento County
  • Opportunity Junction, Contra Costa County
  • Rubicon Programs, Contra Costa County

How to get involved

  • Start a pilot program in a community-based organization or community college
  • Join with other funders to support planning, technical assistance, evaluation, and pilots

Foundation for California
Community Colleges

1102 Q Street, Suite 4800
Sacramento, CA 95811

Toll Free: 866.325.3222
Fax: 916.325.0844

Contact us >

Supporting our Work

Help the Foundation further its mission to benefit, support, and enhance the California Community Colleges.

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Who we serve

The Foundation serves as the official foundation supporting the Board of Governors, Chancellor’s Office, and the entire California Community College system, including 113 colleges and 72 districts, serving 2.1 million students.

Map iconView a list of the 113 California Community Colleges >